Jitlada Thai / Los Angeles, CA
Named after the royal palace in Bangkok, Jitlada opened in the late ’70s. It changed hands in 2006 and not wanting to alienate customers expecting the usual Thai dishes, the new owners added a sub-menu, written in their regional dialect, of about 40 home-style southern Thai specialties. A visitor from Chicago happened upon a Jitlada takeout menu in his hotel lobby and noticed the untranslated section. Had dinner at the restaurant and ended up getting an explanation of all the southern Thai dishes. When he returned home, he posted a translation of the regional menu—along with photographs of many of the dishes and a highly favorable report on the restaurant area food lovers’ website, LTHforum.com. Thats all it took and now is a highly sough after reservation. LA Weekly names it one of the “99 Essential Restaurants to eat at”. The Pad See Ew is the bomb.