Nondescript and sort of hidden, just a yellow sign.
Jazz says, "Welcome," gives a smile, "Have a seat and stay awhile."
You sit down and flip your frown. You cannot wait to dine.
I couldn't take the fire.
Yeah, my mouth was burning,
And my butt was yearning
For relief from pain so dire.
Oh, I tried to hide it,
But I couldn't fight it.
Apologies to Billy Joel, but that pretty much sums up my first time meeting other food bloggers at the critically acclaimed Jitlada (5233 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles).
I felt so weaksauce. To my credit, however, even Mr. Monkey (a.k.a. The King of Hot) admitted that he found a number of the dishes a bit challenging.
Puu Plen Pla -- raw blue crab salad with fresh lemongrass, mint, and chili.
Tender and refreshing with quite the kick.
Crispy Morning-Glory Salad -- battered and fried ong choy with shrimp.
Very tasty dish. Ong choy is one of my fave veggies, and this ong choy was fried!
Kung Phae Chup Krung Thawt (Koong Pear) -- fried shrimp marinated with Southern spicy curry sauce topped with fried basil.
Fried, fried, fried. Is there any question that this was droolworthy?
Sup Hang Wua -- mild and sour oxtail soup.
Pleasant and enjoyable. Not spicy. A welcome respite amidst the flames.
Black pepper drumstick -- fried tumeric-marinated chicken drumstick with green mango salad.
Fried chicken in any culture is yummy.
Papaya salad -- a Thai staple laced with peppers and cashews.
Cold and tangy with, yes, quite the kick. Again.
A woven canister held the sticky rice that helped me power through the spice.
Phangga jungle curry -- pork spare ribs with Thai eggplant in spicy jungle curry.
Gah! This will result in your needing a fire extinguisher shoved up your ass. That is all I have to say about this dish.
Phat Luuk Taw "Meung Khong" -- Nakhon Sri Tammart-style stir-fried sator beans with shrimp, ground pork, and squid.
Also quite spicy, although I'm not quite sure what it *really* tasted like, as my mouth was still numb from the jungle curry.
Behold! Cool soothing crudite! Cucumbers never looked so good. I wanted to eat them and put them on my eyes to quell their puffiness from overwhelming spice-induced crying.
It was around this time that I finally capitulated and asked for a creamy iced Thai tea to help ease my suffering.
Basil frog legs -- stir-fried frog legs with garlic, chili, and basil.
Boing! Boing! Boing! I love frog legs. They're like a bouncy crab-chicken hybrid.
Mango soft-shell crab -- deep-fried soft-shell crab with spicy sweet mango salad.
Adored this. Crunchy, sweet, delicious. And not sear-your-intestines-spicy.
Weirdo random salad.
I didn't eat this. It was so out-of-place and pedestrian. And it had Pringles in it.
Khua kling salmon -- tumeric-flavored Southern-style dry curry with green beans.
Eff. EFF. Fire! Fire! Fire! Sound the alarms! Dying! Help!
Kaeng Jeut plaa meuk yat sai -- soup with squid stuffed with minced chicken.
Help arrived in the form of this lovely light soup. The chicken-stuffed squid is like the seafood version of turducken. Or something.
Kaeng tai khai "Mang Kon" -- Southern-style curry with jicama and homemade fishballs stuffed with duck eggs.
Very nice. Smooth. Creamy. Not spicy. Ahhh.
Kaeng leung "Thalaa" -- signature curry sans coconut milk with catfish and fermented bamboo.
Stinky. Like literally smelly in the same vein as Taiwanese stinky tofu. If you can get past the stench, it actually tastes rather yummy.
Narathiwat green curry -- steamed rice noodles topped with coconut milk green curry and chicken.
Great mild end to a fiery meal.
And, in case you happen to be an alien from Planet Poocano, here's some more spice if the dishes weren't hot enough for you, you crazy mofo.
Thai Syrup -- shaved iced with chickpeas, bread, grass jelly, and jackfruit.
Sorry, but yuck to the max. This was a disgusting mix of things that just didn't go well together at all. It was like cough syrup meets Pepto Bismol meets gag-me-with-a-spoon.
Much better was Monkey meeting Oishii Eats and Rants & Craves née Daily Gluttony. How excited do I look to meet L.A. food-blogging royalty?
I was like Wayne and Garth meeting Aerosmith. Seriously dorktastic.
A list of bloggers who burned their asses with me:
B-Side Blog [his hilarious take on the night here]Special shout-out to gas.tron.o.my, Kung Food Panda, Starchy Marie, and Wandering Chopsticks, who sat closest to the Monkeys and shared food and fun with us. It was a pleasure dining with you guys!
Eat Drink & Be Merry
Food, She Thought [her rundown of the night here]
Kung Food Panda
Life With a Whisk
Rants & Craves [her awesome photos and wit here]
Sassy Flashy Classy
Starchy Marie [her Cliffs Notes of the night here]
Extra-super-special thanks to the mastermind behind this event, SinoSoul.
Finally, before I composed my ode to Billy Joel, this post was originally called "Poocano Time!" and then "Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot" and then "Spice Spice, Baby."
I'm glad I went with Billy Joel.