Juquila is that kind of neighborhood find that you take your friends to when you want to hang out, and be fed well without breaking the bank. Not exactly the kind of place you expect to find at Santa Monica Blvd. and Federal, this is a working-class restaurant with prices to match.
For appsetizers, we sampled a couple of ala carte dishes. The style for chiles rellenos here is NOT to have the thick layer of egg batter. The focus is on the filling. The picadillo relleno was loaded with chopped chicken, and seasoned with raisins, nuts and served in a peppery sauce with a smokey hint of chipotle. The faint of heart might prefer a milder sauce such as the one on the cheese relleno. This is not nearly so hot, but just as good. Naturally we had to order a mole tamale. Having eaten recently at Guelaquetza on 8th, I can safely say this one is good, and can compete with the best of them. But ...Guelaquetza is better. It’s a matter of individual taste. The mole sauces are both delicious and comparable.
My entree of chilaquiles and cecina was pretty good for $6.99! Although I prefer my chilaquiles on the crispy side, the cecina (thin, marinated pork steak) was tender. Another in our party happily chose the Oaxacan combination plate (12.99-ish) that was brimming with good stuff: chorizo, tazajo (thinly sliced steak) and quesillo (Oaxacan string cheese) black beans and rice.
One nice thing about this tiny place is they have a beer & wine license. I tasted my first michelada, best described as a Bloody Mary with beer. It was...different. :) I don't think I like my meal to compete with my drink.
I knew I would return when I eyed the ample breakfast menu, loaded with decently spicy dishes to light my fire first thing in the morning...along with their large paper-thin corn tortillas and a cold beer? Heaven.