I like mole. But I don’t love mole. It’s just not something I seek out when choosing where to eat. As a result, I don’t really go to Oaxacan restaurants all that often. But on my continuing quest to try new places, I saw a few people on Chowhound mention Monte Alban as a good cheap eats place. And it’s like a few blocks from my apartment. Sold.
Of course, I get the specialty: the mole negro. They have a boneless chicken version as well, but c’mon I know how to cut chicken. Must be for the white people. Ben ordered the clayuda, which is like basically a tostada (they even call it a “pizza” on the menu). The mole was a good mole, sweet, chocolaty, nutty, all the flavors you’d expect from one that’s well-done. But still not to crazy about it. Just solid. But I did like it more than the clayuda, which was a bit bland.
If you like mole, definitely go to Monte Alban. I think theirs is probably the best I’ve had. And the rice that comes on the side is in the shape of a pyramid (probably in reference to El Castillo in Chichen Itza) – pretty neat. Otherwise, it’s just solid Oaxacan food.
Chris Hei grade: B-
Monte Alban Restaurante
11927 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025