No chef has done more to spread the gospel of Mexico’s mole in America than Rocio Camacho of Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen in Bell Gardens, where she’s been running one of the best traditional Mexican restaurants in LA.
In the former Corazon y Miel space, Camacho will open Mezcal y Tacos, featuring tacos de cazuela, Oaxacan style tacos de guisado, or stewed tacos served alongside organic mezcal poured into jícaras, the traditional gourds used for drinking the spirit in Oaxaca. The expected date to roll out Camacho’s first taco restaurant is late July and of course, there’s mole.
Camacho worked at La Casita Mexicana before later writing the menu for Tamales y Antojitos La Tia (aka Moles La Tia), where mole tastings were the fashion of the day during her tenure and Camacho emerged as a local treasure.
She went on to work at La Huasteca, Don Chente (all of these restaurants still have recipes from Camacho) and then joined a pair of partners in the Moles de Los Dioses in Maywood (Now Mole de Los Reyes), Tarzana (closed) and Sun Valley, which was burned down by arson fire. Her former partners in Sun Valley and Tarzana have opened Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral de Mexico, whose menu unfortunately bears far too many similarities to the one Camacho had designed for Moles de Los Dioses.
It’s quite the compliment to have a half dozen copycat restaurants unwilling to change the menu after departing, but more than ever, Camacho is determined to leave her imitators behind with a pair of new eateries. Just when Camacho’s best work was coming from Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen, the restless chef has a few surprises in store for LA’s insatiable appetite for Mexican cuisine.
Camacho has also acquired Paramount’s La Terra Mia, a recently shuttered Italian-American restaurant and is busy transforming the interior for a design worthy of La Diosa de Los Moles, Camacho’s nickname. La Diosa de Los Moles, or the Goddess of Mole, will offer a half-dozen types of the Mexican specialty, similar to Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen featuring her signature renditions of mancha manteles, mole negro and mole poblano but will be looking to snag the local breakfast crowd as well.
“I won’t have huevos divorciados, or some of the plates everyone one has, but will serve plates like rabo de mestizo (eggs poached in salsa) and huevos tirados (a scramble of eggs and refried black beans) from Veracruz,” said Camacho as she showed off the bright colors of her new bar.
Count on lots of Mexican egg dishes, chilaquiles, entomatadas, the spicy scent of café de olla (pot coffee) drifting in the air and fresh baked bread from the pizza ovens left over from La Terra Mia. LA has never experienced the pleasures found in Mexico’s classic breakfast institutions like El Cardenal and Café Tacuba in Mexico City, Casa Oaxaca Café in Oaxaca or even nearby spots like Tijuana’s La Espadaña. Perhaps La Diosa de Los Moles, which will be open in a few months, will fill that void.
Mezcal y Tacos. 6626 Atlantic Ave, Bell, CA 90201
La Diosa de Los Moles. 8335 Rosecrans, Paramount, CA