My girlfriend and I stopped into Palo del Sol in Palo Alto (408 California) before the Stanford jazz concerts this past Friday. I've eaten here on and off for the past ten years and always enjoy my meals. The very small --long and narrow -- restaurant is decorated with a wonderful smattering of Mexican folk art.
We ordered margaritas -- on this roaster of a day, much appreciated. The drinks feature fresh squeezed lime, but not much tequila, a major bummer. The chips aren't anything to make your eyes pop, but the three salsas they come with are show stoppers. A fresh, chuncky tomatillo, a smoky salsa of roasted peppers and a thin chile with a bit of heat.
My girlfriend was a first timer so she ordered the Enchiladas del Sol--she chose chicken although you can have any type of meat or cheese. One enchilada is smothered in a smooth mole sauce -- lots of deep chocolate flavor -- and the other is topped with the house guajillo. Denise was in heaven. The dish comes with rice and beans, refried of course, with a dusting of cheese.
I went for the pure pollo al guajillo. While I like the mole, it's that guajillo sauce that makes my mouth water. Although the chicken was a bit dry this time, the sauce was fabulous. I've tried to re-engineer that sauce at home and never come even close. Not spicy hot, more mellow, but a complex flavor. A very weird color, though: bright orange. The pollo al guajillo comes with rice and beans and tortillas to wrap your pieces of chicken dripping with sauce around.
P.S. They are not open for lunch on the weekends as we tried to come back for seconds on Saturday. Sigh.