Years ago I took a rather large group of Thai Food fanatics with me on a food crawl through Thai Town in Los Angeles where we tried one specialty dish of a randomly picked Thai restaurant. One of those restaurants was Jitlada; an iconic Thai restaurant with a noticeably large selection of Northern and Southern Thai cuisines.
What drew me to Jitlada years ago was their Thai Hot dishes and a notable restaurant review from Pulitzer prized local Food Critic Jonathan Gold. On the day of the food crawl, it was the Steamed Mussels in a lemongrass broth and a few Thai red chilis that tantalized our appetites. It was a favorite of Mr. Gold so we had to order it. The mussels were so good that we ended up blowing the remainder our combined food money on a few other Thai dishes to eat.
Since it had been a while since last I dined at Jitlada, I took a few close friends with me for our very last meal on New Years Eve, December 31st. No, we didn’t order Thai Hot dishes this time around, but we did order a selection of the most delicious Thai food to eat from the long menu.
Pictured above is the Tom Yum Kai, a coconut chicken soup.
Thai Town has a long history in Los Angeles. During the 1960’s Thai immigrants settled in the East Hollywood area of Los Angeles to open businesses and raise their families.
Pictured above is the Crispy Morning Glory Salad with Shrimp.
Owners, Jazz Singsanong and her brother Chef Tui Sungkamee immigrated to Los Angeles sometime in the 1980s.
Pictures is Chef Tui’s Scallops and Eggplant.
They took over ownership of Jitlada in the 1990s and successfully introduced a large range of Northern and Southern Thai food that caught the attention of the local Food Critics as well as national publications like Zagat and food media like The Food Network.
Pictured is the Duck Noodles.
Mango Rice Dessert.
Jitlada will always be a favorite of mine and many Angelenos who love Thai Food. Two friends in my New Year’s Eve dinner party were new to dining at Jitlada and they were amazed that it took them so long to finally check out the restaurant. I was thrilled to find out that they made Jitlada and instant favorite restaurant too.
As popular as it is, Jitlada does gets crowded with customers often waiting up to an hour to be seated. It always helps to call and make a reservation in advance. The kitchen also runs a little slow during the peak hours. However, it is all worth the wait to eat the Thai food. The food is distinctly aromatic and the flavors are a mix of spicy hot, sour, and sometimes a little sweet. Always talk to the Server about the food and the spice level. If your palate is not particularly tolerable to spicy heat, tell the Server so the heat can be adjusted.
An average price per dish ranges from $8 to $20. Some select specialty dishes are market price due to availability of ingredients. There is metered street parking and limited parking in the side streets. Valet parking is available for a couple dollars. Cash and credit cards are accepted.