In an attempt to help cut down a bit on my food spendings, I found myself looking up restaurants that offer lunch specials. One place that came to my attention was Jitlada, a Thai restaurant on Broadway. For $12 they serve lunch that’s accompanied by a side of spring roll and
rabbit food salad. I decided to give them a shot. Although the classic dish to order at a Thai restaurant is Pad Thai, I heard from a few other reviewers that their portion might be a bit small (the ultimate turn-off in my books), so I avoided the dish and decided to get their Pad Cashew Nut instead (I picked chicken as my protein).
Pad Cashew Nut (Chicken, $11.95):
The spring roll came first, and it was fantastic: piping hot, crispy and filled with savoury vermicilli noodles and vegetables. The salad was dressed in a sweet vinegarette, and had a slightly peppery flavour that I personally didn’t like; I did however, enjoy the slices of strawberries. The rice was on the firmer side, which I actually liked. I didn’t really care cashew chicken itself however. Although it’s supposed to be stir-fried, it was quite watery and had no hint of caramelization. There was a decent amount of chicken; they used white meat (which is inferior to dark in my opinion) and it was reasonably tender. Although the flavour was okay, it was really nothing special and not at all memorable.
While I wasn’t particularly impressed with my food (asides from the spring roll), I did want to give the restaurant another chance, so I returned the following day. I decided to go with one of their curries, and ordered the Gaeng Mus-A-Mun, picking beef as my protein this time.
Gaeng Mus-A-Mun (Beef, $11.95):
The spring roll this time came out within about 2 minutes after I had ordered. One bite into it and I knew the reason why it came out so quickly: it had apparently been sitting out for a while and was just lukewarm. Don’t get me wrong, it was still tasty, just not as good as the one that I had the day before. The salad this time contained a few slices of apple in addition to the strawberries, which I appreciated. The curry contained some potato, onion, tomatoes and beef (my choice of protein). The sauce itself was actually quite tasty: creamy, sweet with a fantastic fragrance from the coconut. Unfortunately I was less than impressed by the meat. The portion was, first of all, a bit stingy. More importantly however, the beef was a bit dry and tough, and did not have much flavour. The potatoes were also quite underseasoned. Overall, it wasn’t a bad dish, but not something that I’d reorder again.
After my two visits, I have to say that I am a bit disappointed by this restaurant. While their spring rolls are quite tasty (especially if you’re fortunate enough to get ones that are freshly made), the rest of their disheas are just okay. The service was also a bit of a mixed bag: the staff are certainly quite friendly and attentive, but the wait time for your food can be quite wrong. The first time that I visited, I waited 15-20 minutes for my food, which is fairly reasonable. However, there was a table beside me that ordered before I had arrived but did not receive their food until about 10 minutes after I had received mine, meaning that they probably waited over 30 minutes for their food (I seriously felt bad for them). Overall, I can’t say that I’d personally recommend this restaurant, but I won’t discourage anyone from checking it out either.
Recommendations: Spring rolls