Rocio Camacho’s pre-Columbian cuisine for the L.A. Times:
PHOTO by GLENN KOENIG / L.A. TIMES
Cars cruise through the roundabout under the waning afternoon sun, leisurely circling a reconstruction of Mexico City’s Angel of Independence. First-timers marvel at the faux-colonial facade seemingly imported block by block from Guadalajara. Lynwood’s Plaza Mexico is Latin America the L.A. way, an elaborate set onto which visitors can graft memories and forge new ones.
La Huasteca is the shopping center’s grandest stage: sylvan murals that appear to recede into forested infinity, wrought-iron chandeliers that could light up a whole town. For six years, the restaurant has been a reliable outpost of high-end alta cocina, a study mostly of Mexico’s Huasteca region. Six months ago, however, the kitchen came under the command of chef Rocio Camacho.
Camacho earned the attention of an entire city at Moles La Tía in East Los Angeles. The César Chávez Avenue restaurant is where she transformed the very notion of mole, where vague ideas of chocolaty sauces exploded into a prismatic array of cheery yellows, herbaceous greens and brilliant magentas. Camacho’s move arrived by word of blogger Javier Cabral, who was also instrumental in raising the profile of Moles La Tía. Now at La Huasteca, Camacho has unveiled a refined new menu.
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