Jitlada: Thai in Hollywood

// Visited: 2.29.12 //

Like any self-respecting L.A. resident, I shy away from Hollywood unless absolutely necessary.  When I walk near Hollywood and Highland, I’m more apt to be running errands (and annoyed about having to do so in eternal-traffic-hell Hollywood) than gawking at the stars embedded in the sidewalk.  Yet as of late, I’ve been journeying to the Land of Cheesy Tourist Hotspots in order to hunt down my own superstar obsessions—namely, excellent Thai food.

 

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Perhaps the cheeriest little strip mall in all of Hollywood.

 

Hollywood has always represented unexplored territory for me.  Sure, I’ve visited hipster bikini bar Jumbo’s Clown Room, and I’ve eaten my way through an amusing meal at Palms Thai (where the Thai Elvis was more memorable than the food).  But I’ve never found anything so compellingly delicious in Hollywood that I had to return.

My recent visit to Jitlada has me questioning my general avoidance of Hollywood.  It is located in a cheery strip mall with an impossibly-small parking lot.  Service is slow but friendly.  (I got more of a feeling that the servers were overworked and understaffed rather than neglectful.)

 

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Coco Mango Salad

 

And the food.  The food!  It nearly burned off the roof of my mouth, which is really a testament to its deliciousness—I kept eating and eating, in spite of the fire raging in my mouth and the sweat pouring down my face .   I drank glass after glass of water and switched to Thai iced tea in the middle of my meal, but nothing was going to stop me from devouring the mango salad, the spicy (spicy!!) mint noodles, or the succulent and crispy Crying Tiger.  (For what it’s worth, I hear the Crying Tiger was featured on an episode of the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate.”)  Like geese being prepared for foie gras, we forced down the Sweet Sticky Rice with Coconut Ice Cream—every al dente, rich, and subtly sweet bite, permeated with coconut cream, was worth it.

 

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Crying Tiger

 

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Spicy Mint Noodles with Chicken

 

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Sweet Sticky Rice with Coconut Ice Cream

From here on out, I will revere Hollywood as Thai Town and as the land of my favorite Armenian bakeries.  I will befriend the tourists in their open-top buses, and suggest they take a detour from the famous Chinese Theater to eat some inflammatory Thai cuisine.

Jitlada Thai
5233 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 663-3104
http://jitladala.com/

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