“I loved Thai food the first time I tasted it. It seemed to me to bear the same relationship to Chinese food that Italian did to French: It was simpler and more immediately satisfying, and it let the raw materials show through more vividly. And I thought Jitlada did it better than anyone. Named after the royal palace in Bangkok, Jitlada opened in the late ’70s and quickly earned an enthusiastic following among food lovers both Thai and otherwise. All went well until the late ’90s, when the restaurant’s original owners sold the place and returned to Thailand.