Sometimes you have to tap into your inner Mary Poppins and remind your inner George Banks that flying a kite is a perfectly respectable way to spend an hour or two, even on a busy day. So in the middle of my mad apartment hunting, I gave myself a break by driving up on the highway to Sunland to check out a restaurant I bookmarked a few months ago after Jonathan Gold wrote about it; a Mole-specialty joint called Rocio’s Mole de Los Dioses (aka: Mole of the Gods).
It’s actually not too hard to get there from where I (currently) live; a quick jaunt up on the 5 and after 20 minutes you exit on Sunland and it’s right there. The place has a hidden-away feel that’s really charming and the decor is like a small town history museum’s depiction of Mexico. Quaint, cute, inviting.
First things first: I ordered a glass of horchata which came with a pink topping, a topping that I’m pretty sure was made of dragon fruit (based on my experience at Guelaguetza).
Very refreshing: it hit the spot.
As for ordering, I chose a chicken breast because of how Jonathan Gold emphasized that whatever protein you choose, it’s really there to sop up the mole. As for the mole, I chose the house specialty, the signature Mole de Los Dioses.
Before that came out, you get a complimentary soup. This day’s soup was a shrimp stock with a cracker that tasted like the kind of food pre-historic man might have eaten, but in a good way.
The soup is a nice gesture (and a nice soup). But the real reason to go to Rocio’s Mole de Los Dioses is, obviously, the mole. And here it comes on a big white plate.
I’m afraid this picture might not look like much; it almost, in a weird way, looks like airplane food with black tar poured on top. That’s unfortunate because the taste is a far cry from airplane food. That black mole has a deep, pronounced flavor; imagine setting chiles on fire and then mixing those charred bits up with chocolate and cinnamon and all other kinds of unusual ingredients and you’ll get the idea. Each bite brought something new and the chicken breast, while relatively bland, was indeed the perfect canvas to experience the mole.
The exciting thing about Rocio’s is how extensive the menu is: the Mole de Los Dioses is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s Mole Oaxaqueno, Mole Poblano, Mole Mancha-Manteles, Mole de Tequila con Limon, Mole Mixteco, Mole Verde, Mole de Cafe, Mole Velo de Novia and Mole de Nopal. These are all reasons to continue tapping into my inner Mary Poppins and to continue making trips to Rocio’s: George Banks will just have to deal.