Sunday, December 27, 2009


It was a cold Christmas Eve night, Jitlada was our location of choice. We showed up at 6:30, the restaurant was mostly empty. The neon sign outside says Spicy Southern Thai, that's what we came for a family of Chiliheads.

We reviewed the menu and ordered some standard Thai dishes and some items we had never had before. For starters we had the Papaya Salad and the Thai Toast. The salad was delicious and refreshing, a bit spicy. The Thai toast wasn't what I expected, it looked like fried plantains, but tasted like some sort of deep fried seafood cake, tasty and it came with a sweet dipping sauce.

Next up, the Spicy Sweet Pork and Spicy Seafood Padthai. The pork dish was really good, the sauce was a nice combination of sweet and spicy. But like the salad, the portion size seemed a bit small. The Padthai was good, but too sweet for me.

We had the Chinese watercress, Spicy Fried Rice and Steamed Whole Seabass with Spicy Lemon sauce. All of these dishes were good, but none of them were spicy enough. We requested the condiments too late, because they added the kick I was looking for.

To finish off the meal, we split a Mango Sticky rice. Jitlada has gotten a lot of praise for being one of the best Thai restaurants in LA. Our meal was good, but I was expecting a lot more spice and balance of flavors. The price of some of the dishes also seemed too high.

Next time I will request Thai spicy when ordering.


Oh Animal, Oh Animal, Thy Food is so delicious!

Yes this place did live up to the hype.

Our reservations were for 6:45, we arrived about ten minutes early and were seated immediately. The restaurant was about 80% full. Our server explained to us the different ways we could order, all apps, no apps, a lot of apps and entrees, etc...But we had to make sure to order all at once versus piece meal. That wouldn't be a problem.

We ordered a bottle of the house Cabernet to start and perused the menu. We decided to go heavy on the apps and split an entree. For our apps we had the Chicken Liver Toast, BBQ Pork Belly Sliders, Melted Petit Basque and Chorizo, Sweetbreads, Poutine and the Pig Ear with Fried Egg.

The Chicken Liver Toast was amazing, so simple, but so well balanced. The liver puree was so smooth. The BBQ Pork Sliders were good, but there was too much sauce for my taste. The pork belly was so unctuous and the slaw was not too sweet. Melted Petit Basque was not bad, but the flavor of the Chorizo was lost.

The Sweetbreads were amazing, it was served on top of creamed spinach, with Hen of the Woods mushrooms, capers and lemon segments. When everything was eaten together there were so many flavors that all worked well together. The Pig Ear with Fried egg had a nice spice, but the pig ears could have been a little crispier. The Poutine was the only dish that I thought was unsuccessful. It was too salty and I thought the gravy was too thin.

For our entree we decided to split the Quail Fry. Another well executed dish. The crispy fried quail went well with the slab bacon and creamy grits. The quail was cooked perfectly.

I was looking forward to the donuts for dessert, but they had taken them off the menu. We ordered the Bacon Chocolate Crunch bar. It was nice and chocolaty, but the bacon part of it just brought a little smokyness no bacon flavor.

Animal is casual and the atmosphere is very minimal. The service was excellent and the price is not bad. The standout dishes were the Chicken Liver Toast, Sweetbreads, and Quail Fry. I hope to go back and try some of the other dishes soon.