Location: 3014 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90006. (213) 427-0608
Date: February 2, 2020
Cuisine: Oaxacan Mexican
Rating: Best black mole I’ve ever had
My brother got a couple recommendations recently as to good Mexican places in the city and so me and the family decided to try out this famed Oazacan joint:
Guelaguetza first opened its doors in 1994 by immigrant husband and wife Fernando Lopez and Maria Monterrubio. Since then, our goal at Guelaguetza has been to showcase the best of our family recipes and stay true to authentic Oaxacan ingredients. Guelaguetza’s mission is for all of its patrons to live and experience Oaxaca through all of its dishes.
Today, Mr. and Mrs. Lopez are retired and have paved the way for their children, Paulina, Fernando Jr, Elizabeth and Bricia Lopez. This new generation of Oaxaqueños has taken upon themselves the responsibility of not only continuing their family’s restaurant success but also expanding its legacy. Recently they launched their online retail store where fans can purchase Guelaguetza’s famous mole and signature Michelada mix. The Lopez’s have undoubtedly become ambassadors to Oaxacan cuisine in Los Angeles.
Their hard work, dedication and love for their culture have earned them features and mentions in publications such as Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Gold’s 101 essential restaurants, The New York Times, GQ Magazine, Esquire, Los Angeles Magazine, Oprah Magazine, The New Yorker, Travel and Leisure, Sunset Magazine and others. Most recently, Guelaguetza was awarded The James Beard Award for the American Classics category, the most prestigious award in the culinary industry.
The interior is a mashup of modern (ductwork) and classic Mexican restaurant.
They have an extensive bar too.
Cadillac margarita. Tasty!
Nachos with red mole and cheese. Delicious, sweet, a touch spicy and oh so heavy!
There is a little market at the front with moles, drinks, to-go desserts etc.
In the back was a huge mural of the Oaxacan artist Francisco Toledo. I only recently discovered his work, but the late great man is recently deceased and left humanity an enormous body of fascinating, brilliant, and often disturbing works in every medium imaginable.
Overall, Guelaguetza was some of the best Oaxacan I’ve made. The mole in particular were stunning. Portions are large, prices are reasonable (considering the former), and it’s a fun place. It is heavy. The corn flour / fat combo sat in my gut for 36 hours like a giant ball. But worth it!
Hiss to anti-immigration orange authoritarians who bash on outsiders. Why would you eat overcooked steaks and burgers all day when you can have mole like this?