Remember back in the day when Jonathan Gold was talking that crazy shit about a hypothetical restaurant run by a chef from underground culinary collective Supper Liberation Front, with the help of Bricia Lopez? We suspected Gold wasn't just tripping on mezcal when penning his weekly column and weeks later, Elina Shatkin dropped a shiny dime on Mitla, the new restaurant that will take over the Palms location of Guleaguetza with SLF chef Joshua Gil in the kitchen. Mitla is a town about 40 miles from Oaxaca proper, where the Lopez ladies (Bricia and mom) grew up. Lopez told Squid Ink that the menu will be a monthly-changing, seasonal selection of 13 to 14 "new Oaxacan" dishes, plus weekend brunch, debuting to the public on November 18th, after some soft-opening. But where can you try it first?
Since you probably missed the preview dinner while the project was under wraps at Guelaguetza, you can attempt to get in on two nights at Test Kitchen, where Gil will try out a new menu. Friday and Saturday night, he plans to cleverly blend Oaxacan ingredients that are seldom seen in the mainstream into five plates, including turkey barbacoa with herbs like hoja santa and poleo mint, squash vine soup drowning chochoyote and sweet corn, a yellow mole with venison, a clayuda with cactus, avocado leaves, shrimp, mole Coloradito, and bar bites like mole drumettes, cecina cemitas, and tostada de chapulines.
The news bodes well for the continuing complexity and diversification of L.A.'s Mexican cuisine and makes another assured step in catching up with the country's own creative exploration of native ingredients paired with traditional and international culinary technique. See Gil's full Mitla menu for Test Kitchen below. Reservations at 310-277-0133 as well as online.
Mitla, coming to 11127 Palms Blvd. Palms.
Joshua Gil of Mitla, Modern Oaxacan Cuisine
BAR BITES $5
Chorizo and Oaxaca Cheese Croquettes
Cemita - Cecina
Tostada de Chapulines
5 course Menu - $55
SOPA DE GUIAS | Squash vines / chepil / sweetcorn / zuchinni stems / blossoms /chochoyote / chinicuil sauce
TLAYUDA | Tlayuda / white beans / mole coloradito / avocado leaves / cacti / shrimp
BARBACOA DE GUAJOLOTE | Braised turkey / Hoja Santa / Black Beans / Poleo / Bean masa tortillas
AMARILLO DE VENADO | Venison / Yellow Mole / Pitiona / Squash Chochoyote / Pitiona tortilla
NIÑO ENVUELTO | Guava Sponge Cake / Cacao / Oaxacan Chocolate / Goat Milk Caramel
West L.A. Guelaguetza to Reopen as Mitla [L.A. Weekly/Squid Ink]