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Finally going to GUELAGUETZA...which location??

Thanks to all the Chowhounders who have pushed me towards Guelaguetza. Finally going for my birthday this Saturday!!

I know a lot of people here prefer the food at the W. 8 1/2 St. location, but doesn't the Olympic location have: live music, decent margaritas and better parking?

Also it seems like neither location takes reservations. Is one more crowded on a Saturday than the other?

The W. 8 1/2 also has the food market next door to purchase their moles, Oaxacan chocolate, etc.


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  1. I think there is a marginal consensus that the 8th street location is better. I don't know, however, that they serve alcohol. Certainly, the branch at Palms and National Blvd. does (at least beer and wine).

    I was at the Palms location last week for huevos rancheros one morning, which made my fourth visit. Please don't get me wrong, because I know the food is very competently prepared, but I don't think that I like Oaxacan cuisine all that much. I guess I'm just more of a Sonora kind of guy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Brooks

      It is my understanding that the 8th St. and Olympic locations are affiliated, and that the Palms place is a different entity that happens to have the same name. SIV and Martha Stewart have both visited the Palms Guelaguetza and seemed to think it was super; I've been only to 8th St. (three times, I think) and thought IT was awfully good every time.

    2. Thanks, Bob. I think the 8th St. is BYOB. I was leaning towards 8th St., but then I thought the music would be fun. Cheers!

      1. Will: What did you order at the 8th St?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Liquid Sky

          It's been some time, and two of the visits were with a bunch of fellow bite-swappers so that complicates the memory process...I know on one occasion I got a goat mole burrito of such size and shape as to cause my wife and her girlfriend to make rude and unseemly comparisons, but it was really really good anyway. Just too big. I have had goat, pork, chicken and beef, and all their different colors of mole, all good (goat or pork and "black" mole was my fave, but that was in cool weather). I got a big thick tortilla thingy with cheese that I found a tad boring, but heavy doughy items don't charm me unless (alas!) they're deep-fried.

          This probably won't be much help, as it's been a while since my last visit. I obviously need to rectify that.

        2. I've never had goat before, but it sounds like you liked it. Don't tell me...goat tastes like chicken, right?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Liquid Sky

            No. More like a somewhat gamier (but in a good way) lamb. Only way I've had it was in sauce, either Mexican or Indian, and I loved every bit of it. You do have to look out for sharp little bones, for some reason.

          2. To eliminate, or maybe add to, the confusion, the Olympic location has full alcohol service, 8th St. has none, and are both owned by Fernando Lopez and related family members who have added a Huntington Park location to their roster as of March or April of this year.
            The Palms location is owned by Soledad Lopez, and has a beer and wine license. Not exactly sure of the relationships but there is one, and I think it might be brothers, but as I say, not sure.
            I have only eaten in Palms, and would return again if I could ever figure out how to get into the 310 area code sans traffic these days from the valley.
            Cannot imagine you will not do well, whichever location you select, as long as you like moles. I like all 3 colors, btw, so really not a recommender of one over the other.

            1. Is the 8th Street G definitely BYOB?

              1 Reply
              1. re: blacksab67

                They do not have any liquor licensing, so whether they allow you to BYOB is per their company policy. Legally it is verboten.
                In practicality, lots of variations on that discussion.

              2. Thanks to y'all. I think I've decided on the Olympic location since I heard they can turn out a mean margarita, the music will be fun and apparently they have a parking lot.

                Looking forward to trying the birra (goat) stew and chicken with black mole, among other dishes.

                1. I have been to both the Olympic and the Palms locations.

                  Olympic was for a weekend lunch at least a year ago, but I LOVED the live music and it made it VERY fun!!!
                  I like the black mole, the red mole- didn't like the yellow
                  the Clayuda I think is the large flat baked dics- I also found it boring.

                  I LOVE their horchata!!!

                  we mostly go to the Palms location for dinner b/c we live nearby, and I could eat the chicken and black mole tamale EVERY day!!!

                  1. The Olympic one is a much larger location, the music is fun. But I find the distressed looking interior and the least-expense industrial restaurant tables and chairs all kind of depressing. Was there on a Friday night earlier this year and it was practically empty.

                    The Palms location is quite a bit smaller but more inviting and charming.

                    1. How funny! I'm going to the Olympic location for my birthday this Saturday as well. I thought they took reservations according to their website. I was just about to call them with my final count (12!). If they don't take reservations, the restaurant is rather large so hopefully it won't be too much of a problem to just show up.

                      I haven't been to the other locations as I love the Olympic location- can't beat good food, cheap drinks and parking.

                      1. I live blocks from the Olympic location and go often... for breakfast too.

                        Just don't sit toooo close to the stage if there's music and you want to talk at all. It's great, but can get very loud.

                        1. Food-wise, I believe the 8th Street location marginally beats the Olympic. Personally, I think the Palms location pales in comparison to either of the K-Town locations. You can taste the difference with dishes like the Clayuda-- the one at the Palms location tastes a little stale to me.

                          The Olympic location does have a liquor license and the music is nice, but I find the 8th st location quainter and more charming.

                          1. gourmetla: Happy Birthday! Maybe I'll see you at the Olympic outpost.