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La Casita Mexicana

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4030 E. Gage Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90201 323-773-1898
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Inside this sunburst of color, chef duo Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu put an ambitious spin on Mexican home cooking. Warm chips are drizzled with various smoky moles. The kitchen makes a stellar version of the Puebla classic, chiles en nogada—part sweet and savory, the rich walnut sauce is sharpened with pomegranate seeds. Fried rice pudding is the ultimate dessert.

Top Ten Mexican Restaurants: No. 6, November 2010

The baritone of the great Vicente Fernández lends stateliness to an art-filled dining room swathed in warm orange. But nothing prepares you for the restraint of the food. The tortillas of the enchilada de queso are dragged through a sharp red sauce, cotija cheese is sprinkled inside, and the whole is folded like a crepe. Delicate and light with a brilliant austerity, such cooking has turned Ramiro Arvizu and Jaime Martin del Campo into stars on Univision. With the chile en nogada—the pair makes a definitive version of the Puebla specialty—the key is the charred poblano pepper offset by sweet, creamy pecan sauce. Breakfast chilaquiles, a nest of chips in a smoky chipotle broth accompanied by eggs, is particularly good.

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