Thursday, July 26, 2012

Date Night : Jitlada

Tom Ka

Rad Na

Crying Tiger

Last night for date night, we decided to journey to the legendary Jitlada. Todd has been a fan for a long while, but I, I had yet to try the very much so buzzed about Thai eatery. Raved about in the L.A. Times, by Rachael Ray, Zagat Rated and Johnathan Gold approved, the Thai eatery is located on Sunset in a strip mall in Thai town. We entered into a cozy feeling atmosphere bursting at the seams full of diners. The decor is very basic but with nice touches such as Thai fabrics used as tablecloths and lower than expected lighting. We were seated right outside of the kitchen in the second dining room. After a wait, a pleasant woman took our drink order, Chang and Pinot Nior. They offer a basic and standard list of Thai beers and wines are listed by varietal. We drank our beverages, chit chatted, sat with empty glasses and stomachs for a long while before our order was taken. Todd warned me that patience was key to eating at Jitlada. They even have a sign posted in a cute warning of the small kitchen and traditional cooking, which takes time. We ordered the Crying Tiger Beef (featured on the Food Network's Show- The Best Thing I Ever Ate), the Tom Ka soup with shrimp, the Rad Na with chicken and spring rolls. After time, our beef made it's way out of the kitchen, heaven. The beef was exploding with flavor and came with a delicious spicy sauce for dipping. It was gone in two seconds, tender, moist and oh so good. The second dish to arrive: the Tom Ka soup. My absolute favorite soup is Tom Ka, I have eaten it countless times and this was hands down my favorite. Jitlada's Tom Ka had an undeniable freshness to it. The soup has complex flavor of coconut milk, lime, savory flavor, cilantro, some heat, lemon grass, ginger etc. This was the most balanced Tom Ka soup I have ever had. The flavors were seamless, which I often find that Tom Ka is made too sour, or bland, too spicy, not spicy enough -this was the perfect balance. Our plates were cleared and another long wait until our Rad Na came out, Thai noodles in a gravy with Thai green veggies. Again, extreme freshness and balance, this dish was saturated in savory flavor. The gravy was delicious and the noodles were the perfect texture, they tasted homemade. We then waited longer for our spring rolls, at this point we realized, we were exhausted because TWO and A HALF hours had passed. We really didn't care about the spring rolls at this point  and we ready to just get up and move. We finally get the attention of a waiter and our spring rolls were delivered about ten minutes later- my guess, the order was forgotten and what arrived was not a plate of spring rolls but fried rolls. We absolutely appreciated the flavors, freshness and perfection of the tastes of our dinner. We did not appreciate the TWO and a HALF hours we spent with no real effort for customer service. We rarely ever saw the pleasant woman who took our order initially and struggled to get the attention of anyone who worked there. Though warned about the wait, this was beyond a "normal slow" wait and even more, the lack of service was what bothered us the most. Next time, we will order for pick up. Such a phenomenal meal, outstanding food, we simply just do not have the time to dine in. My tip: a must try but if you are dining in make sure its with someone you haven't seen in five years plus and have and immense amount to talk about, no other plans for the evening and don't go too hungry - or just order for pick up, which we will be doing very soon. 

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