Friday, August 18, 2006

Taste test: La Morenita Oaxaquena

La Morenita Oaxaquena, in eastern Koreatown, falls into the area I call Grasshopper Gulch. Roughly bounded by Olympic and Third and Vermont and Gower, it seems to have a large Oaxacan population with several Oaxacan restaurants and trucks, plus the odd mini-mart offering chapulines or grasshoppers and cheap shipping to Oaxaca. La Morenita is a homey, clean little place in the mini-mall at New Hampshire, next to the dubious-looking Hawaiian barbecue restaurant. It's got all the usual Oaxacan specialities -- you got your enmoladas, your entomatadas and your enfrijoladas al gusto. See here for a description of the difference between these three. I picked up some chicken with mole negro and a chile relleno to go. The mole seemed a bit muddy and insipid compared to say, Monte Alban. But the chile relleno rocked, filled with chicken, coated with eggy goodness and drowned in an incendiary tomato picadillo sauce. The owner was really nice, they also have seafood cocktails, grasshoppers, of course, and all kinds of aguas, including tuna. No, not actual tuna, but the cactus fruit drink. I might not get the black mole next time, but they also do an interesting-looking breakfast menu, so I'm sure I'll be back.
La Morenita Oaxaquena
3550 W. 3rd St.
(213) 365-9201

5 comments:

The Dabbler said...

Have you tried the Oaxacan place a few doors down from La Buca (Melrose between Van Ness and Wilton)? I'm curious but gunshy...

Jessica said...

Antequera de Oaxaca is great, especially the memelas. But hours are odd; they close before 9:00 p.m., I think.

Pat Saperstein said...

No, I've never tried that one, but I remember some Chowhound posts about it.
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/65035?user_name=&query=antequera+de+oaxaca

christianne said...

Thanks for the link to the definitions -- very helpful.

Laura said...

Agua de Tuna, is made from prickly-pear. Thanks for writting about mexican food.