Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Putting the "Fun" Back In "Unemployment": Kicking Off My Rock Star Lunch Tour Week With Mancha Manteles, Moles La Tía, East LA

I am happy to announce that as of about a week ago, this bitch is no longer for hire.

I got a job!!!!

The bad news is the job is not in the career field of Professional Food Blogging and that I will have to continue playing number-and-data-tetris for a living, at least for now. The good news is that I will be receiving a pretty decent regular paycheck as well as all the other benefits and goodies that all us corporate whores are used to getting. Wheee!

Sure you may have thought that the entire month and a half that I've been without work has been all fun and games, but what this blog hasn't told you is that outside of the few fun food excursions I've already shared, most of my unemployment was spent eating crap while searching job boards on the web and watching Real Housewives of Orange County marathons on Bravo. I could have written about slapping some cheap-o ham, French's mustard and Best Foods mayo between two slices of white sandwich bread, but I decided to spare all of you the details.

So after all the thank you's and congratulations and other formalities of accepting a job offer, I got off the phone with Corporate Recruiter Lady and realized I had one week of freedom before becoming chained to a desk again. After a month and a half of borderline ghetto-frugality, I said enough. Fuck the extra week of boring sandwiches and instant ramen for lunch, I'm gonna put the "fun" back in "unemployment" by partying like a rock star, weekday lunch style!

Living in a neighborhood that's just a stone's throw away from East LA, I've always kicked myself in the ass for not having explored more of the neighborhood's Mexican options. Well, since I had one more week of funemployment, there'd be no excuses this time. I've been wanting to try a restaurant that fellow food-blogger Javier, aka the (Teenage) Glutster, had written up so beautifully a while back, and that my friends, is how Moles La Tía became the first stop on my Rock Star Lunch Tour Week.

Mole intrigues me. It's as complex as a symphony with its hints of spices, chiles, chocolate, nuts, and other goodies all coming together to form a melody of flavors. It's one of those foods whose creators I have always given special major props to when done well not only because it's so ingredient intensive, but because whoever makes it has to concern themselves with the proportion, balance and pairing of those ingredients as well.

The thing that sucks about dining solo is that it's impossible to try all the things you wanna try. Should I go for a dish with one of Chef Rocio Camacho's fruity concoctions like a passion fruit or tamarind mole, or should I go for something more tried and true like a mole poblano? After a long perusal of Mole La Tia's menu, and being in the mood for spicier flavors that day I settled on their mancha manteles, a mole which literally translated means "tablecloth-stainer." Bring it on.

The pork tenderloin under which the glossy mole lay was tender but also teetering on being borderline dry. If I were eating the pork by itself, I'd for sure wonder what all the fuss is about this place. The mole, however, was a different story altogether and entirely worthy of pursuit. I like my mole like I like my men, and my mancha manteles mole was no exception: tall, dark, and handsome with a personality to match. Only one date and already its complexity of spicy, sweet, bitter and smoky flavors made me want to get to know this mole better. I could taste hints of cinnamon and a nuttiness that perhaps came from almonds. Like a shy girl on the prowl, I had to resort to asking my waiter what kind of chile made my mancha manteles tick. Chihuasqle, a chile imported from Oaxaca, as well as guajillo, were what gave my newfound crush its fiery side.

Mancha manteles left me wanting more, as demonstrated by the fact that I had wiped my plate clean with the restaurant's homemade corn tortillas. I definitely plan to go back to Moles La Tía, but I don't think I can commit to a monogamous relationship with Mr. Mancha Manteles just yet. We're just dating right now, and there are lots of other moles to be had.

Moles La Tía
4619 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
(323) 263-7842


weezermonkey said...


pleasurepalate said...

Be sure to check out their flans. They're so light and airy and come in flavors like ancho chile, pistachio and coconut.

Anonymous said...

holy mole, Im going to try to get permission from matthew STAT if I can score a date with hottie mr. tablecloth-stainer!! I'm sure he'll make an exception. I've been wanting to check this place out but didn't know which mole I'd order.v thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

p.s. congrats on the job!!

mattatouille said...

R&C, congrats on landing the job. it's a hard thing to do these days.

Choisauce: i've sampled MLT - it's worth check out, so let's go together :) (though if you do want to take a solo date, you've got my permission!)

Marie said...

Congratulations on the new job!! I've never had mole before, which is something I need to remedy. And I love the cherry on top of your plate... unexpected, but cute!

Passionate Eater said...

Yes, DG is back working for the corporate machine! Go make the most of your free time before going back to work, and hopefully, there will be DG/R&C food posts continuing infinitely!

KirkK said...

Hey DG - Welcome back to the rat race...... ;o)

SinoSoul said...

way belated congrats on the jobbie job.

I drive by Moles La Tia whenever the 710/Fremont crush makes me road rage. What a beautiful way to do up a rockstar lunch. Wonder how that black mole compares to Guelaguetza's...

Daily Gluttony said...

Weezer Monkey,

Yep, the mmmmmole was mmm-mmmm good!

Pleasure Palate,

Ooooh, those saound good--thanks for the rec! It was so nice to finally meet you last weekend!


Mr. Tablecloth Stainer was a hottie...maybe you can include him on your "Free Pass"


Thanks! So I take it that you're letting Christine put Mancha Manteles/Moles La Tia on her "Free Pass"? haha


oh you must try it! it's soooo good!


haha, yes i am gonna be working for "the man" once again! i have a feeling that this gig will allow me to have somewhat more time to blog though!


Thanks! Hooray for paychecks!


Thanks! Ugh, isn't that 710/Fremont thing a mess??? I really gotta try the Cesar Chavez route. Re: Guelaguetza...I've only had their tamale w/ the mole negro which was more like a poblano & had sweeter undertones. The mancha manteles that I had @ La Tia was definitely more on the smoky/spicy side.

joanh said...

congrats on the job! my sister called her stint funemployment too. lol

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