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I can't believe that after living down the block from the Palms Blvd. location, I am finally going for dinner this week.

Can any recommend a specific dish that is a "must-taste"?

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  1. v
    Vanessa On The Town

    Found this link below from the L.A. Times. It's mostly about the breakfast items, but apparently the soup that's mentioned is super popular there too. I think any of the dishes that have mole are going to be a safe bet.

    Link: http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,141...

    1. My favorite is mole enchiladas with cecina (seasoned, pork). This is the thick, black mole with oaxacan cheese. Red mole dishes are also good. If you don't feel like mole, try a clayuda - large pizza-like dish with beans, cabbage and meat. Also, there are some great atoles (hot corn beverage) as well as horchata and hot chocolate. (I've never been to the Palms location but I'm assuming they have the same menu as the other two).

      1. The "clayudas" are a must try there.

        1. Don't forget a small scoop of chapulines on your way out .

          1. while you're at it, you might try Texate, also in santa monica, on fourth street right by vidiots. i think it's every bit as good as guelaguetza

            1. Wow, you've wasted a lot of time.

              As others have suggested, all the moles are very good and the clayudas are good as well (do load them up with stuff - plain is pretty boring). But the birra reigns supreme - the goat stew in particular. When the stars are aligned, it comes from the kitchen not only temperature hot but also, as the bubbling dark red broth indicates, spicy hot as well. The meat and vegetables in the broth are great; and a side dish of onions, peppers and cilantro is proivided for extra seasoning. It's spectacular and medicinal.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Steve

                You should definitely get the goat stew. It is by far my favorite dish there. You'll definitely want to try the mole, too (get the black one if you're only trying one).

                And if you're feeling really adventurous, order some crickets. It's on the front of the menu I believe (untranslated though). One caveat: you're getting a whole plateful of these suckers per order and for me, the novelty wore off after the first mouthful.

              2. After dozens of great meals there, my last, a few months ago was horrible. The chips were supermarket bagged chips with the Coloradito sauce. The Clayuda was stale and rubbery. Please post your experience. I am not going back until I hear a good review that is current. I did try Texate and it was really good. I also tried a few dishes that I haven't tried at Guelagetza yet. I also tried Monte Alban and enjoyed it too. The odds are that it was just a VERY off day and you will have a great meal.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Just Larry

                  It's interesting that you say that Just Larry because I was just reading a reader review of the place on CalendarLive and he totally dissed the place. He was there in July and had been there before, so he had certain expectation based on prior experiences.

                  I certainly hope they just had a bad month....

                  1. re: Muhlyssa

                    It was especially disturbing to me because that was where I took people that thought they knew about Mexican food (taco, burrito...). They always came away amazed and ready to return. The last person I took felt let down and didn't eat hardly anything. It was pretty awful. The last time I was there I just picked up some mole concentrate (negro, coloradito, and rojo). They are made by someone else and are as good as ever. You take them home, make the sauces and impress your friends with you "talent" in the kitchen. I think it is still possible to get a great meal there. The Birria Taco, Mole Negro Enchiladas, tamales, meat dishes with mole sauces should all be as good as ever. You can also try the Huitlacoche Quesadilla. It was good that day too.

                2. This thread is making me incredibly envious. A bad meal at Guelaguetza is better than anything we can get in D.C.'s few Mexican restaurants--Fajitas--blaaach! My brother lives in Palms and I ate at Guelaguetza the last time I visited him. I was not that thrilled by the Clayuda, but the tamales with black mole and sesame seeds were fantastic, and I bought mole paste to take home with me. My daughter (then eight years old), a true chowpup, tried the fried crickets. I passed on them. Next time I'm in L.A. I'll be braver. And I'll check out the place on 4th street in S.M. as well.

                  1. Keep in mind that the Palms Blvd. location is no longer the same ownership as the 8th and Olympic locations, meaning the brothers do not speak and have thus separated their operations. However, the moles and goat stew are total justification to go to the Palms location. Has a beer & wine license, unlike the 8th St. unit.