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A Bit of Mole - Alegria on Sunset (Silver Lake)

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Alegria on Sunset, a warm, colorful little Mexican place set in a strip mall between a Baskin-Robbins and a Domino’s, feels like the kitchen of someone else's cool, arty grandma. Or maybe yours, depending. The room bursts witih life, and in a lot of ways, it's the epitome of Silver Lake. Not really Mexican, but kind of... Tradition filtered through an urban, artistic sensibility... All the good stuff that makes a neighborhood haunt a home.

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Bags – or rather the bottom third of a child’s paper lunch sack – filled with chips are brought to your table upon arrival, along with a bowl of salsa. The menu is lengthy and features a smattering of veggie items. But who wants roasted zucchini enchiladas with pumpkin seeds when you can have fish tacos! They do theirs with a hearty portion of halibut, not fried like in Baja, but rubbed with spices and sautéed.

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Light and colorful notes sing through the food at Alegria, but the most accomplished and authentic dishes on the menu center around their mole -- a deep, black, smoky sauce that hums with an assortment of bittersweet chocolate and roasted seeds. There is something elemental about the stuff -- thick as an Indian korma, or the gravy of a doro wat -- that can send even a bean burrito into orbit. If it doesn't sound like your thing, convince your boyfriend to get it, just so you can try. Then slowly consume everything on his plate, as he sits in awe.

Alegria on Sunset
3510 Sunset Blvd.
LA, CA 90026
323.913.1422
Closed Sundays