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Aug 30, 2006 01:01 AM

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.