photo credit: Jakob Layman
La Casita Mexicana
Face the facts people. Everything is out of the way in this town.
“I’m so central!” is a made up phrase used by summer interns who’ve never taken a 4:30pm meeting in Sherman Oaks before. With urban sprawl like LA's, it’s understood you’re at least one Serial podcast away from wherever you need to be next. But we also all have our limits. Depending on your starting point, you might not be inclined to get in your car and drive to Bell.
But this town holds a secret - one that's well worth the journey, no matter where you've driven from to get it.
La Casita Mexicana is a Southern California Mexican institution. This is not a mom and pop spot - La Casita is run by two Spanish chef rockstars and their impact is immediately apparent. The interior reads something close to a Dia de Los Muertos-themed gay wedding, and once you open the menu and the cocoa mole hits the table, you quickly realize La Casita is quite special.
Their most famous dish is the Chile En Nogada, a gigantic poblano chile stuffed with meats, fruits and candied cactus topped with pecan cream sauce and pomegranate seeds. But most dishes here will prove that La Casita Mexicana is performing on a different level.
La Casita Mexicana is the definition of a destination restaurant. And it's also completely worth it. So throw on your best podcast, figure out who’s guilty, and go discover this place.
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Chile En Nogada
The signature dish, this gloriously stuffed green pepper is an appetizer, entree, and dessert all on one plate. Filled with beef and spices on the inside and topped with a heavy, sweet cream with pomegranate seeds on the outside, this is worth the drive down to Bell alone.
Tres Moles Enchiladas
An amazing combo platter showcasing their incredible mole poblano, green, and red pipian. Choose your protein and go to town.
Mole De Pistache
Another one of La Casita’s signature dishes, this is pistachios, chiles, and root beer leaf combined to give you a mole you've probably never had before.
Azteca Cheese Fondue
Secretly one of the best things on the menu, this combination of four different melted cheeses mixed with poblano chile spices, cactus and Mexican herbs is nirvana.
Mushroom and Cactus Chile Relleno
Often overlooked on a menu full of star dishes, this vegetarian-friendly chile relleno stuffed to the gills with diced cactus is one of the more unique versions you’ll come across.
Pounded thin steak over grilled cactus topped with chile guajillo, this dish lacks a bit of the punch some of the other classics at La Casita have, but it’s still mighty delicious.