When Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet LA told me that Oaxaca and Puebla would be battling it out at the 3rd Annual Feria de los Moles, I got pretty excited. A mole showdown? Fat chance I would turn that down.
Held at Placita Olvera on one of the hottest days of the year, the mole fair was a crowded and lively affair. Live music played in the background as we waited in long lines, anticipating styrofoam containers filled with weighty helpings of moles of every variety–verde, coloradito, pepita, poblano, amarillo…you name it, it was there.
This was my favorite plate of the day. The chicken on the left was Oaxacan and the pork on the right was Pueblan. Both were from Antojitos de la Abuelita, a food trailer that can usually be found on Vineland Ave in North Hollywood. The mole pepita was really divine–the gritty texture of the pumpkin seeds (i.e. pepitas) added so much dimension to this rich and spicy mole. We were definitely putting our tortillas to good use, scooping up every last drop.
There were four of us, so we were able to sample plenty of moles. Here are some of the delectable sights (and flavors) of the day:
We feasted away at communal tables, so it was easy to be tempted by what everyone else was eating. After spying a few, Josh couldn’t resist ordering this tlayuda (sometimes called a clayuda), a Oaxacan specialty that’s sort of like a “Mexican pizza” for lack of a better term. The slab of meat on top was tender, chile-marinated pork.
This is a chicken enchilada topped with mole negro. Need I say more?
Rich and sweet, this mole negro smothered tamale was very moist. By this time, I was reaching my breaking point. I only had a few bites of this, but it was beyond blissful.
I suggest you check out the 4th Annual Feria de los Moles.