Oaxacan in Phoenix?
I was talking about a Oaxacan place I had found in the Monterey CA area, and a friend mentioned that he had eaten at a good Oaxacan place - called Restaurant Oaxaca - at 9407 N Central in Phoenix.
Has anyone tried it? Is it any good? The guy I heard this from is no hound, but he did live in Mexico for several years.
Yes, we have eaten there a number of times, and highly recommend it. The tiny store is on one side with the restaurant attached; the ambience is stark but you really feel as if you are in Mexico. Most of the employees speak no English, but if your Spanish is sketchy there are pictures on the menu. My husband loves the mole. For me the salsas are the highlight, especially the one that is creamy green, very hot and avocado-based.
Howard Seftel actually reviewed the restaurant about a year ago and gave it five stars. In the article he advised trying the tlayuda, a "crisp Mexican tortilla pizza topped with cheese, beans, chicken, tomato, cabbage, avocado and sensual, smoky salsa" (we had it once and it was very good); Oaxacan tamales, chicken mole and "dreamy" chilaquiles. The publicity didn't seem to increase the number of non-Latino diners, who were probably frightened away by the appearance and surroundings (you're likely to see a vendor wheeling a cart with paletas or elote out front). I definitely recommend that you try it.