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100 Favorite Dishes

17: Green Curry Mussels at Jitlada

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Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge Green Curry Mussels at Jitlada - FLICKR/MY LAST BITE
Celebrating this year's Best of L.A. issue -- now out in print and online -- we're counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.

17: Green Curry Mussels at Jitlada.

If there is one menu in town that has the best chance of being written about by cultural anthropologists twenty years from now, it's undoubtedly Jitlada's collection of Southern Thai specialities, whose epic range of toxic-smelling curries and fiery salads has become a firm part of L.A. canon.

By now you should know that the word's "Thai Town" and "strip mall" usually mean good things. Jitlada, which these days serves by more celebrities than BOA, is no different. After a plate of coconut mango salad or a plate of marinated raw blue crab, you should probably try the plump New Zealand mussels, stacked shell to shell swimming inside a piping hot metal bowl. At the bottom is a green, slightly clear broth, thin as chicken soup broth and heavily scented with bundles of lemongrass and bright chiles. As massive and succulent as the mussels are -- some of the bigger ones resemble swollen thumbs -- the most pleasurable part is sipping up the spoonfuls of the increasingly complex and spicy green "jungle" curry flavored with everything from pineapple to a type of Thai ginger called galangal. It's a broth that has few rivals in town -- as soothing as the finest French bouillabaisse but struck with the electrically-charged flavors of Bangkok.

100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles
99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1
98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil
97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.
96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche
95: Duck Shawarma at Momed
94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa
93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen
92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord
91: Baco Mercat's Bazole
90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame
89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence
88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market
87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
86: Galbi Jjim at Soban
85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post
84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun
83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co
82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus
81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant
79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan
78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat
77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho
76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure
75: Porcetto at Sotto
74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense
73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses
72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms

71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away
69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata
66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen

65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh
64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers
63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow
62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill
61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge
60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham
59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar
58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka
57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside
56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food
55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar
54: Taco Sampler at Guisados
53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich
52: House Wonton Soup at China Cafe
51: Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery
50: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
49: The Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
48: Papaya Salad at Krua Siri
47: Lucky Baldwins' Traditional Full English Breakfast
46: Edomae Tendon Bowl at Hannosuke
45: The Pescado Zarandeado at Coni'Seafood
44: Hot Wings at Beer Belly
43: Raw Kale Salad at Elf Cafe
42: Steak Tartare Tacos at MessHall
41: Banh Mi at Buu Dien
40: Sicilian Slice at Pizzanista
39: Grilled Baby Goat T-bone at Mozza's Scuola di Pizza Salumi Bar
38: Papri Chaat at Jay Bharat
37: The Island Combo at TiGeorges' Chicken
36: Tacos Al Pastor at Tacos Leo
35: "Sandwich" at Roma Italian Deli
34: Bossam at Kobawoo House
33: Cauliflower T-Bone at Superba Snack Bar
32: Pupusa Revuelta at Atlacatl
31: Bonjiri Yakitori at Kokekokko
30: Crispy Pork with Morning Glory at Crispy Pork Gang & Grill
29: Sashimi Special at Sushi Gen

28: Tamal de Mole Negro at Guelaguetza
27: The Hickoryburger at Apple Pan
26: Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's
25: Poached Pear Coupe at Tavern
24: Coconut Bavarois at Red Medicine
23: The Tasting Kitchen's Pork Rillettes
22: Beef Ribs at Bludso's BBQ
21: Anson Mills Grits & Eggs at Milo & Olive
20: Lamb Dip at Philippe the Original
19: Salsa de Chorizo Con Cesina at Gish Bac
18: Matsuhisa's Yellowtail Scallion Donburi


Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Reach the author at gsnyder@laweekly.com or follow him on Twitter at @G_Sny.

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