Rocio’s Moles de Los Dioses—owned by partners Alonso and Elsa Arellano and chef Rocio Camacho—was set on fire early Sunday morning by arsonists after they robbed and vandalized the restaurant. This was the “4th break-in the the past 2 months, but “this time they set fire to our building”, wrote Alonso Arellano in a text message. Arellano informed me that the fire department extinguished the blaze quickly, but the restaurant sustained severe smoke damage and will be closed for the next 6 months, as will their adjoining tortilleria, Nopaltilla. Though the tortilleria itself wasn’t damaged, the shared utilities for both businesses have been shut off until further notice.
The Sun Valley mole specialist opened in 2012 and was received with critical praise; fans of Camacho’s prowess had been following her work since she moved to Moles de La Tia after a brief stint at La Casita Mexicana in Bell. Camacho, who just recently opened her own restaurant, Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen in Bell Gardens, received a phone call from Arellano (who spent the night at the fire-damaged restaurant) and came by to see the tragedy for herself on Sunday.
“We are due to be at The Taste on September 4 at Paramount Studios. We will be cooking out of Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen in Bell Gardens,” texted Arellano. Going forward beyond the event will be difficult as there was a lapse in Arellano’s insurance coverage making the return of Rocio’s Moles de Los Dioses future uncertain. Arellano intends on starting a GoFundMe.com campaign and plans to rent and park a food truck in the restaurant’s parking lot to raise funds to bring the restaurant back up to code. Later Sunday morning, friends and customers of Rocio’s Moles de Los Dioses stopped by to show support for the Arellanos and Camacho in what turned out to be an emotional day for the three owners. To find out more about their efforts to raise funds just go to their Facebook page for more information.
Rocio’s Moles de Los Dioses, 8255 Sunland Bl., Sun Valley, (818) 252-6415, moleofthegods.com