There is only one real Thai restaurant in Los Angeles Thai Town, and Jitlada fits the bill. Many have tried but this place has the most exotic and authentic Thai cuisine in all of Los Angeles.
Lots of celebrities have found this wonderful cuisine in the heart of Hollywood, and their praise are on the walls and on the tables along with hundreds of great reviews. Jitlada named after the royal palace in Bangkok, opened in the late ’70s and quickly earned an enthusiastic following among food lovers both Thai and otherwise. In the late ’90s, the restaurant’s original owners sold the place and returned to Thailand. In 2006 Sarintip “Jazz” Singsanong and her brother Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee took over ownership.
In 1979 Singsanong immigrated to the U.S with $200.00 and 1 suitcase. She studied hotel management in Bangkok. When Jazz came to Los Angeles she enrolled at L.A. City College to learn English and found a part-time gig in a local restaurant before landing a job at the Biltmore Hotel. Little by little she began bringing her family over from Thailand. Not wanting to alienate customers expecting the usual Thai dishes, Singsanong and her brother left the old menu more or less intact while upgrading the quality of the cooking, but they also added a sub-menu of about 40 home-style southern Thai specialties, written in their regional dialect.
Chef Tui Sungkamee’s control of heat is masterful: there are many varieties of fire in his food. He calls them targeted, diffuse, elusive, persistent, and they are all that and more.
Their menu is huge, and there were so many things I wanted to try but didn’t, maybe next time.
Here’s what I tried:
Sweet Crab Claws, deep-fried fresh served with a sweet sauce. What I liked the most about this dosh is that you get lots of fresh claw that are sweet and flavorful. The sauce also adds some extra depth.
Crispy Duck Rolls, crispy duck, cucumber, carrot green leaf wrapped in rice noodles. The duck is crispy and light, and it’s a very nice start to an amazing dinner.
Yellow Chicken Wing, chicken wings stuffed with glass noodles and ground chicken. This is a stand by dish at most Thai restaurants, but here, it got my attention. The wings are huge and stuffed to the brim. The stuffing is full of ground chicken meat and trust me, it’s a lovely dish.
Beef Salad, marinated sliced beef and vegetables in a spicy lime sauce. The beef is very tender and seems like it is soaked for days in a great sweet yet pungent marinade. The meat is unbelievably tender, with amazing flavor.
Pad Thai, with chicken and shrimp in tamarind sauce. I always order this dish, it is very flavorful, and is so big you can make many meals out of the leftovers. Their version was very delicious and had both chicken and shrimp. It is sweet, but at the same time savory. The only thing this one did not have was crushed peanuts.
Lemon Grass Chicken, served with spiced lemon grass sauce. I did not order this dish. It was selected for me, but I would skip this dish next time.
Mango Sticky Rice, fresh mayo, very savory almost not like dessert.
Jitlada boasts many accolades, one if them being making Jonathan Gold’s 99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011 list in LA Weekly.
Matt Groening’s; Simpsons fame caricatures adorn the walls, they are everywhere, I wish I knew the connection. Perhaps he is just a very happy customer.
I too was a very happy customer; the food is just so amazing. I totally understand what all the hype is about, it’s very unassuming tucked away in a small strip mall restaurant in the Heart of Hollywood, its better then going to a high profile Thai restaurant. You just have to try it to know what I am talking about.
5233 Sunset Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027