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Emporium Thai -- Westwood Jitlada Connection

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Just discovered this place. I was surprised to learn that this is where Jaz and the rest of Jitlada's staff began in 2000. The moved to their Sunset location in 2006 but the brother remained at Emporium. So, if your craving some Crying Tiger, you can get it in Westwood. 1275 Westwood Blvd.

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  1. Yup, run by the same group as Jitlada.

    Some hounds (myself included) have been recommending this place on the Chowboard for quite some time. Glad you found it sooner than later! Try their morning glory salad as well.

    10 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      No, not the same "group". Related by blood, but definitely no monetary involvement. If you ask "one" of the parties, they'll distant themselves from the other.

      Erik M clarified the relations over 4 years ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4833... . You fell for the "trap".

      Emp Thai carried zilch Southern Thai dish until Jazz/Tui garnered national press.

      1. re: TonyC

        Alrighty then, started by different relatives in the same family. How's that?

        It's just a point of conversation, from where I stand - not even sure if it affects the food. Heck, even if the Kardashians took over the joint, as long as the food remains legit, I'm there.

        1. re: J.L.

          Of course it affects the food. Jazz/p'Tui "took the food". And that's all anyone (on CHOW) really needs to know.

          As far as "branding" goes, as it stands, Jitlada will dispute any notion the 2 restaurant are culinarily related. Family doesn't mean business partnership, doesn't take an Asian to understand the difference between the two.

          If West LAers need to save the gas money (after all, it's $4.50/gal these days), then sure, order from Emporium Thai. Otherwise, do not mention the two in the same sentence.

          1. re: TonyC

            All's I'm saying is that as a stand-alone (i.e. not comparing it against any restaurant, Jitlada or otherwise), Emporium Thai holds its own as a decent joint. I'm not sure knowing its lineage really affects how I feel about the place.

            Realizing that the OP did hint at a connection on the thread title, so I totally understand your clarification on the matter...

            1. re: TonyC

              All I need to know is can I get the soft shell crab curry or the whole fried tumeric fish with mango sauce at emporium, or is it completely different. if they are not similar, i'll just continue to make the trek to jitlada.

              1. re: kevin

                You can see their menu http://www.beyondmenu.com/20602/Los-A...

                1. re: Servorg

                  Thanks.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Love this place. Last time I took out, they told me they have free delivery which is a nice plus.

                2. re: TonyC

                  From Emporium's menu.

                  Mussel Soup (Jitlada’s Style)
                  The New Zealand green lip mussels in a fragrant broth of lemongrass, dried chili, and basil which made our brother’s restaurant, Jitlada, well known in Thai Town, Hollywood. This dish featured in “ Where to Eat This Weekend in Los Angeles: Jitlada | Good Food ”.

                  Crying Tiger Beef (Thai-style chargrilled beef)
                  Marinated steak, grilled and served with our homemade chili sauce. This dish featured in “best thing you never eat@ food network. Made famous at our sister’s company, Jitlada“. Add Rice $1.5.

              2. re: TonyC

                Okay, as the originator of that previous thread I'm going wade into this morass yet again.

                Emporium Thai and Jitlada share quite a few menu items. In most case those items are either identical, or so similar that they could pass as identical for most diners.

                Jitlada has a MUCH longer menu. Jitlada sources/grows more obscure ingredients. Jitlada will more readily honor a request to make things spicier.

                Also, the lunch specials at Emporium generally suck. Massively.

                But, if you want Mango salad, or morning glory, or a southern curry... they're pretty close.

                Jitlada partisans and "there is no good Thai west of Highland" truthists can take up the issue of how much better Jitlada is than Emporium... I generally agree... but it is POSSIBLE to have an almost identical meal at the two restaurants.

                That is what I was trying to get at 4 years ago, when I so thoroughly irritated Erik M, but a still think it's true today.

            2. A few months ago we had a terrific dinner at Emporium Thai in Westwood. The morning glory salad was memorable. Next on my list to try is the Crying Tiger...can't wait to get back there for another wonderful dinner.

              BOTH service and food were great!

              1. Emporium is decent as a delivery-centric local Thai restaurant, nothing more (which does mean something, as there are so many in the area). I used to order it when I was in college.

                15 Replies
                1. re: chrishei

                  Apparently they're not quite the same place they used to be. I've never been to Emporium Thai before, but I did give it a try today. Specifically their Crying Tiger Beef and the Mussel Soup. (both off the Jitlada menu - both things I remember liking a lot at Jitlada). Both were quite good.

                  The guy told me something about a remodel and a new direction 8 months ago. (I was in a hurry and I'm retarded when it comes to accents - literally last night I had a friend interpreting for me at Mori's).

                  I have to say the place looks very charming.

                  Looking at their menu online - and comparing it with Jitlada (which is far more extensive, varied with atypical dishes) . But I think they deserve a test-run. Looking forward to it.

                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                    ok,
                    so now,
                    when i'm in westwood, i will need to eek out some time from 800 degrees and from TLT to try this.
                    you've convinced me.
                    what is their parking situation?

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Parking for Emporium: Basically street (meter) parking, mainly on Westwood Blvd. Adjacent streets Ashton & Wellworth both have some meter-free spots. It's only a 1-2 minute shlep to the restaurant on foot from those spots.

                      The location is practically across the street from Yamadaya Westwood.

                      1. re: J.L.

                        Does Yanadaya Westwood have the chicken broth ramen ?

                      2. re: westsidegal

                        I parked illegally and ran into the place for take-out. So you got me there.

                        Did yah go? What'd you think?

                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                          the last time i did that in westwood, the total tab for parking ended up well over $100.

                        2. re: westsidegal

                          What's TLT ?

                          You can add Umami-mini to the mix if you happen to like that crap.

                          1. re: kevin

                            i haven't tried "that crap" yet, so i have to add that to the mix if there is anything on the menu that isn't made up of meat nor poultry.

                            1. re: westsidegal

                              Oh. No meat and no poultry ?

                              Essentially Veggies and seafood only ? I think they have a veggie burger there but it's not very good.

                              Actually when has someone found a good veggie burger ?

                              1. re: kevin

                                imho, good veggie burger can be found at houston's, at cafe gratitude, and at the counter in el segundo plaza.

                                for those folks who prefer the "phoney meat" type of veggie burger, go to veggie grill.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  most thai restaurants have a good number of menu items that work for me. probably this one would too.

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    We have a good, maybe even great Veggie Burger in Topanga!

                                    Water Lily Cafe @ PineTreeCircle
                                    120 S Topanga Canyon Blvd #106
                                    Topanga, California
                                    (310) 455-0401

                                2. re: kevin

                                  TLT is the bricks and morter version of THE LIME TRUCK.
                                  they are located on westwood blvd right next to noodle planet.

                                  they don't have many items that are non-meat and non-poultry, but the ones they have are very very good.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    Hmm. The lime truck. I missed the boat in that one.

                                    Is the bricks and mortar version in the location of The Stand ? Did that close down ?

                                    What do you get at The Lime Truck storefront ?

                                    1. re: kevin

                                      A quick search yields this thread from westsidegal herself (from Nov. 2012):

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/876536

                          2. We enjoyed another VERY delicious dinner last night. When we arrived with reservations at 6:00pm, the restaurant was empty except for one other diner. By about 7:30pm, every table was filled and the restaurant felt very happy and alive.

                            We were four for dinner last night, so we were able to try more dishes than our previous dinner when we were two. We were graciously and warmly greeted by John, the owner, and he assisted with our order. He remembered us from our previous visit, and he was extremely appreciative that we returned. How nice to be appreciated as a customer!

                            We had my favorite crispy morning glory salad; it was as good as I had remembered. We also ordered the honey duck, crying tiger beef, Thai honey ribs, a curried chicken dish, sticky rice, a special lamb dish that the owner recommended, and a couple of other dishes that I can not remember. Additionally, they began our dinner with a complimentary shrimp plate...oh, yum on this one!

                            The heat level on the spiciest dish was not excessive. They will adjust their spices to the customer's request.

                            For dessert, we had one of each of what they offered: sweet, sticky rice with mango and fried bananas with coconut ice cream. They also offer a pudding, but they ran out of that.

                            Service was warm and attentive. This was an extremely pleasant and tasty dinner and once again, I look forward to our next dinner there!