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Los Angeles - Guelaguetza Restaurant (Oaxacan Food)

Los Angeles - Guelaguetza Restaurant (Oaxacan Food)
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  • Los Angeles - Guelaguetza Restaurant (Oaxacan Food)

    Post #1 - February 5th, 2006, 5:56 pm
    Post #1 - February 5th, 2006, 5:56 pm Post #1 - February 5th, 2006, 5:56 pm
    For authentic Oaxacan food, Guelaguetza restaurant is the place to go. We went to the one at 11127 Palms Blvd. which is not listed on the website Apparently, the two branches you will find there are owned by relatives. The mole is an obvious must. Liquor is served. Portions are huge. Rachel Ray went there on her show, $40 a Day.

    Guelaguetza Restaurant
    11127 Palms Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA


    3014 W. Olympic Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA

    or 3337 1/2 W. 8th St.
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Post #2 - December 23rd, 2010, 12:26 am
    Post #2 - December 23rd, 2010, 12:26 am Post #2 - December 23rd, 2010, 12:26 am
    Oh man, was this place good. On last week's LA food bender, this was my favorite brick and mortar joint. Gold's 99 pointed my way there (and elsewhere) and the Oaxacan grub at Guelaguetza did not disappoint.

    I've travelled extensively in Oaxaca over the years and have ate my fair share of tlayudas, cesina, tasajo, enmoladas, enjitomatadas, enfrijoladas, mole of course, and even fistfuls of chapulines. The fare at Taqueria Oaxaqueña here in town has always scratched the itch to an extent when I crave this rustic cuisine, but with the exception of pretty good mole and chapulines (on request), I have always been let down by the lack of scope in their offerings. The Oaxacan tamales at Maxwell Street and the quesillo on the cemitas at Cemitas Puebla are just about the only bites I've had north of the border reminiscent of the food of Oaxaca's enchanting plazas.

    Guelaguetza nailed it.
    The room was too dark for nice photography and I am not happy with the flash pics, so use your imagination.
    Gratis chips were served with a ladleful of colorado mole sauce, sprinkled with queso fresco. I went light on these with anticipation of what was to come. And come to think of it, totopos are not typically served on Oaxacan dinner tables. Nice, bright and toasty mole rojo though. The table salsa was pureed, tomato- based and not entirely remarkable, no worries though...
    We ordered deep for three and were pretty visually overwhelmed with what arrived on our table. A feast!

    Empanadas de Huitlacoche. More of a handmade quesadilla really- a large but delicate, handformed tortilla filled with luscious quesillo and tangy, fresh huitlacoche. The tortilla was griddled in true Oaxaqueña form, charred blisters in spots, this was so right.

    Tlayuda Guetlaguetza, the house special tlayuda. A tlayuda is a large (12"-14") corn tortilla that is griddle-cooked on a screaming hot surface, producing a wonderful charred crust like a good wood-fired pizza. In a way its like the ultimate Mexican pizza. Smeared pureed black beans is always the first layer and then it is modified to taste from there. Next on board was more of that wonderful quesillo and some shredded lettuce.
    This particular version showcased all of their spot-on authentic house-cured meats- Mexican charcuterie anyone?
    Tasajo is dried beef analogous to what in other parts of Mexico is referred to as cesina, though it is thinner, drier, and more salty. This stuff is more jerky- like in some sense, though somehow it ethereally melts in your mouth once its grilled.
    Oaxacan style cesina is marinated and grilled pork, seasoned in an adobo style.
    Rounding things out was their amazing house made chorizo, in true-to-form, small bullet style links.

    We had to try their Tamal Oaxaqueño de Mole con Pollo. Rich, complex mole with shredded chicken, in a rather light masa, all wrapped in a banana leaf. Nice version.

    Pork in Mole Negro. We didn't want to overdo it on chicken in mole, so we opted for pork not knowing what kind of cut to expect. The mole itself was silky, highly spiced, and rich, amazing. The pork itself turned out to be revelatory- costillas de puerco, chunks of what I would guess to be spare ribs that were fork tender but surprisingly had a nice caramelized crust to them that maintained character even drenched in such an intense sauce. Unbelievable, one of the best restaurant dishes of the year for me.

    When in LA, go to Guelaguetza. A hyperbolic hurray from this camp!

    3339 West 8th St # A
    Los Angeles
    (213) 381-2858
    Last edited by Jefe on December 23rd, 2010, 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #3 - December 23rd, 2010, 1:23 pm
    Post #3 - December 23rd, 2010, 1:23 pm Post #3 - December 23rd, 2010, 1:23 pm
    Wow what a blast from the past. I can't believe I almost forgot this place. I live in Chicago and if you are here try La Oaxequena. You won't be disappointed.

    La Oaxaquena Restaurant
    3382 North Milwaukee Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60641