Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Catfish Flakes and the Giant Mussels

I've been hearing so much about Jitlada, a Thai restaurant on Sunset. It's a bit far (waa~y past the Sunset Strip), so I haven't been. But we've recently made the drive to try it out.
Jitlada sits in a small strip mall (like many, many other good restaurants in LA ... what is it with strip malls in LA ..) that, most definitely, lacks parking spaces. We drove around but couldn't find parking or street parking, so we ended up parking across the street at the 99c Store (I think that's what it was). Psst ... don't tell please ...

We ordered a pad thai - standard and safe.The pad thai is pretty good and I thought it was definitely one of the better ones in LA. Not much for me to say here though, it's really pretty standard? And I've been getting bored of this sweet dish. Moving on to the more interesting items! :)

I've been hearing a lot about the catfish and green mango salad, so I got that also.
I've read the reviews so I've been expecting this. The fried catfish is, well, really looks nothing like a catfish! It looks like fried flakes ... only when you eat it does it taste fishy, although the texture is again not really what you would expect out of a 'catfish'.

The crispy-but-slightly-soggy flakes, the sourness of the green mango, and the flavorful crunchiness of the peanuts make this dish great. The first bites were a bit of a surprise regardless and seems weird, but it really grew on me. By lunchtime the next day (leftovers) I was chowing this down and craving more ...

Lastly, we ordered what Jonathan Gold proclaimed as one of the "Best Dishes of 2007", the New Zealand Green Mussels! (How can you not try it??)
What came were possibly the biggest mussels I've ever seen:
I mean, usually, the meat of the mussels occupy only 1/3 of the space the shells provide, but these mussels .... these fat, juicy mussels, fill up the shells like they're pregnant!
The slightly spicy broth were excellent but not overpowering. Just right.

Jitlada is definitely a great Thai restaurant. I do wish it was a bit closer to me so I can go more often! I'd definitely be back whenever I can find someone to drag all the way over here for Thai food ... (not like it's close to anything else either :/ )
Those mussels are definitely, definitely, worth the trip over and over again ...

Jitlada Thai Restaurant
5233 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 663-3104

Jitlada Thai on Urbanspoon


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