SPECIAL SAUCE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO L.A. MOLE

  1. There are more than 300 varieties of mole in Mexico. You can find a number of them here in L.A.
  2. Best Mole Oaxaqueno: Gish Bac
    Gish Bac, 4163 W Washington Bl., Mid-City: Most Oaxacan moles in L.A. come from the Valles Centrales region of Oaxaca--like at Gish Bac, where you can get mole negro, amarillo and a silky smooth mole coloradito, made with chile ancho, tomato and bitter chocolate.
  3. Best Mole Poblano: El Texanito
    Across the street from the Alameda Swap meet is Faro Plaza--hidden deep in the plaza is this comedor filled with home-cooked Mexican food. Cristina, one of the cooks at El Texanito, whips up the best mole poblano in the area. Worth the adventure. 4501 Alamada St. Central Alameda.
  4. Most Distinguished Mole: Guelaguetza
    Guelaguetza, 3014 W Olympic Bl., Koreatown: No one has done more than the Lopez family in promoting mole in L.A. at their James Beard Award winning Guelaguetza Restaurant in Koreatown. Great mezcal selection to go with.
  5. Best "Haute-Mexican" Mole: La Casita Mexicana
    La Casita Mexicana, 4030 Gage Ave., Bell: Chefs Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu of La Casita Mexicana were the first to introduce Mexican haute cuisine-style moles and pipianes to Los Angeles when they opened their doors in 1998. Their tres moles features handcrafted a 46-ingredient mole poblano, pipian verde and a sublime pipian rojo.
  6. Most Obscure Mole: La Finca Restaurante
    La Finca Restaurante, 10533 Inglewood Ave. Lennox: Sometimes a mole is simply a dish that’s been passed down for generations--like the weekend-only mole served at La Finca is actually an adobo, which is made with vinegar, and the only place in town preparing this lesser known mole north of the border.
  7. Best All-Around Mole: Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca
    Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca, 2648 W Pico Bl., Pico-Union: One of L.A.’s oldest and finest Oaxacan restaurants has been a fixture in Oaxacalifornia since 1998.
  8. Most Experimental Mole: Moles de la Tia
    Moles de la Tia, 4619 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, East L.A.: Chef Rocio Camacho’s sampler menu ranges from traditional to new creations like rose petal mole (pictured). Moles de la Tia remains one of the most important mole specialists.
  9. Check out the complete list of L.A. moles on @LAmag's Digest Blog: