Restaurant: Jitlada [1, 2, 3, 4]
Location: 5233 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027. (323) 663-3104
Date: September 6, 2016
Rating: Gut burning great
Tonight’s outing is a Hedonist return 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.
NV Herbert Beaufort Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Marcellin Extra-Brut. 88 points. Lemony nose and citrusy palate. Small bubbles, but loses it’s fizziness quickly. Tasty.
Larb. Ground pork with spices, fish sauce, etc. Pretty hot too and very salty, but tasty.
Honey duck. This was pretty awesome, and we should have ordered more. The skin was crispy and sweet, the meat succulent.
2011 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese. VM 92. Delicately refined aromas of pineapple, quince and herbs. The refreshing palate offers a subtle interplay of ripe citrus fruits and salty minerality. A pure and expressive finish provides stature. I may be underrating this, but it’s certainly one of the great spatleses of the vintage.
Pumpkin frog legs. A pumpkin curry basically with frog’s legs. Poor kermit.
2011 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese. 92 points. This wine has come together in a beautiful manner. Its sweet but with bright acidity and good minerality.
Papaya salad. Solid, but not as yummy as the fried one.
From my cellar: 2002 Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese Goldkapsel Auction. 96 points. Balanced in all ways. Medium old. Medium sweetness. Medium yellow gold color. A really fine Spätlese.
Coco lotus soup. This was a mild red coconut curry soup with chicken. It was amazing! Really fabulous curry flavor. Tons of tamarind giving it a really balanced sour tone.
2012 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl. VM 93. Pale straw-gold color. Deep aromas of white peach, white truffle and pear nectar. Wonderfully juicy and light on its feet, conveying a distinctly perfumed quality to its very pure citrus zest and floral flavors. The finish offers very good juicy grip, with lingering notes of orange and sweet spices. Delicious.
Jungle curry with lamb chops. Exotic thai curry with god knows what in it. This stuff was HOT and pretty fabulous. This is a brown curry. I actually like their super hot green curry better, but this is good too.
Garlic frog’s legs. Deep fried turmeric marinated frog legs with garlic.
Flambe Prawns. Grilled giant prawns topped with our house curry sauce. These are amazing. The sweet curry sauce is just full of curry flavor goodness.
1997 René Renou Bonnezeaux Cuvée Zenith. 97 Parker. Tasted four times over the last six months, the show-stopping 1997 Bonnezeaux Cuvee Zenith has gone from being massive, disjointed and difficult to assess, to being harmonious, intense, and sublime. Aromatically revealing spicy yellow fruits of exquisite ripeness, this is a medium-to-full-bodied, powerful, and explosive wine. Copious quantities of spicy bergamots, flowers, almonds, perfume, caramelized minerals, and tropical fruits can be found in its layered, velvety texture. Renou was somehow able to marry 1997’s awesome density and depth of fruit with virtually perfect levels of acidity, creating a blockbuster-sized wine of great equilibrium and freshness. Bravo! Projected maturity: now-2050+.
agavin: Our bottle was a tiny bit corked. Sad, because you could tell it was a great sweet wine under there.
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.
Adrian Fog Pinot Noir Alexander Valley. Wines that don’t put their vintage on the front don’t get reviews.
Red Snapper Salad. deep fried snapper filets topped with cucumber and tomatoes in a spicy lime sauce. Super fried and super tasty. One of the yummiest fries ever. We ate all the crispy stuff at the bottom of the plate.
2003 Turley Petite Syrah Rattlesnake Ridge. VM 89. Potent, biting, but very good. Definitely mellowed by the second day. What I would expect from a PS but maybe not one 13 years old!
agavin: our bottle was badly corked.
Jazz burger. A big beef patty covered in onions, peppers, and dressing. The flavors were fabulous.
Mango sticky rice with coconut ice cream. Awesome dessert, even though I was so full, I shoved three helpings down the gullet. This was as good a sticky rice as I’ve had. The rice is warm and the mango cool.
I love Jitlada, and it’s hands down the best Thai I’ve had in LA. The menu is enormous and full of goodies. Tonight’s meal redeemed the disaster we had last time (where we had way too many people and and some late comers that botched the whole progression).
Tonight we ordered very well. Every dish was very good, most great. We had a pretty nice progression. Sure, there are favorites we missed, and some types I would have liked more of (like a good green curry or something like the “sweet” lamb curry) but it was a great meal. Jazz hung out with us for a chunk of it and helped us order. The kitchen was really on point too with some dishes that have a little variability all coming down on the awesome side tonight.
Not super spicy either, only the jungle curry busting the 5 or 6 line (on the weighted Jitlada scale of blistering heat). Part of me would have liked some of the killer heat (like that amazing green curry) but this morning, writing this up with only very mild gut pain I’m thinking we made a sane choice.
All in all, if you like Thai food and live (or visit) in LA you must try Jitlada.
For more LA dining reviews click here.
Or for more crazy Hedonist meals.