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Restaurants & Bars 4

Juquila - Oaxacan food a big disappointment

Cattus | Sep 25, 2003 12:46 AM

After reading a write up in the LA Times food section of a little over a year ago, after reading several chowhound posts, and upon recommendations from friends, I have wanted for some time to try Oaxacan food.

Finally the other night, I went to Juquila on Santa Monica in West L.A. with my dad and a friend. I was so disappointed by the experience that I am wondering if others have had similar ones or maybe I just ordered the wrong thing?

I ordered enfrijoladas - tortillas that were steeped in what the menu described as a mole sauce and then piled with Oaxacan string cheese. But the sauce did not taste like any mole I have ever had. It was bland, no bite or complexity to it and the string cheese was salty and cloying. I understand it may be an acquired taste but the over all impact of the dish was unimpressive. Even the colors were unappetizing.

My friend ordered a clayuda with string cheese. Even worse than what I ordered. It was barely edible - a stale corn tortilla, more bland sauce, a pile of shredded cabbage, topped with enough salty string cheese to sink a submarine, some olive greenish guacamole, and some anemic looking tomato slices.

My dad on the other hand, dived into his chicken and red mole with gusto. I asked him if I could taste his sauce and I did - it was good.

Did I just order the wrong thing? Is Juquila not the restaurant to go to? Are the meat dishes the tasty dishes? I would be curious to hear from others on this before I ventured into a Oaxacan restaurant again. Thanks!

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