Craving a mole? With colder weather slowly making its way into Los Angeles, the thick, rich sauce served with meats and rice is the ideal dish to enjoy on an autumn day.
Although Puebla and Oaxaca claim to be the point of origin for this dish that has now become a national plate in Mexico, it’s truly Oaxaca that leads the way in terms of variety, which you can sample at Madre! Oaxacan Restaurant & Mezcaleria.
Coloradito, estofado, negro, rojo, mole palenquero, and Amarillo are some of the moles we offer, all with different flavors but one thing in common: chili peppers brought from Oaxaca.
The name mole comes from the Nahuatl word for sauce-molli—and, as with many dishes, its inventions are not exactly known. One tale is that it was created in a panic at a Puebla convent with the few ingredients they had as they awaited the visit of an archbishop. Another story says that several spices accidentally got mixed up and gave birth to the sauce we now savor. Yet one more has its origins with the Aztecs and emperor Moctezuma who served it to Hernan Cortes when the Spanish Conquistador arrived in Mexico.
Whichever is the case, mole is constantly transforming. It is now used to make delicious tamales or as an alternative topping for enchiladas in a dish called enmoladas.
Our moles are made with authentic ingredients brought straight from the Oaxacan mountains, valleys and beaches. Stretchy white cheese Quesillo, chiles de agua that give our mole and other dishes its particular spice, large tlayudas, all travel straight from the source to our door to make sure the plates we serve you have the distinct and authentic flavor you would find in Oaxaca. It’s like traveling south of the border without leaving Los Angeles.
It’s all about our owner, Ivan Vasquez, striving to showcase the big flavors of his childhood in our dishes. It’s about bringing the taste of his home to yours.
MEZCAL AND TEQUILA
To pair those dishes, nothing better than a good mezcal or tequila. We have one of the largest selections of these drinks that will satisfy the most demanding palate.
You can try Pierde Almas Botanica, a 45% mezcal distilled in copper and made in Oaxaca from agave Espadin or the Legendario Dumingu, a 48% mezcal distilled in copper pot that hails from San Luis del Rio and also made from agave Espadin.
If your preference is tequila, may we recommend a 55% Tapatio Blanco 110 distilled in copper or a 40% Ocho Anejo distilled in stainless steel, both of which come from Arandas, Jalisco.
We are constantly adding new bottles to our shelves, so our mezcal and tequila menu keeps growing.
But leave a little room for dessert.
In Oaxaca, a nieve (artisanal ice cream hand-churned in wood and stainless steel garrafas) as you stroll around La Soledad Basilica in the late afternoon it’s just a given. Tasting a little more like sorbet than ice cream, nieves come in a immense array of flavors, from regular lemon and mango to hibiscus flower, orange, and cactus fruits. The varieties of traditional ice cream flavors offered at the stalls near the church are simply mind boggling.
Oaxaca also offers other sweet delicacies such as Nicuatole, one of the state’s most well-known desserts. Based on corn dough, water, milk, cinnamon, sugar or piloncillo (pure cane sugar), it is now prepared in a variety of flavors, including coconut, walnut, mango and pineapple.
There’s also nieve de leche quemada con tuna, (ice cream from burnt milk mixed with prickly pear), a mixture of boiled milk, sugar, cinnamon, and cactus fruit. Much more creamier than many ice creams, it is a perfect balance of flavors.
Palanqueta, a toasted peanut snack covered with piloncillo, is also synonymous with Oaxaca and can be made with pistachios, pumpkin or sunflower seeds. The dessert is made from caramel covered seeds that are glued and hardened and cut into a bar for a crunchy texture.
Maguey cocido (cooked maguey) is another treat with a bittersweet flavor that is often found in mercados (open air markets).
At Madre! Oaxacan Restaurant & Mezcaleria, our specialty is not just salty and spicy food, but extends to treats to satisfy your sweet tooth.
You can try the traditional flan, a custard dessert with rich vanilla flavor; a choco roll oaxaqueno, an intense cholocate roll with chocolate ganache; a Oaxacan chocolate cupcake, a soft bread filled with fruta de mezcal de pechuga and almond praline; a gelato de fruta pechuga de agave, which is a bunuelo de viento topped with agave fruit and most importantly, a mole negro ice cream, a moist corn cake filled with tequila blanco, mezcal espadin, grapefruit, lime and sparkling rose.
You’ll notice that chocolate is the basis for many of these desserts. And that’s no simple coincidence. The history of chocolate, or cacao, consumption in Oaxaca and Mexico as a whole, goes back hundreds of years, with roots in prehispanic Mesoamerica as an integral part of rituals and celebrations.
Oaxaca continues to be one of the largest chocolate consumers in the region and many of its meals, from mole to desserts, include it in its recipes.
Recipes that at Madre! Oaxacan Restaurant & Mezcaleria transform into true works of delicious art. From antojitos to main dishes, mezcales, tequilas and desserts, our menu will satisfy that craving for authentic Oaxacan food prepared with natural and true ingredients.
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