Monday, November 9, 2009

OMG or Oh My Ganesha

My friend April and I had an amazing meal at Jitlada Restaurant last week. April had been reading about it in various magazines and on internet sites for months and was anxious to try it out. I, on the other hand, hadn't heard of it--and had sort of written off thai food for a bit because I couldn't convince my husband that thai food is good.
He's not a fan.
But he hasn't been to Jitlada-land

Surprisingly we walked into a nearly empty restaurant, just before noon, on a Thursday. Apparently the best kept secret is Jitlada, just before noon, on a Thursday. Review after review, talks of having to wait for a table and a constantly packed dining room. Tip of the day---go there for lunch.
The only other occupied table was a group of LA County Sheriffs.
 Hot diggity---good food and men in uniform...could a better day be had?

The menu is enormous. And not in a Cheesecake Factory way...where there are pages and pages of random stuff...and really only 2 things you want to eat. This menu looks like the best dinner party I ever attended--pages and pages of unbelievable treats.
 Authentic, spicy treats.
I couldn't wait to order...but how to decide?

April had done her research, so had a general idea of some items that were a must. Also...Jitlada helped us out a bit by pointing out some of the Chef's specials both on the menu and a framed notice of really special specials. Thank goodness, because it will take me a very long time to get through the whole menu.
I might even be tempted to try lamb here...the food is that good!

The owner...Jaz is adorable.  I just want to hug her.  It was like we had entered her kitchen at home. She is dedicated to serving fresh, authentic Thai food. She is also dedicated to making sure each customer has a delicious meal and a great time.
 There is no compromising.

We ordered 4 dishes....

Chef's special-special-- Morning Glory Salad--fried watercress salad with shrimp. Eventhough the watercress was battered and deep was crispy and very fresh tasting. It was, in a word, amazing. I can't do the salad justice here, believe is worth trying...and then eating the entire plate. *this photo is courtesy of jitlada restaurant's website.

Our waiter recommended the rice salad. He felt it would go well with the other dishes we ordered, so we went with it. I am so happy we did. It might have been my favorite dish of the afternoon. It was a cold salad and very simple. But it had a flavor that I can't quite get my finger on..but I am almost certain there is lemongrass in there somewhere. Lemongrass and a melange of goodness that is unnmistakably yummy. Yes...words are currently escaping me. I mean really, how many times can I say good without it becoming an ineffective adjective?*this is a photo i hastily took before polishing off the entire plate of rice.

Based on recommendations from YELP we ordered the crouching tiger hidden dragon beef. Actually, that wasn't it's name...let me check my notes..
ah yes, the crying tiger beef. You know what...i am crying too...crying that I can't eat it every day.
 This is the dish that I am convinced will turn my hubster into a Thai Tippler. Seriously delicious.

Our final and most serious dish was the Spicy Brown Sugar Chicken. This dish is not sweet at all. But I imagine there is a bit of sugar to assist in the spicy aspect. This dish will get ya coming and going... in a good way. SBSC is spicy. without hiding the appeal.
It is a real skill to be able to create a dish so spicy that it cures nasal congestion, but doesn't mask the amazing flavors.

During our meal, Jaz flitted in and out...sharing stories and generosity.  She offered beer to match the food, a dessert of warm coconut pumpkin custard that melted in my mouth (something else I know hub will love), and a not very subtle thai coffee that kicked me into top gear.  I am hooked.  Coffee, coconut, beer, spicy food....AND men in uniform.
 Call the medics, I feel a swoon coming on.

*some photos are from the website (the good ones!)
** while at Jitlada we met Jo, a food enthusiast/blogger and Jitlada-fan. She eats here quite often and has very good taste, so if you don't believe me, believe her! You can find her here.

Jitlada Restaurant
5233 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 663-3104
Mon. 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Tue-Thu. 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Fri-Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sun. 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.


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