Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rocio's Moles De Los Dioses: Food of the Goddess, indeed

Rocio's "Mole of the Goddesses"
I had been wanting to try Rocio's Moles ever since the queen of moles, Rocio Camacho, landed at her new restaurant in Bell. Although I had been to Bell with Bill Esparza on the Latin desserts crawl, it still seemed like a fur piece to go for lunch. But then I checked the map and realized that for those of us near the 710, Bell is actually a quick trip south just past East L.A. In case you just came in, Camacho has been known for her startingly original array of moles and fresh approach to Mexican cooking since her days at Moles La Tia in Boyle Heights. Javier Cabral has been following her cooking ever since he was the Teenage Glutster, and it's well worth a little freeway action to get there.
Turning down Maywood Ave., the industrial street of discount mattress warehouses doesn't look like a promising place to find one of the better Mexican restaurants in the entire L.A. area. But it is, and on entering the small but immaculate and welcoming restaurant, you'll might find, as we did, that the only other party is a rather esteemed local critic and his family taking in a mole-infused late lunch.
pork with pipian rojo

Mole can be heavy stuff, so we ordered a smattering of other dishes as well since I had tasted many varieties of the mole back at Moles La Tia. Most all the dishes on the menu show the same spirit of experimentation with ingredients and preparations as the moles.
nopales with grilled panela cheese
Nopales (cactus) salad with grilled panela cheese had a bright dressing that perfectly offset the creamy cheese. The salad can also be had with chicken or shrimp instead of cheese.
corn and cuitlacoche soup
Corn and cuitlacoche cream soup was a little different than I expected -- rather than a fresh corn soup, it combined cornmeal with the corn fungus cuitlacoche in a soup that was interesting, but tasted more like the Mexican breakfast drink atole than a soup.
Guacamole (Diosa Sangre Ardente)
Do not miss the guacamole -- it comes in three different degrees of spice, each with a florid moniker. Diosa amorosa (goddesss in love) is not spicy; Diosa carnal (carnal goddess!) with serrano chile is very spicy, while the Diosa Sangre Ardente (Goddess with ardent blood) with habanero is also pretty spicy, though passion fruit gives it a fruity finish. Whichever you choose, you'll be completely in love with the chunky, just-made guac, though the chips are pretty standard. Instead, ask for some just-made tortillas, which are excellent. After working your way through some appetizers, choose a main course -- start by selecting chicken breast, filet mignon, salmon, fish, pork or veal. Different moles go better with different meats, so ask your server for saucing counsel. Tangy mescal salsa (complete with worm, of course) is perfect for fish. For the grilled pork, we tried the pipian rojo, a smoky but mild ancho chile sauce thickened with pumpkin or sesame seeds.
cherry ice cream with grains
I didn't want to miss the desserts, since the five choices were a far cry from the plain flan or tres leches cake found at most Mexican restaurants. Our server wasn't entirely sure what kind of grains gave such an unusual texture to housemade cherry ice cream, but the iciness that's common with Mexican ice cream, the slight grittiness of the grain and a potent topping of what must have been alcoholic rumpope or eggnog added up to a heady and refreshing finish to the meal.  
If the Valley is closer, Rocio's has another location near North Hollywood at 8255 Sunland Blvd.
(818) 252-6415.

Rocio's Moles
6242 Maywood Ave.
323) 588-5536

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 Rocio's Mole de Los Dioses on Urbanspoon


Karachi Eats said...
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la outdoor movies said...

Great blog!

Miles said...

and look who also covered the same restaurant in the same week. maybe he's stalking you. :)

Gary said...
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Los Angeles Mexican Food said...

The Diosa Carnal is heavenly! The serrano spice is excellent

LA Bus Guy said...

I will definitively have to try Rocio's Moles the next time I am in Bell. Your blog is great but made me very hungry!

dry white wine for cooking said...
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