Mar 22nd, 2009 4:37:05 pm
Jitlada is packed. It's a small, family-run, hole-in-the-wall place, but with all the fabulous press its been getting, from Jonathan Gold to Gourmet magazine, everyone and their uncle wants to come here. Be prepared for subpar service, and long waits. It'll be worth it.
Here's my first warning: Southern Thai food is not for everyone! It is super spicy, I recommend a 3 on a 10 spicy scale. Trust me. Try 3 first, then move up, not vice versa. It is very flavorful, a lot of curries and dry spice dishes. There's a lot of seafood. Don't expect dishes like Pad See Ewe.
Here's my beginner menu for the first-time Jitlada visitor. I pick these items because they're universally liked.
Steam Mussels - Trust me. I hate mussels, but these are delish. Bad stuff can be delish if cooked properly. The broth is so good. After finishing the mussels, ladle the broth into a bowl and drink like a soup. It's perfect as an appetizer.
Crispy Morning Glory Salad - The morning glories taste a lot like watercress, it's fried in a delish batter, then topped with a spicy/sour/sweet sauce. It is great, my favorite dish. The morning glories are served with shrimp and other vegetables.
kaeng khew-wan khài "Mang-kon" : green curry with egg-yolk-stuffed fish balls - This curry isn't as spicy as the dry curries. The stuffed fish balls are interesting. I've never seen this dish before, it's unique.
Mango Sticky Rice - I've never had better mango sticky rice anywhere. It's the sauce, it's special. Simply not to be missed.
I recommend getting a Singha, Thai iced coffee or Thai iced tea to wash down the spiciness. It feels so good. Ha.
Awesome place, absolutely delicious food, great service, nice people.
A must go, for sure.
Jan 31st, 2009 2:12:48 am
Great southern Thai food, lots of curries and good seafood. Been there twice and the place is always packed - it's very popular. For groups, it is best to order in advance, or have the owner pick the best dishes and share it family style. Food is moderately spicy, but authentic in flavoring. Casual atmosphere, comfortable but a little crowded and noisy. Limited parking, but you can park on the street.
Jan 30th, 2009 7:12:19 pm
The food was absolutely what I was looking for. Allot of authentic flourishes, good heat, and excellent flavor. We were a big group and although it took us a little while to sort out the first round of drinks, we managed to sample many fantastic dishes and have great conversation. Once we started, the food kept coming, hot and fresh from the kitchen and there were allot of 'local' specials that always surprised the palate. 5 of 5 on food, 4 of 5 on service, 4 of 5 on ambience.
Nov 19th, 2008 2:34:50 pm
The food here tasted like the Thai food I had 8 months ago in Thailand. It was very authentic and they served raw cabbages and cucumber to cut the heat of spicy dishes just like I had in Thailand. The Steamed Mussels is a must have. I also enjoyed the Southern Softshell Crab, Coco Mango Salad, Papaya Mae Chan, and Crab and shrimp in curry sauce. The Khrua Gling (dry beef curry) was spicy but unique and delicious. The Pla Tod Lard Prik sarm Rod (Fried fish topped with sweet and sour sauce) was a dish I had in Southern Thailand, but on this visit it was overcooked. 1/5 of the fish was dry and inedible. I would pass on this dish. There are many Chinese restaurants that make a similar dish much better. Besides that, I think any of the Southern Thai Food specialties on the last page of the menu would be a great dining experience. I would stay away from typical Thai fare like Pad Thai or Pad See Eww listed in the main portion of the menu. This is a place you go to try something different that you can't get anywhere else except Thailand.
Nov 19th, 2008 2:44:05 am
Chris' Favorites at Jitlada – Southern Thai Food
Koong Pear (Shrimp with fried basil)
Coco Mango Salad
Papaya Mae Chan (sticky rice, papaya salad & Pork Jerky)
Kanom Jeen Num Ya (Noodle in Thick Soup)
Southern Softshell Crab
Khrua Gling (dry beef curry)
Beef Red Curry
Pla Tod Lard Prik Sarm Rod (Fried Fish topped with sweet and sour sauce)
Morning Glory Salad (NEW ITEM)
Lamb Pumpkin Curry (NEW ITEM)
45. Steam Mussel
2. Thai Toast (App.)
9. Shrimp in Golden Thread (App.)
11. Seafood Hor Mok
74. Black Pomfret Delight
52. Thai Style Pomfret Meuniere
47. Crab and Shrimp in Curry Sauce
46. Combination Spicy Seafood
27. Spicy Shrimp Salad
72. Flambe Prawns
Aug 13th, 2008 10:11:10 pm
I went to Jitlada Thai Cuisine for the first time and it ended up being one of the best meals I've had in a long time. The first dish I tried was the Coco Mango Salad, which I immediately fell in love with because of the sweet mango strips and crunchy cashews. The "Kong Pear" (shrimp with fried basil) was crunchy and perfectly spiced. The Southern Softshell Crab was extremely fresh and rightly crisped. All the other dishes were spicy and scrumptious, but these three dishes were my favorite. I loved how I was full at the end, but more because my taste buds were fully satisfied and not because I was stuffed. I highly recommend this place to anyone that is in the mood for exquisite Thai food.
Aug 12th, 2008 4:49:16 pm
Jitlada Authentic Thai Cuisine is incredibly authentic. I haven't tasted real southern Thai food yet and this was an unforgettable experience for me. The food is extremely spicy that makes you cry!! Thanks to Local Thai Food Meetup group we had to taste all the authentic Thai items on the menu that are written in Thai...
Food: 5 stars
Service: 5 stars (very friendly)
Ambiance: 4 stars (a little bit narrow when you fit 30 people together, the ceiling is low...)
Aug 11th, 2008 2:50:35 am
This place is definately different from other places. The food is Southern style which is hidden hot (spice). We had try several dishes to night. One of the dish that i had is "Khua Kling Beef" when i took a bit, the spice didn't hit me until a few seconds later. They also serve "rice salad" which is very tasty and healthy b/c they put lots of chopped veggies and herb in it. Their "Coco mango salad" is delicious too. I also like "Khanom Jeen Nam Ya" the white noodle in grated fish curry sauce served with mixture of chopped veggies. We have to mix veggies with the noodle and eat it together. Their green curry is different too. their are "dragon egg" in it :). They use fish ball as a white egg and salty egg yolk as the yolk. This dragon eggs go very well with the green curry. I personally think that "soft shell crab in curry sauce" is too sweet for me.
The food here is EXCELLENT. Everything was so incredibly good. Great flavors, well prepared. We had the mango salad, whole fried sea bass, mussels, the J. Gold chicken dish (instead of pork; this was pretty spicy, even in mild), one of the flat noodle dishes (chow fun), one other dish, the mango with sticky rice (wow!!), and the custard.
Been here twice so far, and looking forward to going back.
Mar 28th, 2008 6:04:38 am
Wow! I haven't had Authentic Thai food like Jitlada in a while. I've heard a lot about this place, but never had a chance to try it until today. My last "real" Thai food was at Ord Noodle in Hollywood http://www.localthaifood.com/restaurant/details/&id=689.
As soon as I walked inside Jitlada I knew I was in for a treat. Awards and articles hanging everywhere, special dishes written in Thai (a good sign). We were seated promptly when the section was cleared for us. Our group of 40+ (L.A. Sushi and Asian Foodies) broke up into 5 tables and sat according to their spice level. My table (hottest level) seated 9 people at an 8 persons table. It was a bit cozy but I didn't mind. We waited about 30 minutes to order food (keep in mind that 5 large tables came in all at once). When we finally got to order our food we took the opportunity to order everything we wanted. Our food list consist of: <b> Beef Salad, Steamed Mussel, Garlic and Pepper Shrimp, Fried Sea bass with Mango (my favorite), Mango Salad, Chicken Panang, some sort of beef curry, Soft Shell Crab in Curry Sauce, Pad Thai Chicken, Glass Noodle Salad, and the Bangkok Duck. </b>
After about 5 - 10 minutes the first dish arrived, the second, the third, then the forth... We should have ran out of space on the table after the sixth dish but we never did. Each plate was cleared by the time it gets to the opposite end of the table. When we were done with our main course, Jazz (Jitlada's owner) complimented us with Mango & Sticky Rice and a large bowl of Thai Shaved Ice (Thank you! Jazz). Jitlada's food is by far the most Authentic Thai food I've had in Los Angeles.
Food = 5 Stars - Very Authentic, large selection of food, rare Southern Thai food.
Service = 3 Stars - Service was extremely slow, often forget to bring requested items and we constantly have to ask for more water. However, Jazz was very hospitable which earned 1 whole star. (The fact that 5 large tables came in at once was considered.)
Ambiance = 5 Stars - Clean and well lit but wasn't too bright.