Favorite Foods … State by State

I saw a wonderful article in Buzzfeed, listing a typical dish for each of the 31 Mexican states… 32 after counting Mexico City, which is a separate federal district. I know many of the dishes, and have written about some on this website, but I clearly still have a lot to discover. The photos are from the Buzzfeed article.

Here are some examples:

Mexico City – Tacos al Pastor

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One of my favorite foods in the world. Marinated pork sliced from a vertical grill onto hot tortillas, served with a splash of guacamole, cilantro and onion. I especially love to have this at El Gordo in Tijuana and El Huequito in Mexico City.

Oaxaca – Mole Oaxaqueño

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Made with chile and chocolate, and up to 50 other ingredients, this is one of the richest, complex sauces anywhere. La Huasteca in Los Angeles is one of my go-to places for great moles.

Sonora – Chimichanga

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I was a bit surprised to learn that a chinchanga is a real thing. Basically a deep-fried burrito, I have only seen them in very Americanized restaurants in Arizona and California. I look forward to trying the rea thing next time I’m in Sonora.

Veracruz – Chilpachole de Jaiba

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This is a seafood stew that I have not had. I adore Jaibas, the small crabs that are such a delicacy in Veracruz, and I’ve had some of the best seafood of my life there, as well… I’m tempted to make a special trip just to try this wonderful dish.

Here is the link to the whole Buzzfeed article:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/bibibarud/32-estados-32-platillos?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgp#.xcqmwYmdD

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:


Buffet Lunch – Rocio’s Moles de los Dióses. Sun Valley, North of Burbank. Los Angeles


I have such fond memories of Rocio Camacho’s previous restaurant, Moles La Tía in East L.A. that I was delighted to finally try her new place.

We were presented with a choice between the regular menu, which features a remarkable selection of Rocio’s trademark moles, and a well-stocked buffet. Normally, I tend to stay away from buffets, but this one looked so fresh and varied that we went for the chance to try a wider range of dishes.

Moles were represented this week by chicken and pineapple slices in a rich, spicy mancha manteles, and pork chops in toasty-flavored red pipián (pictured above). There were also chilaquiles, fish in a creamy tequila sauce, menudo, nopal salad, a spicy treatment of Mexican style scrambled eggs and a tasty vegetable dish with zucchini, onions, nopal and portabella mushrooms (see photo). Everything was truly delicious, but for me, the highlight was the carne en su jugo (pictured above). Described by my friend as a spicy cross between soup and salsa, it featured tomatillos, steak, beans and serrano peppers.

After a dessert of rich, dense flan and rice pudding with rompope sauce, we walked away – slowly walked away – happy that we made the trip to the Valley.

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: http://lahuasteca.com/