Deservedly holding a place on top restaurant lists for the best Thai food in L.A. for many years, Jitlada is quite possibly the best Thai food I've ever enjoyed in the city. A modest storefront illuminated by the neon lights of Thai Town on Sunset Blvd, the restaurant is run by brother-sister duo Sarintip “Jazz” Singsanong and chef Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee, former southern Thailand natives who took over the restaurant -- which opened its doors back in the 70's -- in 2006. According to The Los Angeles Times' Jonathan Gold, Jitlada serves the spiciest food you can eat in Los Angeles at the moment, and when it comes to chef Tui's Dynamite Spicy Challenge, Mr. Gold is right on the money. Pick your protein, and the chef creates an incineratingly hot dish that will leave even avid spice-lovers like myself squirming and reaching for Pad Thai or a cold Singah to find a bit of relief from the burn. However, Jitlada's menu is enormous, and the traditional, authentic dishes they serve are incredibly flavorful, layering lemongrass, Thai basil, mint, garlic, and chili with expertise. Be sure to get the fresh New Zealand greenlipped mussels in green curry (the largest, most beautifully cooked mussels I've had in my entire life) and the deep fried morning glory salad with shrimp if you'd rather not brave the Spicy Challenge!
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