Restaurant: Jitlada [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Location: 5233 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027. (323) 663-3104
Date: May 23, 2019 and September 20, 2022
Rating: Gut burning great
Our final stop on the April/May 2019 Thai Tour is Hedonist regular joint, Jitlada, an outrageously authentic Southern Thai place deep in Thai-town. The joint gets 27 in Zagat! It’s run by Jazz Singsanong.
You know it’s real because they don’t skimp on either the chilies OR the fish sauce. The menu can be found here.
After a few minutes of table juggling we managed to squeeze ourselves in — this isn’t the kind of place that normally deals with 10 person tables that well.
This is my cryptic ordering plan. I carefully laid out a phased dish progression and then owner Jazz put it all in the computer and it all came super fast and in random order — plus we had just enough people that one dish was hard to split. Ideal number at Jitlada is probably 6.
Pepper pork belly. Really tasty chewy pork belly bits with super yummy spicy sauce.
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.
Pomelo salad. Shrimp, pomelo, onions, peanuts, garlic. This salty, spicy, sweet, savory salad was fabulous. Really Thai mix of tones.
Raw marinated shrimp salad (often called Naked Shrimp) (9/20/22). Great spicy/tangy “dressing” with nice crunchy cabbage underneath.
Chicken Satay. A bit boring.
Garlic lamb chops. Incredible crunchy garlic on these chops. It was to die for. I kept eating the piles of it left over.
Beef “Jerkey.” Excellent version of this dish with a lot of flavor.
Sweet Pork Ribs (9/20/22). One of the weaker dishes. A little sweet — hence the name.
Chicken Larb. Ground chicken with spices, fish sauce, etc. Pretty hot too and salty/vinegary. Not my absolute favorite Jitlada dish.
Soft-shell crab noodles. Fried soft-shell crab (in season) with pan fried sweet noodles. Unusual combo, but massively delicious.
Dungeness Crab with Garlic Sauce (9/20/22). Really awesome. I’ve been trying to find this dish (on the vast menu) again for some years. The garlicky “sauce” is amazing. A bit sweet with the sweetness of the crab.
BBQ Squid (9/20/22). Interesting. Not my absolute favorite.
Red Duck Curry. Not spicy but incredibly delicious.
Spicy duck salad or maybe this was Celebrity Chicken. Never had this before but it was great!
Basil frogs legs. Delicious and full of basil and garlic flavor. Bones weren’t offensive either.
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.
Papaya prawns. Like the curry prawns but drowned in papaya.
Garlic and/or Coconut king crab. Hard to get the meat out, and a touch expensive, but really delicious sauce.
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.
Beef Tongue with Sator Beans (9/20/22). Very spicy with that jungle curry type flavor. But lots of good flavor. Beef Tougue itself is kinda chewy.
Yellow Curry with Oxtail (9/20/22). Delicious. Not that much meat and it’s mostly bone, but you could put shoe leather in this curry and it would be good.
Duck Red Curry (9/20/22). Fabulous flavor, very rich and creamy. Not as much meat as one might like. Quite spicy too.
Jungle curry with lamb. Exotic thai curry with god knows what in it besides the lamb. 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 hours to recover!
Jazz burger. A big beef patty covered in onions, peppers, and dressing. The flavors were fabulous. We were VERY full at this point and the burger is spicy too.
Sweet Red Pork Rice (9/20/22). Slightly weird sweet dish. Not bad, but also one of the “weakest” of the night.
Mango Sticky Rice with coconut Ice Cream (9/20/22). The rice itself is awesome.
Cherry Cough Syrup Sorbetto (9/20/22) – Amareno Cherry, Morello Cherry, and Creme de Cassis Sorbet! — so intense, and so awesome for a red fruit lover — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #sorbetto #amareno #morello #cherry #CremediCassis #cassis
Nocciola Espresso Caramello Gelato — A classic nocciola base made with Pure PGI Piedmont hazelnut paste and then layered with a house-made Espresso Caramel Ganache then topped with fresh roasted hazelnuts — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #Valrhona #hazelnut #ganache #dulcy #ChocolateTruffle #nocciola #caramel #caramello
Sicilian Tiramisu Gelato –attempting to reinvent Tiramisu with Sicilian flavors: Pure DOGC “Bronte” pistachio paste gelato base with lady fingers soaked in house-made orange syrup and layered with house-made “cannoli filling” (sweetened fresh ricotta with cinnamon and mini dark chocolate chips) — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — this one will be a test of concept: too much? –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #pistachio #sicily #ricotta #chocolate #orange #ladyfingers #tiramisu
Mango with sticky rice. So full but this is so delicious!
Yarom with Jazz.
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 original chef in the kitchen 🙁 We had 8-9 people which is just about 2 more than the dish size is best with. Once we had way too many people and and some late comers that botched the whole progression. The food was really on point tonight, and just two days after Night + Market Song showcased the delicious complexity of Jitlada’s flavors. Jitlada is a food restaurant though, and not a service restaurant. I mean, they are SUPER friendly and we love them, but the dishes just pop out in random order and speed.
Tonight (2019) we ordered very well. Every dish was very good, most great. We had a pretty nice variety. 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.
On our post pandemic (9/20/22) return we also order extremely well and they put out fabulous dishes (except for a couple of sweet meats that certain non spicy lovers made us order :-)). When you order right, Jitlada is incredible.
Not super spicy either, only the jungle curry busting the 5 or 6 line (it was a 9, even on the weighted Jitlada scale of blistering heat — although I painfully have had it hotter before).
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.