A little over a week ago, Chef Jet Tila held a special event for a host of bloggers and writers. My first post was a preview for the upcoming Sensory Trails Event. I wanted to revisit that day and discuss the food in more detail. We were treated to a private luncheon of Northern Thai cuisine sponsored by Chang in a DTLA loft close to the heart of the old Arts District. This session, called “Memory Menu,” featured six courses of delicious Northern Thai food guided by Chef Tila. Chef Tila indicated that Los Angeles has the best Thai food in the world outside of Thailand, and yes, better than New York! Chef Tila advocated for Thai food while he prepared various dishes. He handled interviews in a smart and jovial manner that set the tone for our afternoon of great Thai cuisine in a low-key yet marvelous setting at Newberry Lofts.
Chef Tila began by offering a dish he called “A Night of Yum (deliciousness)” with Miang Kham, Stuffed Betel Leaf with Palm Sugar Jam. The idea was to hold the Betel Leaf folded like a taco in your hands, with each bite eliciting a new flavor, culminating in “Yum”! While all of this transpired, Chef Tila offered anecdotal stories and insights about the dishes being served and about their origins. You may listen to his stories in the video at the end of this article.
Our second course was “The First Dish My Grandma Taught Me,” or Nam Prik Ong. It was beautifully presented, and it was intended to be two or three delightful bites with red chili paste that proceeded to the third offering. The third course was “Prosperity and Pomelos,” a grapefruit crispy rice salad with shrimp known as Yum Som O. Our forth course was “From Lampang with Love,” composed of Khao Soi Noodles with Braised Beef and Curry Leaf. “Yum and Balance” was Khao Klook Kapi with Shrimp Paste Fried Rice.
“Experience The Richness of Northeast Thailand” with Chef Tila’s take on Pad Thai Kon Kaen. We had a a lengthy discussion with a Thai cook who wouldn’t specifically offer her secrets on making the over-ordered dish. She would only nod or shake her head in response to Chef Tila’s inquiries on the ingredients. This was our last course at the tasting offered by Chef Jet Tila and Chang Beer.
It was a lovely afternoon with interesting folks and exceptional Northern Thai cuisine paired with Chang beer. The experience was festive, entertaining and insightful, highlighting the best that Thai cuisine has to offer.
Photo Gallery After The Break