More big news from the Lopez family. As this Friday's opening of the second Pal Cabron location wasn't keeping them busy enough, they will reopen the long-closed Guelaguetza location in Palms as Mitla, a more upscale Oaxacan restaurant with chef Josh Gil at the stoves. (If you were lucky enough to get into Gil's the sold out Supper Liberation Front dinner at Guelaguetza last month, you got a preview of Mitla's menu.)
Mitla's menu, which Bricia Lopez has dubbed "the new Oaxaca," will feature 13-14 seasonal entrees that rotate every month or two. The redone interior will seat about 50 people and will still hew to Guelaguetza's signature colors of yellow and orange, but can expect long, communal tables, paintings rather than murals and a deli case where you can buy Oaxacan staples.
Target opening date is Nov. 18 but look for Mitla (named after the Oaxacan town where daughter Bricia and mother Maria were born) to soft-open before then. If you're eager for a taste, Gil will be at Test Kitchen for two, possibly three nights, in late October, as a test-run for Mitla.
The complete menu is still in flux but a few dishes almost certain to grace Mitla's menu...
--Sopa de Guias: a soup of squash vines, squash blossoms, zucchini stems, chepil and other seasonal herbs topped with chinicuil (a sauce made of agave worms)
--"Reverse" Clayudas: smaller than the clayudas at Pal Cabron, these are made with black corn and topped with a white bean paste, shrimp, cactus and mole coloradito.
--Venison topped with pitiona-infused yellow mole.
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--Turkey barbacoa with hoja santa, served with a side of black beans with poleo.
--Guava cake with cacao and caramel.
Mitla will also a Oaxacan brunch on Saturdays and Sundays featuring a cheese and ham omelet topped with black bean mole, eggs over-easy wrapped in hoja santa leaves and grilled cheese in epazote sauce.
Guelaguetza: 11127 Palms Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 837-1153. www.guelaguetzarestaurante.com.