Jitlada Thai Restaurant
If this East Hollywood spot didn't have a cult following for its over-the-top spicy Thai food, it would easily go under-the-radar thanks to its nondescript strip mall exterior. Everything on Jitlada's super-long menu will take you out of your comfort zone, like the spicy catfish salad and green mussels curry. Speaking of curry, there are plenty of varieties, all of which are pretty darn spicy. The best thing about Jitlada, aside from the occasional celebrity sighting, is the affordable price.
This famously off-menu Jonathan Gold favorite was invented by owner/chef Sarintip "Jazz" Singsanong as a way to give her daughter an American-style lunch to bring to school, before catching on as a dish at the restaurant. But it has become legendary for good reason—the beef is blended with dried chilis, palm sugar, shallot, and a mysterious mix of other spices, and is served with lettuce, tomato, and onion for a wild only-in-LA combination.
Celeb chef Jazz Singsanong and her late brother Tui Sungkamee took over Hollywood’s favorite strip mall Thai restaurant in 2006, transforming the menu with spicy Southern Thai cuisine that places an emphasis on seafood. Now, Singsanong runs the joint with chef Tui’s daughter, her niece chef Sugar Sungkamee. Passionate about giving back and helping others, Singsanong sells “Jazz is my L.A. mom” t-shirts and stickers, with 100% of proceeds going to three different causes, including a lunch fund for high school students at her alma mater in Thailand. Another can’t-miss LA spot, you’ll want to place your order well in advance of your hunger.
How to order: Walk-ins only for dine in. Order takeout by calling 323-667-9809, or delivery via UberEats and other delivery apps.