LAReview

photo credit: Matt Gendal

Monte Albán image
7.9

Monte Alban

MexicanOaxacan

West LA

$$$$Perfect For:Literally EveryoneLunch
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For a Oaxacan spot on the Westside that does a bit of everything—molotes, coloradito, chorizo-filled molcajetes, you name it—Monte Alban is your place. But the main reason we send people here is their tlayuda, which is among of our favorites in the city. The secret ingredient is the salty, fatty asiento that seasons the thicker-than-usual beans and the strips of cecina colored bright red with a spicy adobo paste that stains your fingers. 

Food Rundown

Monte Albán image

photo credit: Matt Gendal

Tacos Enchilados

These tortilla and chicken roll-ups aren’t quite enchiladas or taquitos. They exist somewhere in the middle with their soft corn tortillas, tender shredded chicken filling, and spoonfuls of red or black mole on top. We especially like the strong cacao and dried chile flavors in the mole negro.
Monte Albán image

photo credit: Matt Gendal

Tlayuda Mix

This tlayuda owes its decades-long career to Monte Albán’s rich, pork-based asiento that lingers in the background of each bite. This mildly nutty fat is the first layer in this Oaxacan specialty, so you can’t really see it, but you know it’s there and working its magic. Like their great asiento, the bean paste is also very well-seasoned and the perfect foundation for the spicy cecina and tasajo beef.

Tamal de Mole a la Carte

This banana leaf-wrapped tamale comes out steaming hot, and its mole-infused masa is just the right amount of sweet. The chicken filling is good and brings some heartiness to the dish, but it’s definitely on the blander side and not the main focus here. Instead, the mole negro really shines and gives this tamal some spicy personality.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

Suggested Reading

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Juquila

Juquila is a family-owned Oaxacan restaurant in Sawtelle with a huge parillada and excellent burrito juquila.

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8.2

Madre is an excellent Oaxacan restaurant in Palms.

Mi Ranchito Veracruz image
7.9

Mi Ranchito Veracruz in North Hollywood is home to some of our favorite tamales in Los Angeles.

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