When you walk into Jitlada, you’ll notice it’s dimly lit with colorful Christmas lights and hanging lamps. Once your eyes adjust, you’ll see ornaments hanging from the ceiling and the walls cluttered with interesting Thai decorations, articles about the restaurant, and signage about water and its small kitchen. There are also chef recommendations on the table, and more articles underneath the table’s glass. We’re also not sure what relationship Jitlada has with Simpsons creator Matt Groening, but many of his autographed drawings are scattered throughout the restaurant. It’s a lot to take in!
Aside from the interesting decor, Jitlada is a Thai restaurant with a menu that has grown tremendously, since its opening in 1971. The current menu is literally a large booklet with a few photos and a lot of small type! The numbered list of dishes go up into the 200s! There has been a few changes in ownership. It seems as though the current owners kept the menu that came with the acquired restaurant and added to it, making the menu massive! The current owners are from southern Thailand. Hence, all the southern Thai dishes on the back of the menu.
5233 1/2 West Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027
Jitlada is located in East Hollywood. It’s inside a small plaza on the corner of Sunset and Harvard.
If you only get one dish at Jitlada, make sure it’s this one. These New Zealand green mussels are HUGE, and cooked perfectly in a rich, slightly oily broth filled with lemon grass, basil, and chilies. A spoonful of this delicious broth will make you fall in love at first taste.
The mussels come with the broth in a large metal soup bowl with a flame underneath. This dish tastes best when it still hot! It also comes with a homemade chili sauce on the side, which is small but rich of flavor. It’s a little spicy, sweet, and sour…the perfect combination for dipping the mussels in.
Another little tip on eating this dish is to add a bit of that yummy broth into a bowl of fragrant, jasmine rice. So good!
Fried Morning Glory
The fried morning glory dish one of the most unique dishes we’ve tasted. The morning glory is crispy, and lightly battered. Delicate. It comes with chopped shrimp and a lot of red onion. The sauce is sour and a little sweet, and instead of using the traditional lime juice in their dressing, we believe they use a less sour pomelo, which adds a more subtle flavor. The dish is topped with a generous helping of fried shallots.
Pork Belly Kra Pao
This dish is very similar to the Duck Kra Pao from Ruen Pair. The pork belly is sliced similar to thick bacon but doesn’t feel overly fatty. The sauce is a rich dark “gravy” with lots of garlic, onions, red peppers, chilies and crispy Thai basil. It may not be the most unique dish on Jitlada’s vast menu, but it’s consistently delicious and a safe bet considering that some of the dishes at Jitlada can be hit or miss, especially when they are too spicy to even eat. You’ll definitely want a bowl of jasmine rice to accompany this dish.
- There is small lot in the corner plaza where this restaurant is located, but it’s usually full. Plenty metered parking is available on the streets.
- Closed Mondays. Tuesdays – Sundays: 11:30am – 3:00pm and 5:00 – 10:30pm.
- If you are concerned about spiciness, always ask about which dishes are spicy or not, because it is NOT noted in the menu.
- Because the menu is filled with hundreds of dishes, it can be a little overwhelming if it’s your first time looking at it. Take a look at photos on this piece or Yelp to help you decide.
- Don’t come “hangry.” Be ready to wait a while (more often than not) to order and for your food to come out. It usually takes a long time. They even have warning signs posted on their walls about this matter.
- Bring a sweat-shirt or jacket; It can get really cold inside!
- Check out other reviews and dishes to order at Jitlada on Yelp.