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Restaurants & Bars 6

Sniffing out some Mole: Hounds Hit Guelaguetza

Dommy! | Jan 20, 200612:30 PM

I love Mole… Whenever my mother asked what I wanted for dinner, I replyed, “MOLE!!” But your brother HATES mole she would remind me… so instead I requested something else.

But now I’m all grown up and can eat all the Mole I want!!! So when a couple of years ago a friend asked me if I’ve ever had black mole (not Chirmole) and told me there was a restaurant with a whole menu about Moles, I went there the following week!! And that is how I discovered Guelaguetza… While my friend overstated things, and it was not the Mole restaurant of my dreams… I instantly fell in love anyway…

So when Houndly outing to the original Guelaguetza was proposed, I sent in my RSVP right away…

Located in-between Western and Vermont on 8th, right across the street from the Jons where Mexican street vendors sell Atole, Tamales and other snacks from Shopping Carts, the Original Guelaguetza exemplifies, “Hole in the Wall”. Further, with no lot, the parking is tough in the neighborhood (I suggest just drive down 8th towards western, eventually you’ll see free meters) so it also provides for a little ‘adventure’. Nonetheless, it’s totally worth the trip at least once before going to the parking friendly one on Olympic.

Once you enter, it’s surprising pleasant. There is a little Mexican Market to the right and a cherry dining room area to the left. If you have a choice, I recommend sitting towards the front though… They do things here OLD SKOOL and when the kitchen starts roasting Chiles, you can feel it when sitting in the back!!

And so, with a round of their wonderful prickly pear and pecan laced Horchata already in hand, we were ready to start with the appetizers!

* Huaraches de Chorizo: One of my favorite things in Oaxacan Cuisine is the THICK fresh Tortilla knowns as a Memela… so when I saw this on the ‘specialities’ side of the menu, I had to order it. Two oblong Memelas (Shaped like sandals, hence the name Huaraches) smothered in beans, Oaxacan ‘string’ cheese and a rope of fresh made Chorizo. Well, when delivered, it looked beautiful, but the Memelas were over done. Very tough. The Chorizo however was TOP NOTCH. Finely ground, full of flavor, casing snappy, but not overly greasy at all! YUM!!!

* Empanada de Huitlacoche: A HUGE Empanada fulled with Cheese and the “black stuff”. It was tasty, although I prefer my Hutlacoche a bit more reduced, so it’s truffle like flavor can really shine. This was REALLY kinda soupy

* Chicken Mole Tamale: DING! DING! DING!! Always a winner. A large Banana Leaf wrapped tamale, smoothed with their famous Black Mole Sauce…. Plenty of tender chicken, wonderfully flavorful masa… I LOVE it…

We demolished everything… and now it was time to get serious…

* Chicken in Mole Negro: This is the SIGNATURE dish. And absolute must order. The Black Mole was top notch as ever… Smokey, Rich, Spicy… with absolutely perfectly stewed chicken…

* Alambre: What can I say, I miss Las Ruinas so much… I never ordered this dish here, and it was good, but it just made me miss Las Ruinas even more…

* Chiles Relenos: When I back up from asking my mom for Mole, I ask her for this dish instead. Hers rule… these were just as good though!! Small, but absolutely STUFFED with meat and smothered in Red Salsa… I would so order these again… and again… and again…

* Mole Verde with Pork: I actually was getting so stuffed, I didn’t try it! But BF really liked it. The pork flavor was there, but mild…

* Clayuda with Cesina: This is always an impressive dish when it comes out… the size of a large pizza, smothered with beans and topped with tons of more Oaxacan cheese. Cesina is a milder version of Carne Asada, and comes as a whole steak on top, so it’s always a bit messy to chop up and share. Nevertheless, an absolute unique dish of Oaxaca.

With an order of Fried Bananas with Cream, we were DONE!! Absolutely stuffed and absolutely thrilled with our experience!! The staff couldn’t have been nice nor the company any better. My BF likes to tease me that I never eat at the same place twice… but whenever he wants to go back to Guelagetza (I need to try that Mole Verde now darn it!!), I’ll happy come with! :)



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