Location: 5233 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027. (323) 663-3104
Date: November 9, 2017
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, and just last month her brother, partner, and chef tragically passed away. We came to pay our respects (and enjoy some excellent Thai cooking).
2010 Domaine Louis Michel Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre. BH 93. Here the components of the nose are similar to those of the Fourchaume yet here it is notably more floral. There is impressive complexity to the dense, rich and concentrated flavors that offer plenty of oyster shell and iodine hints on the balanced and stunningly persistent bone dry finish. This is really lovely juice and well worth your attention.
2013 Domaine Michelot Meursault Sous La Velle. VM 90. Ripe yellow peach aroma shows an almost syrupy aspect. Suave and silky in texture, with fruit-driven flavors of peach and orange. The crop level here was “almost normal” in 2013, noted Mestre. This is very good. (Incidentally, the Bourgogne here, which is entirely from vines in Meursault, is dry, savory and classic, even if it’s more Chardonnay than Meursault.)
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.
2006 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Felsentürmchen Spätlese. JG 94. To my knowledge the first time that Helmut Dönnhoff bottled this section of the Felsenberg on its own was in 2001, when this upper section of the vineyard supplied the auction Spätlese from the vintage. The 2006 will again be a magical bottle, as the wine offers up very primary nose of lavender, a huge base of stony soil tones, white cherries, oranges, petrol, iris blooms and an exotic spice note redolent of turmeric. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, pure, minerally and very racy, with more solid than liquid at the core, great cut and structure, and a blazingly long, palate-staining finish. A brilliant Spätlese! (Drink between 2012-2035)
2007 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese. VM 93+. Tantalizing aromas of papaya, sweet herbs and incense. Discreet but intense black cherry fruit rises from the mid-palate, accompanied by brilliant acidity. Animated and finely spiced, with a deep, long finish. I may be underrating this.
2006 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese. JG 93. To my palate the auction Auslese from the Sonnenuhr was a significant step up from the Spätlese, and this was indeed a delightful wine in the making. The classy nose demonstrated a sophisticated glazing of botrytis, as it jumped from the glass in a blend of apple, pear, bee pollen, slate, incipient notes of petrol and spring flowers. On the palate the wine is medium-full, complex and beautifully glazed with botrytis, with a lovely, glossy attack, a fine core of fruit, and a very long, crisp and ethereal finish.
2004 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese. 92 points. Selbach is such an elegant house, consistently producing kabinetten and spatlesen that are light, airy and elegant. This spatlese showed some of the reserve of the 2004 vintage, with less expressive fruit. The wine was nonetheless balanced, with a significant honey/honeydew/orange zest and general citrus overlay. While the wine has some development left, I did not find enough expression of more complex flavors at this stage to rate it higher.
From my cellar: 2008 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Heimbourg Sélection de Grains Nobles. VM 98. Medium gold. Utterly captivating nose melds bitter orange peel, apricot, wildflower honey and minerals. Thick, tactile and extremely young, with powerful acidity giving it a slightly disjointed character initially. For all its huge density, there’s great cut to the flavors of apricot, honey and flowers, with the wine’s powerful sweetness leavened by a savory element. Finishes with palate-staining fruit, outstanding energy and uncanny persistence. This came together brilliantly with aeration, maintaining great refinement and a sensation of weightlessness. Will go on for decades.
Jungle curry with lamb. Exotic thai curry with god knows what in it. This stuff was HOT and pretty fabulous. The heat was insane. Slow burn, such that you started in on it and thought it would be fine, but then building to a head-sweating mind-altering gut-burning sear. Took me 6-8 hours to recover from a relatively small portion!
1988 Marcel Deiss Gewurztraminer Altenberg de Bergheim Sélection de Grains Nobles. 92 points. Popped and poured, with cork crumbling and the wine poured in to a decanter. I think the air this ended up getting was most helpful. Beautiful sweet (but not overly so) stone fruits and spice on the nose. And an initial sweetness in the mouth that morphs in to a somewhat surprisingly much drier mid-palate. Complex with a good, but not as lingering finish as the very best Deiss SGNs can show.
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 was one of the best we had, despite the absence of the chef in the kitchen 🙁 We had only 7-8 people, which is about the max you can have here. Once 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, the menu is vast, 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 (it was an 11, even on the weighted Jitlada scale of blistering heat).
All in all, if you like Thai food and live (or visit) in LA you must try Jitlada.