Ofelia Martinez moved to the United States from her hometown of Tlacolula in 1989 with plans to eventually return home. 32 years later, she is still here and operating West LA’s popular Monte Albán. The secret behind her success and delicious food can be traced back to her wildly popular asiento and bean paste recipes. In fact, it was the packed lunches she would make for her husband that eventually grabbed people’s attention. After a few hungry (and likely envious) coworkers started to place orders for Ofelia’s cooking, the couple decided to try their luck in the food business. First came a food truck that was plagued by parking tickets, followed by the restaurant, and now flash forward to today where Ofelia is continues serving Oaxacan classics. The tacos enchilados with black mole are the restaurant’s real claim to fame - the chicken is super tender and the black mole sauce is multilayered in flavor without being overly sweet or smoky. And Ofelia’s asiento and bean paste shine brilliantly in the restaurant’s tlayuda mixta, and create the perfect base for this hearty dish. The beans, while very decadent, come with a certain kick that pleasantly balances out the rich asiento’s chicharron.
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