Friday, September 18, 2009

Jitlada Part Two: The Advanced Guide

Earlier, I wrote a post for the beginner's guide to Jitlada. Almost half a year later, I've finally completed the advanced diner's guide to Jitlada. What makes me an expert? Well, I eat with two, native, Thai foodies who order the  most authentic dishes. They also host a monthly Jitlada dinner. I've been there five times and it only gets better ever time.

Jitlada has really become an LA sensation. It used to be a hole-in-the-wall that was only busy Thurs night through Sunday night. Now, it can be packed on a Tues night. The reason being, it is the best Thai food in LA, if not the world. 

This review is for the spicier, more unusual dishes from their acclaimed Southern menu. It's not for everyone, and to be honest, none of these dishes are my fave. But I'm glad I tried them and I got to experience authentic Southern Thai cuisine.

Pumpkin Lamb Curry - I highly recommend this dish, it's a good "doorway" dish into spicier southern Thai food. The curry (highly flavored in tumeric) overwhelms the tender pieces of lamb (which is good because lamb meat is too gamey for me). The pumpkin adds an unusual texture and mutes some of the spiciness. (pictured below)

Knanom jun naam yaa - rice vermicelli in yellow fish curry, it is served with an assortment of vegetables. This was the spiciest dish I ate at Jitlada. I warned earlier not to order spicy level 5. It's because of this dish, it literally made me cry, twice (haha). It wasn't particularly tasty but if you want genuinely spicy Thai food, this dish is for you.

Puu pen phla - raw blue crab with lemongrass, mint and chile. This is an unusual dish, it mostly tastes of the chile and lemongrass, the raw crab flavors only peeps through. Since it's raw, the flesh is gummy, rather than firm. I don't care for raw crab so I didn't like this dish, but it's delicious to eat on top of rice.

Here's some pictures I didn't post last time:

Fried Soft Shell Crab

Steamed Mussels

Thai Custard

Here's a pic of our monthly Jitlada group. If you'd like to join us, click on the link for more info, it's free.

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