For a while now, I’ve heard various bloggers and people on Twitter rave about Jitlada, a little restaurant in Thai Town that boasts over 200 items on its menu. A few weeks ago, I finally got around to dining there with who else but Kristen of Rock My Palate; we were joined by Mark of Flow Films. Fortunately, Kristen had the low down on this place from previous visits and made a reservation for us as the restaurant remained full for the several hours we were there. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my DSLR and had to make do with my iPhone 3GS. =/
We ended up with quite a bit of food again. Not that I minded since leftovers from a great meal is always a good thing. On our table – Crying Tiger pork, sticky rice, rice salad, fried Morning Glory salad, pumpkin soft shell crab and a green curry lamb rice.
The Crying Tiger pork was delicious. It also comes in a beef option which Kristen prefers but the pork version seems to be the more popular. Very flavorful and moist, I could see Husband, who is not much of a Thai food fan, nomming this down. I am curious to see how the beef version is and next time, I plan on ordering both.
Jazz, the owner of Jitlada, came out to chat with us a little and treated us to rice salad, a mixture of cabbage, carrots, scallions, rice and other items, one of which was minced red peppers. Think evil, devilishly hot red peppers chopped into pieces so small you don’t notice them until you take a bite of the salad and the top of your head explodes. Yup, this salad had me crying. But despite the spicy level, the flavors of the ingredients still came thru and I couldn’t stop taking another bite. Call me a masochist…
The fried Morning Glory salad (shrimp, red onions and deep-fried Chinese watercress in a mildly spicy house dressing) was one of Kristen’s recommendations and she did not steer us wrong. I loved the crunchiness of the watercress.
The pumpkin soft cell crab contained pieces of deep-fried soft shell crab and an array of vegetables, including what looked like kabocha, in a light curry sauce. Delish and definitely something I would recommend and order again.
The green curry lamb fried rice was another dish that had a nice spicy kick to it. The lamb flavor was present but mild and didn’t mask the green curry seasoning.
Despite being full, we couldn’t resist the call of a pumpkin dessert. Kabocha julienned and encased in some sort of custard-pudding thingy, this was a strange non-desserty dessert. It was barely sweet but the sticky rice helped with that. I liked it but it didn’t quite fulfill that craving for something truly sweet and dessert-like post-dinner.
The service here is very laid back…so much so that a meal here can stretch 3 hours and you have to flag down your waiter for things like water refills and the check. Be prepared for a leisurely meal.
Another thing Jitlada is famous for, besides delicious Thai food, is their dynamite spicy challenge which you create a dish based on sauce and protein and it is prepared with ghost chilies. Jo of My Last Bite successfully completed this challenge but only after training for a year and most recently, Angela of I Flip for Food attempted it and got half way through. If the rice salad reduced me to tears, I think I’m a long ways off from trying anything “dynamite”…
I give Jitlada 4 NOMs and can’t wait to return.
5233 W Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027