Late Thursday morning I was headed for the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City when I happened to pass a Oaxacan place I had heard about and stopped in to check it out. It's more of a restaurant than a stand, and I took a seat in the semi-outdoor dining room, which is separated from Venice Ave by only a clear plastic wall and a bus stop.
I told the waitress I wasn't very hungry, but that I wanted to try something particularly Oaxacan. She was happy to make a couple of suggestions, and I decided on a memela, one taco de tazajo, and a glass of horchata. In a moment she returned with the horchata, along with fresh chips and some delicious crisp, spicy, dark salsa, which was surprisingly refreshing in the heat of the morning in the basin.
The memela, a thick fresh corn tortilla covered in beans, lard, and cheese, was fantastic. And the tezajo, beef cooked in the regional style, was also good, even if a little tough.
But the highlight of the meal really was the horchata: quite sweet, but still distinctly ricey, and topped with a pinch of crushed nuts - easily the best I've had.
I had hoped to pick up a sweet tamal to go, but unfortunately they wouldn't be done for another hour. I thanked my hosts for the good meal - and the horchata in particular - and contently got back into the traffic. I didn't even really mind that the museum was closed.