Los Angeles: Jitlada

T and I had been talking about making a LA trip all summer, but we didn't officially commit to it until about a week before the actual trip.  There were a lot of details that needed ironing out, (e.g., car rental, place to crash, dates), but there was absolutely no question what our purpose in SoCal would be.  Food.  All the way.

In fact, once T, my sister, and I piled into our rental car last Thursday morning at 6:00 am, the first thing we did was set our GPS destination to Jitlada in Los Angeles:

We made one pit stop and managed to get to Jitlada only half an hour after it opened for lunch.  Booyea.

I had a good feeling the second we stepped inside:

My Chicago roomie was the one who recommended the place (as well as just about all the other food spots that we ended up hitting over the course of the weekend), so I immediately began texting her for specific dish recs.  She responded with four vague descriptions, but no actual dish names, which left us scrambling to try to match her descriptions with what was written on the extensive menu (that should actually be plural because there were really two menus, a general one and a Southern Thai one).

With a lot of help from the server, we managed to find three out of the four.

The first was a rice salad called khao yam "songkhla" off the Southern Thai menu:

I absolutely loved this salad.  The dressing was slightly sweet and very, very Thai.  T said that it brought her straight back to Thailand.

The second was a dry beef curry called khua kling, also off the Southern Thai menu:

Unlike typical Thai curries, khua kling doesn't come with a soupy coconut base.  It was earthy and intense and so spicy I wanted to die.  No joke.  We asked for less spicy and my sister was still left in tears after a few bites.  My sister ended up drinking four glasses of water and each time the server came by to refill our glasses, she laughed at us.  If that's what "less spicy" is like, I don't even wanna know how spicy it usually is.

Our last dish was the steamed mussels:

Between the mussels and the rice salad, I can't say for certain which one was my favorite.  The broth from the mussels was so good that even my sister who is always unimpressed by food enjoyed it.

The fourth dish that my roomie recommended was some kind of "dandelion salad".  But when we asked our server about it, we received the most confused look ever.  The poor lady didn't even know what a dandelion was.  We finally figured out that my roomie actually meant morning glory instead of dandelion, but because she forgot the name of the dish, she picked the first flower name she could think of.

Technically, we did find all four dishes (no thanks to my roomie's flower mix-up).  However, since we'd already ordered the rice salad, we decided to skip the morning glory salad even though it sounded amazing.

Good thing we did, because Jitlada was only the start of our whirlwind LA food adventure.  And what a great start it was!  If Jitlada was in the Bay Area, I would be back all the time to try EVERYTHING.

5233 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 663-3104


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