Thanks to WORX4FUDE's recent thread, my wife decided to drag me to Emporium Thai in Westwood (over my protests that there is no good Thai on the westside).
I was suprised... nay shocked... to see a face I recognized behind the counter. I'm not sure which of the Sungkamee/Singsanong family she was... but she was the same woman who waited on us the last time we were in Jitlada.
The menu at Emporium is in a state of change. They've recently doubled the length and added a number of Southern Thai specialties. There's also the same "green box of doom" full of thai characters that ErikM kindly translated from the Jitlada menu. I'll attach a scan of the Emporium thai green box with this post...
We started with the Shrimp Samosas and the Mango Salad with Shrimp. The Samosas were twelve tiny bite-sized pockets of ground shrimp... nothing terribly interesting there, but the Mango Salad was discernably the "yam má-mûang" from Jitlada. It was slightly lighter on the shrimp and slightly heavier on the sauce, but it was plated in EXACTLY the same way, and was just as good.
We followed the salad with the Southern Curry Catfish Filet with Eggplant. This was thicker than Jitlada's Southern Curries, and it lacked the fresh tumeric, but it was just as rich and spicy. The flavor characteristic reminded me of the green curry at Jitlada, though there were distinct differences.
Finally, my wife, a noodle fiend, ordered the Spicy Mint Noodles. These were the only real miss of the meal. I've never ordered noodles at Jitlada, so I have no point of comparison... but these were not terrific... though they were spicy, minty, and noodley, so my wife was pleased.
All in all, there was enough overlap with Jitlada that I'd consider going back. Considering I live a short bike ride away, chances are good that I'll get there more often than I make it across town for the original.
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