The sight of an empty restaurant usually gives us pause.
But when recently we strode into the sparsely populated dining room of Rocio's Moles de los Dioses in Huntington Park, no doubt lingered: Dinner was going to be amazing.
Such is our confidence in chef-owner Rocio Camacho, who thrillingly expanded the mole canon beyond the traditional seven at Moles la Tia and La Huasteca. She's been busy living up to her new restaurant's hyperbolic name, which translates to "mole of the gods," since late last fall.
A dish bears that lofty title too ($14), and it is indeed godly: The oil-spill-black sauce, made with the corn fungus huitlacoche, tastes like delicious, mushroomy dirt spiced with anise and cinnamon--it's as if a bottle of vintage Burgundy ran away to Oaxaca. The mole obscures a slice of filet mignon, but the dish is about sauce, not meat. We enjoyed the bites of mole-slicked rice best.
If such baroque alta cocina perparations don't whet your appetite, you can dine on pre-Hispanic dishes like carne de chango ($11)--pork grilled over smoldering guava leaves and sugarcane stalks--a commendable plate of cochinita pibil (pictured; $11), or even tacos.
We can't wait to go back and try the breakfast menu.
Rocio's Mole de los Dioses, 6242 Maywood Ave., Huntington Park; 323-588-5536