In a weird way, I have been more apprehensive in trying Southern style Thai food as they tend to be more spicy than their counterparts of Central, Northeastern (Issan) and Northern Thai food. I also tend to keep in mind that it's saltier as well, which I had been known to be a weaksauce in trying those dishes.
Salty and spicy food tend to blow me away as I can be hapless after a full meal of this type of cuisine. Luckily, not only have I survived here, I love to try out more of it.
yam som muang papaya salad
Mango salad with puffy fried catfish
The tamer item to calm your palate would be the mango salad with puffy fried catfish and the fried curry shrimp (Kung Phae Chup Thawt) . Those were easy to consume and was surprisingly not too salty to keep your palate ready for the dangerous lava.
Now we are off to curry land in full mode with an interesting ingredient of Turmeric (part of the ginger spice family). That green leaf provided the coloring of the curry for the Lamb curry and the flavor for the fried chicken .
tom khaa kop: robustly-flavored coconut milk soup with fresh galangal and frogs' leg
puu nim phat phong ka-rii: soft-shelled crab stir-fried with curry powder and assorted vegetables
The moment of truth came at the test of will for your tongue and taste bud when the Tom Khaa Kop (robustly-flavored coconut milk soup with fresh galangal and frogs' leg) and the Soft Shelled Crab with Curry Powdered came out. Both have the strongest spicy meter up at full blast. You could still appreciate the texture in the curry and the taste in the meat. However, your tongue is going to take that beating while you are enjoying the rich poignant flavor of each of those dish. There was no subtlety about how strong the spiciness it was going to be.
Ice cold cumcumber, lettuce, and carrot to cool off the burning sensation of the spiciness.
To calm our tongue down, we got a bowl of iced lettuce to reduce the hemorrhaging we had just suffered. We did also had a few veggie dishes like a Chinese Broccoli and the other Papaya salad (Yam Som Muang).
We lived and we get to tell about it. We could have taken the easier route by getting the BBQ stuffs, but there would be no fun in that. The place is somewhat small, but can fit a large group. The service is always great in here with a few smile to go along with it.
kai khii min tumeric fried chicken
In the end, I found the dishes to be flavorful with beautiful rich texture in their ingredients. I would have to come back here to try out their other dishes on their traditional dish menu.
Just be warned...Southern Thai food is very spicy. If you are looking for something calmer, then go with the veggie dishes first, then with fried stuff dishes and then progress to the spicier stuff. It's really your only option.
You just don't want to kill your appetite with the spicy items first.
Jitlada Thai Restaurant
5233 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90027