Monte Alban Restaurant in West LA – my first Oaxacan dining experience
Oaxaca (pronounced wa-hah-kah) is a state in Mexico. It was not on my radar until I noticed several Oaxacan restaurants in L.A. What makes it different from Mexican food we are traditionally accustomed to? A lot! I had my first taste of authentic Oaxacan food on Saturday at Monte Alban Restaurant in West L.A.
I didn’t try the chapulines, but I did have the Tlayuda
Chapulines are grasshoppers, which are traditionally eaten in Oaxaca and served at Monte Alban Restaurant. I was not adventurous enough to try those, but I did have the Tlayuda. Tlayuda looks like a pizza but it’s more like an open face burrito with a ton of yummy toppings. It’s a large tortilla with bean paste, avocados, lettuce, cheese, and different types of meat. It’s pretty huge, so my husband and I shared it and my daughter had a few bites.
*Mole is a popular sauce used in Oaxacan dishes. I will probably try the popular Burrito a la Oaxaqueña (with mole negro) on my next visit
Even though my daughter didn’t order from the kids menu, they did have a good selection of affordable items. The restaurant is very kid-friendly and the high chairs are adorable. During our visit, we saw several diners with kids.
Here is the kid’s menu (from the Monte Alban Restaurant Website):
Quesadilla de Pollo o Queso: $3.25
Flower tortilla with melted cheese
Corn Dough fold with chicken or cheese deep fried topped with black beans lettuce and cheese.
(on the grill up to request).
Memelita de Pollo, Queso o Quesillo: $2.99
Tick Corn tortilla with chicken, strip cheese or fresh cheese topped with black beans.
Platito de Pollo con Arroz y Frijoles: $5.25
Chicken plate with rice and beans
Oaxacan Decor & semi-open kitchen
I’ve only been to Mexico once, and that was a little bit South of the San Diego border. I heard Oaxaca is a great place to visit, and I hope to go one day. I imagine the decor and vibe at Monte Alban Restaurant is similar to an authentic restaurant in Oaxaca. We enjoyed our experience here, and hope to return soon. Monte Alban Restaurant is located in an unassuming strip mall on Santa Monica Boulevard one block east of Bundy. It’s nice to know it exists, and I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for Yelp!
Monte Alban Restaurant
11929 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Los Angeles, Ca 90025