guelaguetza or Monte Alban?
Haven't really tried Oaxacan cuisine before. . . and both of these places get raves. . . which is better for a first timer? Also, what are some good choices for a chicken/fish (no meat) eater?
I swear I'm not just trying to start a fight. I much prefer Monte Alban. While the mole is neck-and-neck with Guelaguetza, the rest of the menu is much better IMO. I think Guelaguetza uses cheap cheese and other ingredients, from my experience. I think the food is higher quality and fresher at Monte Alban.
Also, consider El Texate in Santa Monica on Pico just west of 4th Street, near Vidiots. Not well known, but I've had a lot of good meals there. My wife loves the chicken and veggie soup with avocados, and I go for the chile rellenos and Oaxacan dishes (except for mole: I had the mole from hell in Oaxaca, Mexico once, and it made me swear off the stuff).
I would have to agree with glutton. Guelagetza is very good but Monte Alban is much better. Their black mole is delicous, the best I've had in a long long time. Their mole rojo is not bad at all either. I also tried their mole verde, but I am not a huge fan. To be honest, however, I've never been a huge fan of molve verde at all. The rest of the menu is great as well. Their enfrijoladas are very well done. My sister does not like beans, and she loved the enfrijoladas, so there you go.
If you're real hungry or are willing to share, you should try their Molcajete, it comes with nopales, thre different kinds of meet, avocado and some really yummy melted oaxaca cheese on top, along with a side of rice ( I would get half rice & half black beans b/c their beans are awsome), and tortills *** oops, just realized you said no meat, they also have a seafood version, I've not personally tried but I have heard it is very yummy too
I could keep going, down the list... Oh I must warn you about the salmon with mole, the fish is usually overcooked so I would not recomend that one.
Overall though Monte Alban is the way to go. enjoy