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Our city’s Mexican cuisine is immensely hyped and deservedly so. But with every great taco, there’s an overpriced poser next door just looking to cash in on your dinner plans. For every glorious wet burrito, there’s a really sad, dry one waiting for your drunk ass down the block. It’s a game we all have to play and we don’t always come out winning.

Know where you'll always win though? GUELAGUETZA.

Located in a part of town even city aldermans can’t find on a map, Guelaguetza is admittedly not the easiest place to get to. But somewhere between the outer fringes of Koreatown and the 10 Freeway overpass sits this glorious Mexican temple. Just don’t come to Guelaguetza expecting burritos or tacos. You won’t find any. What you will find is quite possibly the finest example of Oaxacan cuisine in the entire country. You heard that right. This place is a James Beard award-winning titan and walking into its gigantic, buzzing dining room, it’ll be you wondering why it took so long to get here.

For any restaurant whose website domain is, we’d probably encourage the mole as a jumping off point in the ordering process. Rojo, negro, verde, Amarillo - it's all fantastic. But to top it all off, the atmosphere rivals that of any in the city. A live mariachi band sings to you on stage as you triumphantly order another round of those famous mezcal margaritas, made with one of the 65 mezcals they have on hand.

Guelaguetza is special and deserves to be treated as such. So next time you’re driving home on Olympic, keep going. And going. And going. Destination Oaxaca will be on your right.

Food Rundown

Mole Negro

The menu tells you its “an absolute must-have” and YOU BETTER BELIEVE THEM. Rich and savory, it's the perfect blend of Mexican spice and that famous Oaxacan chocolate.

Mole Verde

Kick the heat up a notch with this savory sauce composed entirely of Oaxacan green chiles and local herbs.


Another must-order. This yellow mole is mixed in with chiles, cloves, and cumin. We surrender to you, Oaxaca.

Especial de Carnes

An assorted meat plate or sorts, with grilled tasajo, chorizo, cecina and Oaxacan string cheese. How could you honestly not order that?

Molotes de Papa con Chorizo

Fried dough stuffed with potatoes and chorizo. Think: pierogies for the gods.

Canasta Costena

This family style dish comes with shrimp, chicken, potato, and fish fillet all doused in the beautiful Oaxacan seasoning. Consider this the tour de force.

Mezcal Flight



The savory, more fulfilling sister of the quesadilla.

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