Archive for the ‘Oaxacan cooking’ Tag

Chicago out of the Loop   Leave a comment

There’s no doubt Chicago is a culinary haven. Mention a culture and its cuisine is represented. A recent, albeit quick, trip included stops at two brunch spots, a bahn mi shop and an excellent dinner enhanced by the company of one of my sons and a new friend. I have no photos of our food at Ba Le Sandwiches or Pauline’s, but I would return to both — especially to the former for the barbecue pork bahn mi.

m.henry, a popular spot in Andersonville, features an array of baked goods, traditional egg entrees and quiche, among other items. The rustic peasant quiche was chock full of asparagus, leeks, bacon and gruyere cheese on a flakey crust. The side salad was practically a meal in itself.

Oaxaca, Mexico, is known for its mole — among other food specialties. The red mole, in particular, at Kie-Gol-Kanee is among the best I’ve ever had. Mole enchiladas and Oaxaquenos tamales are two preparations here. In order to sample the two types of moles on the menu, I had the pork green mole and chicken red mole tamales. These are wrapped in plantain leaves with a thin layer of masa. Once the leaves are removed, the mole escapes onto the plate. The green is tart and spicy, but my palate belongs to the dark red, earthy variety.

Another typical Oaxacan dish is the tlayuda, a large,crispy handmade corn tortilla is topped with a choice of meats, sliced tomatoes, avocados and cabbage. Think nachos on steroids.

Mole Heaven   2 comments


Blue Page Special followers know I can’t resist mole. This is either a character flaw or an attribute, but I love the thick paste usually made with nuts, seeds, chile and cocoa. Guelaguetza Restaurant provides not just one mole item, but so many choices, we had to try Festival de Moles: a sampler of four types.


The large, colorful, Oaxacan restaurant located on the outskirts of Los Angeles’s Koreatown is all things mole. A plate of chips with mole was set on the table soon after we were seated. The sampler featured two reds, one green and one dark mole. A yellow and one of the green moles were not included. Each of the four bowls was filled with shredded chicken and subtle differences in taste, with obvious variations in color. It was impossible to choose a favorite. The dark, Negro Mole, was smoky and the color of fudge. The two reds, Rojo and Coloradito (Little Red), were somewhat sweeter, but each provided a subtle kick — the Rojo more than its misnamed lesser counterpart. The Estofado Mole, something completely new for me, is made with tomatillos and green olives for a tangier flavor and different hue.


Three of us shared the sampler. Initially we thought it wasn’t going to be enough. Four small bowls, a little serving of rice and a thin platter-size corn tortilla. We also ordered guacamole (as in holy moly, not molay),it was chunky, fresh and spicy. Before we knew it, we were stuffed and sorry we left a few bites.

Guelaguetza Restaurant

Four-and-a-half Plates
3014 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, Calif.