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It is already hard to believe there was a time before Suthiporn Sungkamee and his sister Jazz Singsanong were fixtures on the Hollywood Thai restaurant scene. The Southern Thai specialties we have quickly learned to take for granted - just a couple of years ago, the Songkhla-style rice salad; the fried sea bass with homegrown turmeric; and the infamous endorphin bomb kua kling Phat Tha Lung, a beef curry in its purest form is spicy enough to strip the bark off a log - were abstractions Angelenos could only read about in books. The printed menu could pass for the one at your usual Thai banalities, but the typed insert of Southern specialties includes dishes you'll find in few other places: delicious, foul-smelling yellow curries of fermented bamboo shoots; delicate lemon curries; curries of fried softshell crabs and the notorious sataw bean; wild tea leaves cooked down like creamed spinach with bits of gluey-skinned catfish; beef simmered with pickled buds of Asian cinnamon. There are accessible dishes, too, like grilled beef with green papaya salad, steamed mussels with lemongrass and chile, a tropical coco-mango salad and shrimp fried with basil - it's not all fish kidneys and dried mudfish. When you need to show visitors the diversity and wonder still possible in Los Angeles restaurants, Jitlada is Exhibit A. Difficult lot parking. See full review.
There's hardly anywhere in the country that could give you a better education in Southern Thai food than siblings Sarintip "Jazz" Singsanong and Suthiporn "Tui" Sungkamee's Jitlada, tucked into the corner of a Hollywood strip mall. When the pair... More »
There's a lot going on Thursday, February 14th. For instance, it's Dr. Henrik Zinkernagel's birthday and the 46th anniversary of Aretha Franklin recording her cover of Respect. It's also been101 yea... More »
Where the Chefs Eat is an ongoing series in which we ask a local chef to give us his or her favorite dining options. This week, we check in with Tar & Roses chef Andrew Kirschner. Like many of the c... More »
If you're looking to try an exotic, fun, and different restaurant, come to Jitlada. But don't come here expecting your average Thai food.
Nestled in Thai town in deep LA, is Jitlada, home to the best Thai food (in my opinion), and as authentic as you can get. Sure, it's very very hyped up, but for a good reason! Their dishes are much more intricate than the average pad thai and tom yum soup--all their dishes have flavors all over the dang place. Be adventerous here!
Although Jitlada is a lot more pricer than other Thai places (ahem, $7 Thai iced tea...) the quality of food and ingredients they put into it, is very worth it.
My personal favorites are:
Crying Tiger Pork- Bold flavors of sweet and spicy. Very tender meat. Also extremely addictive.
Morning Glory Salad- A must try! Sweet, sour, crunchy, and just a bit of spice (I'm telling you, Thai pretty much tastes like this...) The fried watercress tastes amazing with the sweetness of the sauce. It's such a perfect combination and it's light! ALL salads should taste like this: interesting.
New Zealand Steamed Mussels- The broth is BEAUTIFUL. It was spicy, that's for sure but the broth was so sea-foody rich-- it was spectacular. Mussels aren't the best of quality but still delicious!
Three-flavored Sea Bass- Huge fish drowned in basil and sweet chilli sauce, would definitely need several bowls of rice to clean up all that great sauce. For $30, it feeds plenty.
Come here if you're feeling food-adventurous, if you want to spoil your taste buds a bit, sweat from the heat, whatever. Just come.
Despite the long wait to be seated, order, and receive our meals, Jitlada is a gem for quality Thai cuisine. Everything is flavorful and succulent, and the only downfall I'd say is how spicy some of the dishes are. Aside from that, every dish my party picked was tasty and I would recommend this restaurant out of any other Thai places in the area.
Sometimes, we're in the mood for something delicate, turbot steamed in lemon leaves perhaps, or thinly sliced East Coast fluke in a nage of verbena and freshly picked chervil. We're a fan of delicately scented souffles that vanish into hot, eggy air at the touch of a fork, and of sashimi so fresh that the only taste is that of the sea. Still — and we type this with fingers strongly redolent of the ripe Alsatian muenster we had for lunch — there is a certain appeal to food you can smell across the room. (A certain family member has forbidden us from bringing masala cashews, whose lashings of asafetida can smell dismayingly of dirty diapers to the person not eating them, into the house.) If you've ever, say, had the salted squid guts at a crowded izakaya, you know what it is to have a diner across the room wrinkle her nose at the contents of a small dish in front of you. While we are all too aware of the pleasures of Taiwanese stinky tofu, ripe durian from Malaysia and the notorious Filipino condiment bagoong, we would forgo all of those for a small helping of the infamous sataw, a southeast Asian legume whose name is sometimes translated as "stink bean," and whose flavor can be likened to that of a fava, times a hundred. They make you pay attention, those things. And while there are any number of sataw dishes available in Thai and Indonesian restaurants in Los Angeles, we are especially fond of the softshell crab with sataw at the Southern Thai restaurant Jitlada, a close equivalent of tempura moistened with a complex curry that mellows and transforms the powerful bean.—Jonathan Gold
It's not often that you see a young man in white skinny jeans, his hair styled in something resembling a pompadour, his face adorned with purple-rimmed shades, sitting down to dinner with a 50-year-old woman wearing Liz Claiborne sandals. But hipsters do have mothers, and mothers are required to take their children out to eat. So where, oh where, could their tastes possibly overlap? Luckily, hipsters have been developing a fairly discerning palate over the years, but the corporate ambiance... More »
Sometimes, we're in the mood for something delicate, turbot steamed in lemon leaves perhaps, or thinly sliced East Coast fluke in a nage of verbena and freshly picked chervil. We're a fan of delicately scented souffles that vanish into hot, eggy air at the touch of a fork, and of sashimi so fresh that the only taste is that of the sea. Still -- and we type this with fingers strongly redolent of the ripe Alsatian muenster we had for lunch -- there is a certain appeal to food you can... More »
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