Jitlada realization

Night + Market Song. Or Pok Pok. Or Ruen Pair.

So many things at Jitlada that I crave. Some of those things are among the most memorable things I’ve ever eaten. Jitlada almost single handedly changed the way I look at Thai food.

People have always been grumpy about the place. First it was the service, or the heat, now it’s apparently some inconsistency…

You’re never going to have a restaurant that unique that also pleases everyone in the crowd. I have very strong heat tolerance, and I get my food to go, so I don’t worry about bad service or too much spice. Jitlada does it for me, bigtime. Jitlada is like the restaurant version of a girl I’d never take home to mom and dad but I just can’t stop seeing. I will say I think it’s pretty pricey, small portions and not exactly the highest quality of meat. But things like morning glory or rice salad with a superhot kua khling and that pumpkin curry and… and… shit what’s the traffic like right now??


@Eater15 I’m assuming you’ve tried morning glory with bean paste at Thai Nankorn? Generous portion, and supert tasty.

I’d take Thai Nankorn over Jitlada myself. That have that funky beef curry (piguaut curry) if you want something a bit funky and different. They do the standards quite well.

It’s the quiet beautiful that never disappoints. The keeper in my book.

oh shit Porthos, we agree on something. First sign of the apocalypse.


What you liking at Pok Pok these days?

Found it,

Jitlada menu selection, c '09, by erikm for a party of 4

a. puu pen phla : a raw blue crab salad with lemongrass, mint and chile
b. sup hang wua : mild, Southern Thai-style oxtail soup
c. phat luuk taw “Meuang Khon” : stir-fried sator beans with shrimp,
pork, and squid
c. phak bung fai daeng : stir-fried water spinach with dried chile and
yellow beans
d. kung phae chup khreuang thawt : deep-fried shrimp with crispy tea leaves
e. khua kling “Phat Lung” : spicy, turmeric-flavoured “dry” curry with beef
e. kaeng hawy bai cha-phluu : spicy, turmeric-seasoned curry with baby
clams and wild tea leaves
bA. tom kai baan tom khii-min : turmeric-seasoned soup with chicken
and lime leaves
cc. neua phat kii-mao “songkhla” : spicy minced beef stir-fry with lemongrass
eA. kaeng tay poh plaa chawn haeng : sweet/hot curry with dried
mudfish and water spinach (sliced pork is another option)

additions: for 6.
a) neau phat khii-mao “Songkhla”

-This is a stir-fried minced beef dish with holy basil, chiles,
lemongrass, etc. It’s one of the safer items in the lineup now, so if
anybody is having a hard time with the more challenging stuff, this
works well. It’s NOT gringo by any means. It’s actually one of my
favourite things to eat there when I’m by myself. Hardcore comfort
food, Thai-style.

b) kaeng leuang “Thalaa”

-This is one of their signature dishes, and it includes catfish steaks
and pickled bamboo in a watery (no coconut milk), fiery curry broth.
It’s pretty hardcore, and it might go over like a lead balloon, but I
want you to try it. I sit down to staff meals at Jitlada at least once
a week when I’m in town nad this dish is served almost every time.
Spoon some of the fish and bamboo over your rice, watery broth and
all. Not too much, but you’ve got to moisten the rice with some of the
curry. I love this dish.

Note no mentions of ANYTHING listed by JG as a “must-do”. No fried bluecrab, no mussels, no prawns.

The “kaeng leuang thalaa” remains one of my favorite kaengs in LA tho I haven’t tried Lum ka naad’s which lists this as “turmeric bamboo and fish soup”. It was never covered by Gourmet and the hipsters, but it was written up by Linda Burum back in '07.

None of this has to be ass-rape spicy. And none of it can be found at SQIRL.

i would be happy to return there again and again for that one good thing.
whether or not a restaurant is “a good restaurant for that style of cuisine” is not as important to me as whether or not they have that “one good thing” that rings my bell.

this is why i have a restaurant ROTATION. i go to a number of restaurants, most of which have one or two or, at the most, three things that i love. ( there was a period of time that i was practically living at cafe del rey because of one particular dessert that carlos had created. when i go to ayara, i almost always order my one favorite dish. and on and on.
of course, the exception that proves the rule was sergio’s cooking when he was geographically in my sphere)


chicken wings (obvi), larb, and khao soi. I need to go back and try some more stuff. I went on opening night.

Thank you for reminding me why my husband and I fell in love with Jitlada circa 2008/2009. Particular favorites are the sator bean dish and the catfish and pickled bamboo shoots!

I think people are missing my point, which was not that Jitlada is bad, but rather that Jitlada is just too spicy and my tastes are trending toward Sqirl. Part of it may be that I try to avoid eating rice with Thai food for weight-loss purposes.


I still love Jitlada. I go expecting shitty service and it’s usually better than expected. A couple of months ago I had a meal with two of the best dishes I’ve had in LA: rack of lamb in southern curry, and giant prawns in red curry. The former was outrageously spicy but so complex that I kept going in for more pain. The latter was perfectly cooked, plumb, huge prawns loaded with roe in a delicious sauce. It’s definitely not an every day thai place, and the prices are high. The thing is, it’s really, really dumb to go there and order basic thai food and then complain about the price. Go get something weird and hopefully you’ll like it.

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I respect the hell out of you for avoiding rice with your Thai but oh my gosh I’d die without rice to soak up all that heat.

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I should ask them to make quinoa. Seriously, I think that would be pretty good.

Why not just get one of the rice bowls from Sqirl and take it to eat Jitlada, and pair it one of your preferred Thai dishs, Southern or not.

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Sqirl is pretty damn great. Plenty of room in this world for both of them.

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I thought Pok Pok sucked. Every dish was easily bested by other versions in this city. Especially their khao soi.

Take that shit back to Portland.

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Re-reading this topic, the only place I see recommended as doing the dishes I’d order at Jitlada cheaper or better than Jitlada is Lum-Ka-Naad in Northridge.

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Preferred LKN over Jitlada but I haven’t been in 1 1/2 years. Recent reports on LKN have been very negative.

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Thanks for the tip. I will check it out as its near REI. Northridge has some surprisingly good restaurants, as well as my favorite Korean market. I hope Bulavinaka’s reports are mistaken.

I hope I’m wrong too. I can’t recall what thread it was - maybe places to eat in the SFV on Chowhound - but when I mentioned LKN, at least a few people had chimed in about how dreadful their experiences were.