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Oct 1, 2006 03:57 PM

Best Oaxacan restaurants in LA/OC

Have visitor coming to area who loves Oaxacan food. The best ones, please?

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  1. Monte Alban - in WLA
    Guelaguetza - in Koreatown

    The first one has better moles.

    I've heard good things about Juquila, but haven't been

    1. My latest rankings...

      Monte Alban
      Guelaguetza (the one in Palms is better than the one in K-Town)

      1 Reply
      1. re: glutton

        I must respectfully differ about the Palms location being the better branch. I have hosted large parties at both, and Palms is in no way as good as 8th st. If you check their website, they don’t even own up to the Palms branch. I believe it was sold off to a relative. They may have shared the same recipes, but chefs can differ in their approach to anything. A good example is the chicken in black mole. At Palms it is the same sauce, but the chicken was dry with only a spoonful of that delicious sauce. On 8th , the sauce covered the plate, a perfect foil for the white rice served with it. The only thing better in Palms is the parking.
        Have you tried the moles at La Casita, in Bell. They are xlnt.

      2. I like Monte Alban the best, I like:

        > Best Cactus Salad in WLA
        > Excellent Tortilla Soup with Hoja Santa herb
        > Very nice Goat Barbacoa Taco
        > Superb Grilled Salmon in Mole Negro
        > Very Nice Poached Chicken Breast in Mole Negro
        > Good handmade tortillas
        > End the meal with Cafe de Olla (Cinammon Coffee)

        Guelagetza is 2nd Best:

        > Best Red Mole Sauce (I like it with Tortillas & Queso Fresco)
        > Better Tamales than Monte Alban
        > Where elso can you get Chapulines (Crickets Sauteed with Tomato Salsa)? Although...they don't compare to the mercados in Mexico City (Guelagetza doesn't pluck the legs... which kind of scratch the back of your throat)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          I'll put in a vote for Monte Alban too, but don't miss the chicken with GREEN mole -- not as complex and smoky as the Negro, but it delivers a blast of green chile heat that I swear releases pleasure endorphins throughout your body.

          1. re: Chowpatty

            Its hard to make this argument in the era of Mad Cow Disease... but at Guelagetza they serve the Green mole with Espinazo (Pork Spine)... I swear the meat that collects around the discs of Spine has to be the most flavorful & moist I have ever had & a perfect pairing for the herbaciousness & freshness of the sauce... this meat is even better than oxtails.

        2. Our gang has eaten several times at the Guelaguetza on 8th, and we liked everything we had, though some less than others - not because they were poorly prepared, but just because those particular things were not totally to our taste. (We've also eaten once at El Danzante, on Pico (I *THINK*), a little bitty hole-in-the-wall kind of joint, but also quite delicious.)

          Nice thing about going with a group is that you can all get different moles and swap them around, assuming that you like mole. The black is my fave; on a subsequent visit I got a gigantic burrito stuffed with goat in mole, and that was very good indeed...though perhaps I shouldn't have eaten it all at one sitting!

          1. agree with the general sentiment. I really do like Monte Alban and its closest to me.....word of warning, there was an article in the LA times about a strike in Oaxaca, and many of the suppliers aren't getting their deliveries.....