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La Casita Mexicana - Bell, CA

I've eaten here so many times I cannot believe I never blogged about it! I must have dozens of pictures of the same things. I've gone there many times, sometimes with my camera, other times without. I love Chef Jaime and Chef Ramiro, who are the men behind elevating Mexican food to a whole new level in Los Angeles. Dare I say it? This is my favorite Mexican restaurant! Yes, I said it. I even filmed a few films there (Foodie Nation, Bacon Wrapped Date).

Here's a compilation of my favorite dishes.

The first thing they bring you are the tortilla chips with three of their signature mole as a dressing on top. I never took a picture of it because it always disappears before I can take a good shot of it. I guess you just have to go there to see for yourself!

Most meals usually come with soup as a starter. The soup at La Casita Mexicana is no joke. It's always hearty, usually bean or rice based. If you're not careful, you CAN get full just off of this and the chips. I say save room for the bounty that is about to come!

I always get the Queso Azteca ($12.95). It's four kinds of Mexican cheeses filled with poblano chile slices, cactus, mushrooms, and mexican herbs wrapped in banana leaf, along with onions, chili, cilantro as garnish. It comes with handmade tortillas which are thick, fluffy, and flavorful. I always eat some but take the rest home for a quick lunch the next day.

I still have yet to find tortillas like this. There are orange and green tinted ones as well as the standard white ones. They are flavorful, thick, fluffy, and pretty filling. I dream about these tortillas at least twice a month.

We sometimes get the Queso Fundido with Chorizo ($9.95) if we have a huge party and I can still get the Queso Azteca. It is an amazing concoction - very oozy, like fondue. I still prefer the Queso Azteca because I prefer the texture of thicker, not as melty, cheese. Others prefer this. It's what kind of cheese you prefer, really. This Queso Fundido also has chorizo meat in it so it is much heavier and if you don't eat meat, then stick to the Queso Azteca.

We ordered the The Ceviche Verde ($13.95, comes with rice) once when we decided we weren't going to go for the Queso Azteca. It's a refreshing fish appetizer marinated in citrus salsa made with serrano peppers, cilantro and cucumbers. It's served on top of freshly made corn tostadas. This is a much lighter way to go if you are not in the mood to start off your meal in a big way, or if you know you're going to be eating a really hearty entree.

Is it my fault if I cannot help but get this beautiful Chile En Nogada ($15.95)? Look at it! It's the colors of the Mexican flag. Chef Ramiro says so.

The Chile en Nogada is Mexico's traditional school of "haute cuisine" and it is stuffed with meat, dried fruits, walnuts, candied cactus, enveloped with pecan cream sauce and drizzled with pomegranate seeds. It is on the sweeter side because of all the fruits involved but there is a nice savory balance from the chile and the meat as well. There's really nothing quite like it. Sweet, salty, nutty, fruity, meaty, it's pretty much a complete meal in one dish.

In La Casita Mexicana, the Chile en Nogada is served with white rice that also displays the colors of the Mexican flag.

One of the most delicious moles I've ever tried, is the traditional mole poblano ($14.95) over the tender chicken at La Casita Mexicana. The mole poblano is comprised of 46 different ingredients, and is a recipe handed down from their grandmothers. If you know you're getting this dish, I'd bring a big group so that the appetizers can be shared by the entire group and you can eat share some of this or take it home. 

The Enchiladas ($13.95) are filled with either cheese or chicken, depending on your mood or dietary restrictions. You can pick from the three moles, which include the mole poblano, the red pepian, and the green pepian. It comes with white rice. You can also choose just one type of mole as well. I always choose three so I don't get bored of one flavor. But, if you're thinking of taking these babies home, just choose one type of mole so you don't have a mess later on.

Have you ever had Mexican coffee ($2.75)? Me neither. That is, until I came here. The coffee tastes like there is a bit of cinnamon or some sort of interesting spice in it that reminds me more of tea. It comes with rock sugar. It's so amazing and I try to recreate it at home but there is just no way. This coffee goes well with the desserts here. 

The flan ($4.99) is thick, creamy, and honestly, one of the best flans ever. I'm a fan of the thick flan, not the watery kind. Some people don't like thick flan. They have the house flan, the kahlua flan (also amazingly rich), and the eggnog flan. 

The fried rice pudding wraps with pecan cream sauce ($5.99) is a wonton-like pastry filled with cinnammon rice pudding, topped with cream. It's definitely one of the heartier desserts. 

Not only are these churros ($4.25) so cute, delicious, and a sugar party in your mouth, it's also very easy to share. I'd recommend this if you have a big party. It's filled with Mexican caramel and goes amazingly well with the coffee

Go with the guayabas con rompompe (guavas with Mexican-style eggnog) if want something sweet but not too starchy ($5.99).

If you like sweets and carbs, you'll love the rice pudding wrap. If you love eggy stuff, you will love the flan. If you like sugary pastries, you'll love the churros. If you love fruit, you'll love the guayabas.

You're going to burst with flavors, spices, and heartiness if you attempt to eat all this goodness on your own at once. I still haven't tried everything on their menu and I've gone over six times. There are some fish items that I've had but haven't taken pictures but always look out for the special. I tried a fish with huitlacoche (corn fungus) sauce before that was out of this world.

Every time I go, I leave with boxes of leftovers. Usually it's because making the drive out to Bell is something I have to plan for, and so I end up ordering much more than I can eat, and sometimes it's just because I want my friends to try everything so we end up getting too many dishes. No matter, the leftovers usually last me a few days and what's better than waking up to a soft corn tortilla with Queso Azteca splayed in the middle of it, waiting for it to devour you?

La Casita Mexicana
4030 Gage Avenue
Bell, CA 90201-1127
(323) 773-1898

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