Holy Mole!

Los Angeles and Mexican food are a marriage made in foodie heaven. There are literally thousands of Mexican restaurants to try. A quick search on Yelp reveals 9, 837 Mexican establishments. I aim to eat my way through a good portion of that number.

Recently my mom-in-law (a foodie with terrific taste) found this little gem call Rocio’s Mole De Los Dioses. Tucked in behind the 5 freeway in Sun Valley is some of the best mole I’ve ever tasted. Now truth be told, I’m not the biggest mole fan. I don’t like chocolate and most mole is too sweet for my taste. They rely heavily on the cocoa aspect of what should be a complex smoky spicy sauce. Rocio’s has made me a convert. There are 15 types of mole on the menu. It seemed overwhelming at first. Where do I start? The mole sampler platter that’s where. The menu offers 3, 4 or 5 moles to taste as an appetizer served with tasty Nopaltillas! It was my first experience enjoying these tasty cactus tortillas. But it blows away every other standard chips & salsa starter.

Whenever I eat at a new place I always ask the staff what are their favorites. Seriously, they work with the product all day long, they know what’s good. Our waitress recommended: Mole De Los Dioses – a chef Comacho original, Mole Oaxaqueno – a dark black mole containing 31 ingredients, and Mole Pistaches – made with spices and pistachios. I was very impressed with the wide variety of flavors in each mole. Truly a different taste experience with each bite. The first mole was sweet and cheesy. The Oaxaqueno was dark and complex. It reminded me of really good Italian espresso. The last mole was nutty and spiked with green chilies. This sampler idea is the way to go. It not only gave me a good idea of which mole to order for my main course, it allowed me to taste many varieties of mole that I may never order as a meal. The Oaxaqueno for instance was deliciously enjoyed in small quantities spooned lovingly onto my nopaltillas. But, I could not imagine indulging in an entire plate of chicken smothered in this dark rich sauce. In the end I ordered yet another mole for my entree. Enmoladas Poblanas. A pair of  perfectly textured tortillas filled with chicken and smothered in a traditional 3 pepper mole, complete with smoky undertones. It was terrific. Mom had Conchinita Pibil tacos marinated in sour orange juice and spices.

Both main courses were satisfying but I could honestly go here and just get plate after plate of mole samplers and nopaltillas. They offer strawberry mole, one featuring prickly pear, another sauteed with tequila and lemon skins. I want to try them all accompanied by one of their generously portioned margaritas. You should come to Rocio’s for the mole and stay for the flan. Flan is another delicacy I usually detest. Most flan is wiggly like jello and watery like a poorly prepared panna cotta. But Rocio’s flan has substance. It’s firm and flavorful.

There is a reason that Rocio’s Mole De Los Dioses’s website is called, “Mole of the Gods.com” They live up to their moniker. I can’t wait to go back. If you find yourself in need of some mole loving, check them out. They are also very close to the Burbank Airport. So next time you fly, head over there to fill your belly before taking to the skies.

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