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Jitlada: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011

We know a woman who has made it her life's project to work through the typewritten addendum at the back of Jitlada's menu, 208 Southern Thai dishes almost mythical in their obscurity and their fierce chile heat. We wish her well: We can think of nothing more pleasant than revisiting Suthiporn Sungkamee's delicious, foul-smelling yellow curries of fermented bamboo shoots; delicate lemon curries; wild tea leaves cooked down like creamed spinach with bits of gluey-skinned catfish; and beef simmered with pickled buds of Asian cinnamon, even if the curried fish kidneys, which we love, aren't necessarily something you want to eat every day. Jitlada is that rare thing, a Thai restaurant frequented mostly by non-Thais who come not in spite of but specifically because of the difficult, thorny regional dishes. Sungkamee — call him Tui — and his sister Jazz Singsanong introduced Hollywood to the Songkhia-style rice salad; the fried sea bass with homegrown turmeric; and the infamous endorphin bomb khua kling phat tha lung, a beef curry that in its purest form is spicy enough to melt the bark off a log. 5233 1⁄2 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd. (323) 663-3104, jitlada.com. Mon., 5-10:30 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., Sun., 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Beer and wine. Difficult lot parking. AE, MC, V. Thai.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
The Google Map

The List:

A-Frame
Akasha
Alcazar
Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Antojitos Carmen
Attari
Babita
Bludso's
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Cacao
Campanile
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chego
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Ciro's
Comme Ça
Cut
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Elvirita's
Euro Pane Bakery
Eva
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Fig
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Huckleberry
Hungry Cat
Ink.
Jar
Jitlada
Kiriko
Kobawoo
La Casita Mexicana
Langer's
Larkin's
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Lou
Lucques
LudoBites
Lukshon
Mantee
Marouch
Mayura
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Mezze
Mo-Chica
Mother Dough
Mozza
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
Oinkster
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Picca
Playa
Pollos a la Brasa
Providence
Ray's
Red Medicine
Rivera
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
Spice Table
Street
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Terroni
Tsujita L.A.
Vincenti
Waterloo & City

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Jitlada Thai Restaurant

5233-1/2 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

323-667-9809

www.jitladala.com