Guelaguetza — a festival of mole with a quartet of cazuelas and a band that won’t quit

By Joshua Lurie

Fernando and Maria Lopez opened their flagship on Olympic about 12 years ago and have been serving the same great cuisine of their home state of Oaxaca ever since. A band plays nightly, so the sounds of drums and xylophones ping beyond the front room, all along the plate-lined walls. It’s a big, 250-seat place, and the bar has one of the largest mezcal and tequila lists in town.

the crowd

Latino families, kids in tow, come early in the evening. Later in the night, the place turns single as the young, restless, and fashionable flock to the bar and gather around the fountain in the back room—particularly on weekends.

... on the side

mole to go
The Lopez family sells containers of mole paste and bags of pan de yema bread up front, for home use, along with imports like Oaxacan chocolate and candies, plus a panopoly of pastries and desserts.

If this place were a city, it would be
Mitla, Oaxaca, the Lopez family’s North Star.



Mon–Fri 9 AM–10 PM; Sat 8 AM–11 PM; Sun 8 AM–10 PM

price range

$5.50 (ensalada de nopalitos) to $20 (Festival de Moles)