A month ago I was finally passing through at the right time to check out Viva Oaxaca in Petaluma.
I had noticed the signage months earlier. But this time the white van was parked in front and the store looked open. The gregarious owner told me that he drives to Tijuana and stops in Los Angeles too every weekend to bring back goods from Oaxaca. He said that business has been good and he moved into this larger storefront recently.
Most of the goods are clothing and other non-food articles. But the shop does have a wide variety of food stuffs as well, including mole and pipian pastes and powders imported from Oaxaca.
The pan dulces come from a Oaxacan bakery in LA. Nido after warming briefly in the toaster oven to freshen it up was better than versions I've had from local panaderias. I especially liked the Empanada de Lechecilla, a Oaxacan specialty. The wrapper was similar to flaky puff pastry and the filling was a rich, egg-yolk heavy custard.
Sesame-studded breads of Oaxaca are on the shelf.
And of course, the iconic giant tortillas called tlayudas, available here in two sizes.
I bought Sal de Gusano, nestled on the shelf with chapulines and dried chile peppers. The shop also has fresh chile de agua.
If you want to make your own tlayudas, Viva Oaxaca sells the outsized tortilla presses with or without a floor stand.
1920 Petaluma Blvd N
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