Chicken Mole at Los Poblanos
Los Poblanos is easy to miss. The tiny Mexican restaurant hides on Jefferson Boulevard in between a hardware shop and a narrow alleyway. Walk in and find three tables -- the 'dining room' seats 10, maybe 12, people. They don't even have a Yelp page. But, as evidenced by the painted words on the outside of the shack-like hole in the wall, their dark chicken mole is a true specialty of Los Poblanos. This is mole poblano, not to be confused with Oaxacan-style mole.
The cooks offer one type of mole, made by roasting and grinding the sauce from scratch, then its served from a huge pot, where its flavor richly drenches tender pieces of chicken, is topped with sesame seeds, and served with salsa, rice, beans and warm corn tortillas. The rice and beans are nothing special, but the side of roasted red salsa is a homemade treasure as well.
To make the salsa, owners grill fresh whole tomatoes atop the stove until the skin has a nice burnt flesh. Roasted peppers are ground in with the tomatoes, along with other mystery seasonings. The rest of their menu is typical -- huaraches, sopes, tacos, tortas, though the barbacoa is something you don't see everywhere. Pictures of the barbacoa didn't look too appealing on the menu, but maybe it's better once it's on a plate.
Los Poblanos: 1433 West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 766-1869.