Jitlada, Los Angeles Southern Thai Cuisine Review

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Sometimes in life and in food, the things that are best for you maybe so close to you, that you fail to recognize it. Such is the case with Jitlada, the southern Thai specialty restaurant located less than a mile of where I’ve been living  in LA for the past year but wasn’t able to experience until recently. Bonded by more then just the common love of food and blogging, but also friendship, I met up with Cathy and Vern of Gastronomy and Stellar Recipes, Mike of Pepsi Monster, Bill of Street Gourmet LA, and Danny of Kung Food Panda to enjoy a great southern Thai meal and dishes that I’ve never had before in any traditional Thai restaurant.  The dishes below encapsulate that meal as as another visit with Kim.

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The New Zealand green lip mussels in a fragrant broth of lemongrass, dried chili, and basil is a must order. The mussels are large, plump and juicy and the broth could be separate dish in itself–great with some jasmine rice.

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The spicy soft shell crab was lightly breaded and crispy and came with a bevy of interesting veggies such as small round Thai eggplant.  This dish had a delayed type of heat that really hit you a few minutes after eating it.

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Spicy shrimp curry was delicious and became a fantastic topping in our lavish pizza!

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The famous “Fish Kidney” curry listed on Jonathon Gold’s 99 Things to Eat Before You Die.  Jazz Singsanong,  the driving force behind the restaurant explained that kidney’s aren’t in the dish at all, but that what the Thai’s called kidney fish was translated to fish kidney.  It looked like some sort of smelt and was the first time I’ve had fish in a curry. This was spicy and funky–but in a good way!

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Minced fried catfish is interesting texture-wise but the taste of catfish was was lost as the bits tended to be small.

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Fish ball soup, whose name just invites giggles and jokes, is nothing to laugh it. Fish paste stuffed with duck egg bathed in a light curry.  This dish just blew all of us away with the execution as well as the flavor.

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The coconut, lotus, and red snapper soup was amazing.  This soup was so delicate and well balanced and had us scrapping the bottom of the bowl quickly.

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Morning glory is prepared like nothing else we’ve seen before in the Crispy morning glory salad. Lightly battered strands of morning glory fried and then mixed with shrimp and perfect dressing of fish sauce, lime, and chili.

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The “Crying Tiger” grilled beef had a flavor similar beef jerky–strong and intense–and went great with the dipping sauce and some rice and was the only non spicy dish of the night.
Dessert consisted of a custard and kaya toast made especially for us by Jazz and covered beautifully by Cathy–so continue with the meal here. But these dishes are just the tip of the iceberg of the Southern Thai menu as new items are contstantly added.  Jitlada, you’ve been so close by all this time and we’re so glad to have just discovered you.

Jitlada 
5233 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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15 Responses to “Jitlada, Los Angeles Southern Thai Cuisine Review”

  1. 1

    Kung Food Panda — April 5, 2010 @ 4:22 am

    That was a great meal with a fun group. Let's do it again soon Hong!

  2. 2

    glutster — April 5, 2010 @ 5:00 am

    jeez…you guys munched out!

    nice artsy-slanted pics :)

    wonder how that fried catfish compares to Ganda's?

  3. 3

    Kitchen Runway — April 5, 2010 @ 5:05 am

    Looks like a great dinner! Sometimes I miss living in LA…

    If you guys end up dining in OC let me know & we'll be there! =)

  4. 4

    Gastronomer — April 5, 2010 @ 5:22 am

    Glad to read that you returned to Jitlada with Kim in tow. I can't wait till you're both living in the same city. We'll have to meet up for boat noodles. I'll bring the ice wine, of course!

  5. 5

    kt — April 5, 2010 @ 5:52 am

    You're so lucky to live so close to Jitlada. That fish ball curry is outstanding. It's also (after a request halfway through the meal) one of the spiciest meals I've had, including in Thailand! Thx for posting the delicious pics!

  6. 6

    Ravenous Couple — April 5, 2010 @ 6:21 am

    KFP and Cathy: Yes, still need to do the boat noodles!

    Glutsters: not sure if the artsy angles were planned..the table was just overflowing with food! Haven't tried Ganda's yet though.

    KT: Yes, the level of heat is a notch higher here than at most Thai restaurants.

  7. 7

    Ravenous Couple — April 5, 2010 @ 6:21 am

    Kitchen Runway: We'll definitely have to get together when we're in the OC!

  8. 8

    Bonnibella — April 5, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

    I like how you describe the fish kidney dish as funky!

  9. 9

    Tammy — April 5, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    oh man. It's really hard to read this and not be jealous of people who get to live close by such good restaurants. Sometimes i do miss city life! You can find very good Thai in Amsterdam, but I don't recall ever seeing such intriguing dishes on the menus there…You took some lovely photos (good thing, as we might have suspected you of exagerating the novelty and deliciousness, he he).

  10. 10

    Ju (The Little Teochew) — April 6, 2010 @ 7:26 am

    I LOVE Thai food! That's a lot of coconut milk in those dishes … yummy! Is Fish Ball Soup uncommon where you live? Here in Singapore, it's a staple. Everywhere you go, there's bound to be a stall that sells fish ball soup. :)

  11. 11

    Ravenous Couple — April 6, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    Bonnibella: Definitely try jitlada when you visit LA.

    Tammy: Theres a large Thai population in LA as you know and even here, Jitlada's dishes are unique.

    Ju: Yes, fish ball soup is not that common here!

  12. 12

    Fresh Local and Best — April 6, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

    This food looks amazing! I adore all of the exotic and aromatic spices and herbs in Thai cooking!

  13. 13

    5 Star Foodie — April 7, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

    This dinner sounds incredible, so many wonderful specialties to try!

  14. 14

    Kathy Diaz — April 25, 2010 @ 7:23 am

    I used to eat fried bananas almost every weekend growing up in Manila. We called it Turon – wrapped in egg roll wrapper and a jackfruit is usually tucked inside. All sprinkled with brown sugar goodness. Mmmm, I'm salivating. My grandma makes the best turon.

    Good meeting you last time!

  15. 15

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