This week, Besha Rodell makes the trek to Bell Gardens to experience the elegant Mexican cooking of mole master Rocio Camacho at Rocio's Mexican Kitchen. The talented chef from Oaxaca worked at La Casita Mexicana before moving on to establish herself as the veritable "mole queen of Los Angeles" at Rocio's Mole de Dioses. Most recently, Camacho has turned her attention to her new modest restaurant in Bell Gardens, where the chef not only offers her "mole that might be cast in the starring role of some magical-realism novel, the dark sorcery used to seduce a young lover," but also showcases her range of ingenious sauces:
There's an exuberantly yellow, buoyant, almost fluffy sauce made of squash blossoms that's served over a salmon filet, its taste just on the mysterious edge of floral and vegetal. Even more captivating, the chef returns to an old muse in huitlacoche, the truffle-like corn fungus. (Rocio's Mole de los Dioses is named for a mole "of the gods" made from huitlacoche, and you see it here and elsewhere in empanadas and beyond.) She creates an almost creamy huitlacoche sauce to ladle over mahi mahi, the flavor thick with musk and umami. [LAW]
The humble kitchen walks away with a glowing three stars.