La Huasteca – Lynwood, CA – Shrimp in Red Chile Salsa



One of the highlights of the AltaMed East LA Meets Napa fundraiser in July was the shrimp in red salsa served by La Huasteca.

La Huasteca is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, as you can see from some of my earlier entries in this blog. They are super-friendly and make some of the best moles I’ve ever tasted, and now I have an idea of the magic they can do with seafood. It’s really worth the trip to Lynwood.

Here’s the website:

East LA Meets Napa – July 19



I’m really looking forward to this event on Friday – at Union Station, of all places! A long list of great Mexican restaurants and Latino-owned wineries will be there, and I’ll have the opportunity to try all their wonderful specialties.

The photos are a selection of Moles from La Huasteca, and quesadillas from Lotería Grill. Both restaurants will be represented on Friday. Here are their websites:

Here’s the website for the event, with the list of restaurants and wineries, with a description of Alta Med, the beneficiary of the fund-raising:

Empanadas de Flor de Calabaza – La Huasteca, Lynwood. Los Angeles


Whenever I have a Mexican empanada, I wonder why they are usually so much better than Argentinian empanadas. After all, they are a national dish in Argentina. These were no exception. Warm and soft, filled with squash blossoms and mild cheese. With crema and queso, of course… Perfectly accompanied by a slightly tart and delicious guacamole.

Here’s the website:

A Delicious Lesson in Moles – La Huasteca, Lynwood. Los Angeles


They went out of their way to be sure I had a memorable meal at La Huasteca. I was having such a great time eating my pork chops with mole mancha manteles (appropriately named “tablecloth stainer”) that manager Irma Vera brought me samples of the other moles available on the menu. Clockwise from the upper left:

Mole de los dioses (mole of the gods) is made from the highly prized delicacy huitlacoche. Only because I knew what it was, a fungus that grows on the corn plant, I was able to identify flavors of both mushrooms and corn, but the taste is absolutely unique and wonderful.

Mole de tamarindo, which they serve with duck, had layer upon layer of flavor that transformed from sweet to chile to smoky hot… Beautiful.

Mole poblano, possibly the most famous mole, can be a bit sweet for my taste in some places, but this one tasted like smooth chocolaty smoke, with a hot, spicy finish. A welcome variation.

Red pipián and green pipián. I think the world is divided 50/50 on the subject, but I think the red sauce better suits the toasty flavor of the pumpkin seeds. Both were beautifully executed.

Meanwhile, the mole mancha manteles that was on my plate, and not in this picture, surprised me with a vague resemblance to some of the very best barbecue sauces in Kansas City. Rich and spicy, with a reddish brown color, it outdid anything from the midwest in complexity and layers of flavor, while not overpowering the pork chops. It did, however, have the same satisfying comfort that we find in the best barbecue.

Here’s the website: