’Tis the Season for Mexico’s National Dish

Superlative chile en nogada, a seasonal specialty, is back at Babita, and it’s as delicious as ever, report several hounds. Dommy says she grew up eating this in Mexico and has tried most versions in town, and Babita’s is the closest to the real thing: chile stuffed with ground meat, smothered in a creamy walnut sauce, and studded with pomegranate seeds. While you’re there, the sweet corn and cream of mushroom soups and the tender, flavorful beef cheeks are also worth ordering.

But Babita’s chile en nogada may not be for everyone—Mel Gee says, “This is one of the few dishes I dislike at Babita, because the stuffing is stewed meat, to which the chef-owner is partial, and it tends to be mushy. If you don’t mind the texture, fine, the flavor is good, but I much prefer the ground-meat approach at La Casita Mexicana, which serves Chiles en Nogada year-round. With the meal at La Casita you also get a delicious bowl of soup and excellent chips dripped with mole. (The recent creamy potato and poblano soup was so good that I took a large container home.) La Casita service ranges from very good to very good and charming. It’s a small place, popular with locals, so I always try to go at an off-hour—early or late.”

La Cabanita’s version threw CucumberBoy for a loop, with the sweet-savory pecan sauce and the whirlpool of flavors.

La Huasteca also does a delicious chile en nogada, says hpcat, and it seems to be available throughout the year.

Babita [San Gabriel Valley]
1823 S. San Gabriel Boulevard, San Gabriel
626-288-7265

La Casita Mexicana [Southern LA]
4030 E. Gage Avenue, Bell
323-773-1898

La Cabanita [East San Fernando Valley]
3447 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale
818-957-2711

La Huasteca [Southern LA]
3150 E. Imperial Highway, Lynwood
310-537-8800

Board Links: Chile en Nogada back at Babita
Chilies en Nogada

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