Catering to a largely Spanish-speaking clientele, this in-the-know spot has a festive mood and exotic scents filling the small, cheerful space. Surely one of L.A.'s best Mexican eateries, it serves the complex but not overpoweringly spicy cooking of Oaxaca, one of Mexico's most renowned culinary capitals. The standouts are the moles, whose intense flavors come from intricate combinations of nuts, seeds, spices, chiles, and bitter chocolate. But be sure to check out barbecued
goat tacos or pizzalike clayudas topped with white cheese and tasajo (dried beef) or cecina (chili-marinated pork) and chorizo.