Let’s count the reasons we love mole. It’s rich and intense. Warm and comforting. Spicy, yet sweet and often savory. A seamless blend of 20 to 40 (or more) ingredients that have been toasted, roasted, ground, blended and cooked. Radiant and colorful. A mix of Old World spices with New World chiles and chocolate. Mole, more than a mere sauce for chicken or enchiladas, is considered Mexico’s national dish — and it has traveled to L.A. restaurants with traditional recipes largely intact. Keep reading to learn more, and see 10 of our favorite mole spots in L.A.
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Have you maxed out on al pastor or carne asada tacos from your local taco truck? Then you need a trip through Boyle Heights to remind yourself just how diverse and versatile tacos can be. That is what I did last week, along with professor Sarah Portnoy’s USC Spanish class on Latino food in L.A. We visited three terrific spots: Mariscos Jalisco, Santa Rita Jalisco, and Guisados. Continue reading
Last year’s Feria de los Moles (or Mole Fair) at L.A.’s Olvera Street drew 30,000 people — and with good reason. The annual event, now in its fifth year and happening Sunday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., celebrates this classic Mexican dish with food, music, dance, workshops, and even a friendly competition. Admission is free. Continue reading
Olvera St.: Authentic Mexican enclave? Whitewashed tourist attraction? Olvera St. is not one or the other. It is both, and in that mix represents a fascinating model of what it means to be at the center of such a pluralistic, multi-cultural city as Los Angeles, in the exact spot where its history, present and future intersect…. [read this post in both English and Spanish] Continue reading
Last week, we told you about 10 spots for terrific Mexican tamales in L.A., from King Taco to Rivera. What we didn’t say is that the tamale is so versatile that hundreds of varieties exist within Mexico alone, not counting nouveau creations with ingredients like foie gras and truffles. Turn the page for 10 other fascinating facts about tamales…. Continue reading
At L.A.’s Mexican restaurants, the classic combination plate — you know, the No. 5 or the “Macho Combo” or the “Pancho Villa Platter” that serves up a burrito, taco, tamale and chile relleno topped with yellow cheese along with refried beans, rice and flour tortillas — tends to be ridiculed in this epoch of obsession with “authentic” Mexican dishes. So we must choose. Sometimes the tamale plate wins out, especially for those of us who don’t have a Mexican grandmother at home turning out tamales from a family recipe perfected over generations. After all, Mexicans have been making tamales in the Americas since the pre-Columbian era. Perhaps your abuela even makes her own masa. Then there are the tamale fillings: maybe pork stewed in a red chile sauce, or a 100-ingredient mole. Continue reading
You won’t find “Perutown” or “Little Lima” in Los Angeles. The Peruvian and Peruvian-American population is spread out around Greater L.A., and so are our Peruvian restaurants. So maybe you haven’t noticed these eateries — often small and unassuming spots, tucked in strip malls far from trendy restaurant rows. But you probably have been hearing about Peruvian food lately — some say it may be our next major food trend, becoming as popular as sushi and as widespread as Mexican cuisine. To learn more, turn the page for a list of 15 of the best Peruvian restaurants in L.A. and nearby. And keep reading… Continue reading