Earlier this year, I was in LA for about 3 months and I had good Mexican one time. And, that was due to a late-night getting way lost situation in East LA. Other than that, everything I put into my mouth that was called Mexican was just a huge waste of bites.
Ahhhh, but now I have discovered a small Oaxacan restaurant just around the corner from where I'm staying in Santa Monica called El Texate. I love, love, love it. I've been in town about 5 days and have already eaten there 3x. The waitress is simply stunned/happy every time me and my pals roll in.
A few reasons why I adore El Texate:
1. They toss some candles on the table come dinner time, but during the day the big screen TV's are blaring the Olympics.
2. The mole is for real mole. There is nothing jarred about this sauce.
3. The Dos Equis is frosty cold every single time. Sometimes they have lime, sometimes they don't.
4. I can practice my Spanish on the waitstaff. And, it seems as if I know what I am talking about.
5. The hulking bowl of chicken soup is bar none one of the best things I've tasted. So homemade.
6. There is free parking in the back lot and there is never a wait for a table. Nothing trendy about Texate.
7. The menu is pages long and every time, it's so hard to decide. Chayote? Tortilla soup? Chile rellenos?
8. The chips and salsa are insanely addictive and the salsa is pureed down so much that there isn't a trace of what was used to create it. You could literally drink the stuff.
9. All the corn tortillas are tiny and homemade. I doubt they even have flour tortillas.
10. Three people can spend $70 bones at lunch or $35 at dinner. Go figure. Could be those DE's.