Jitlada_fishI’ve been to Jitlada Thai now, twice. My LA friends kept telling me that it was even better than Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas. Now, Lotus of Siam is pretty damn great. If you’ve been to Thailand, you can still go to Lotus of Siam and be sated. But my friends were telling me that Jitlada blew to the roof off of LOS. Hunh? Must test.

I grabbed as many friends as I could (so that I could taste as much as possible) to come along for the tasting a year ago. But there was a glitch: half of the table were not so into spicy food. Lloyd, my Jitlada guru, was understandably put out. Why go to the best Thai food outside of Thailand if you’re not into spicy? And anyway, U.S. spicy is Thai mild. On our honeymoon, my husband and I would be blowing our noses and wiping our brows during our meals and the proprietor of the restaurant (at more than one location) told us that what we were eating was barely spicy – nothing to the Thai. (Quien es mas macho?)

Still, we ordered the Morning Glory Salad,

the Crying Tiger Beef,

Green Mussel Curry: Fresh New Zealand mussels in a southern curry with pineapples,

and Pang-Pond Kai Kamin: Deep fried chicken (bone in) with turmeric garlic sauce,

In the middle of the meal, we all entered a chili coma, but it was nothing that some plain white (brown?) rice couldn’t beat back. Felt like a honeymoon in there!

The verdict: Jitlada did beat the roof off of Lotus of Siam, but in LOS’s defense, I’ve never been there with more than a party of four. That’s a distinct disadvantage. Still, the freshness, complexity, ingenuity at Jitlada was a dream come true. Only, I no longer live in Los Angeles. Why did I have to discover it AFTER I left? Doh!