Location: 5233 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027. (323) 663-3104
Date: March 12, 2015
Rating: Gut burning great
Tonight’s outing is a hastily organized trip to Jitlada, an outrageously authentic Southern Thai place deep in Thai-town. The joint gets 27 in Zagat! It’s run by Jazz Singsanong with Chef Tui in the kitchen. The menu can be found here.
You know it’s real because they don’t skimp on either the chilies OR the fish sauce.
2009 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett. 90 points. Yellow honeysuckle, wet stone, lemon zest nose, with medium light body delivering pleasing soft lemon sorbet, nectarine, tangerine and wet stones.
Crispy Morning Glory Salad. This salad of shrimp and fried morning glory is just plain glorious. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Basically tempura flowers and it’s really the tangy, slightly sweet sauce/dressing that really makes it. Very similar to many of the salads I had in Vietnam.
2007 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese. Vinous 93. Subtle aromas of lichee, lemon oil and smoked pine nuts. Rich tropical fruits with a hint of smoke and an intriguing piquancy on the palate. A subtle acidity gives the sweet, spicy finish a rather feminine aspect. Very nicely balanced.
Giant prawns in red curry. This dish is an 11. The prawns are succulent and filled with roe and kani miso (crab guts). Then the sauce is a luxurious panang-style red curry with coconut milk and maybe some peanuts. It all meld together, particularly with the crab guts into a scrumptious savory blend.
Dungeness crab with curry. It’s a little hard to get into the meat, but the sauce was an amazing (and not so spicy) blend with a ton of turmeric. Brace yourself, this is where the weak hearted get left behind, as this is the last “easy” dish.
From my cellar: 1990 Zind-Humbrecht Tokay Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal Vendange Tardive. 94 points. Rich, powerful nose of apricots and lots of baking spices, paraffin and wax. Really plush, but not a bit cloying or heavy. Again, not heavy on the palate – lots of apricot – very rich. Just great. The ZH TPGs are delicious wines, but tend to be heavy. This wine has all the good, with none of the bad – light on its feet, but wonderfully rich and perfumed. A real treat. Nose – 6/6, Palate – 6/6, Finish – 5/6, Je Ne Sais Quoi – 2/2 = 19/20.
agavin: It’s a rare savory meal where a wine of this sticky magnitude works, but this is the case here. The massive and effortless apricot sweetness of this wine is great both on its own and with the tastebud obliterating assault to come.
Spicy Crispy Pork Noodles spicy stir fried glass noodles with crispy pork and vegetables. We ended up with two spicy crispy pork dishes. This one had some heat, but it wasn’t yet full inferno. Nice noodles too.
Kua Kling Crispy Pork. Dry curry stir fried with asparagus and crispy pork. This curry was about a 9 or 10 on the heat scale. Oh boy. It had great flavor too, but was getting seriously hot. Sneaky too, as it didn’t seem too bad for a minute or two, and then really notched up.
Rack of lamb in southern curry. A spicy native curry from Jazz’s family recipe with bell peppers, turmeric, jicama, and you can’t find this anywhere else. Turn it up to 11. The flavor on this dish was insane, with a super complex layered flavor that went on and one — and the heat. I basically finished 2/3 of this bowl myself (all but 1 other couldn’t handle it) and my head was drenched in sweat. But it was worth it.
Mango sticky rice with coconut ice cream. Awesome dessert. Jazz went out to her car or apartment and got us the “special mangos” that were perfectly ripe. Just incredible. Best mango sticky rice I’ve ever had. I shoved three helpings down the gullet.
Jitlada was hands down the best Thai I’ve had in LA. The menu is enormous and full of goodies. All the flavors are great, the meats succulent, and boy is it hot. You could order sweet, or you could order hot, or both. I’ve had hotter food (I’m thinking of a certain Szechuan restaurant in China), but you certainly don’t WANT it hotter than this. And I’m a guy that puts Haberneos in my guacamole.
One of our number summed up the evening as “eating like Pharaohs,” which is about right. Just way way too much food, and no small dose of other good stuff. The kitchen was incredibly on point tonight too.