Tu Mero Mole is a surprisingly good place for fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine in west San Jose. Tucked away in a side street mini-mall, the small, colorful restaurant is run by a husband-and-wife couple. The friendly and helpful wife takes the orders and her husband mans the stoves just behind her. A wooden tortilla press behind the counter is a good sign; so are the jugs of aguas frescas that are made in-house and change daily, and the special refrigerated salsa cart with a pull-down cover.
The menu includes a sort of greatest hits of regional Mexican cuisine: cabrito (young goat) from Jalisco, cochinita pibil from the Yucatan, Pueblan mole, and Veracruz-style shrimp. I’ve tried a few and found the mole remarkably good, indescribably complex as good moles are. It bathes a tender portion of white meat chicken. The shrimp a la Veracruzana are on the small side but perfectly cooked, in a piquant sauce of tomato, olives, capers, and onions. Afitzcharles vouches for the Jaliscan cabrito.
Those house-made tortillas are delicious, and pinto beans are creamy and good. Horchata actually tastes of rice, with a slightly gritty residue, and is sweetened with a light hand. The coconut horchata, the co-owner told me, is one of her favorites. It’s lovely and refreshing.
Tu Mero Mole [South Bay]
2041 Woodard Road, San Jose