Palisades Newcomer Roca Pizza to Take Part in Pizza City Fest Los Angeles

Festival set for April 29-30 at LA Live

By Dolores Quintana

If you are looking for real Oaxacan food in Culver City, you are in luck. EK Valley is an authentic Oaxacan restaurant that has been operating for ten years in the area just outside of the main downtown area. The restaurant is located at 6121 Washington Blvd and is a little bit of a Culver City secret as reported by Eater Los Angeles.

The special dish that everyone loves at EK Valley is their version of the wet burrito or burrito mojado. Chef Epifanio “Epy” Garcia and his wife Tobias Lopez have so many different types of meat for the burritos of your dreams, chicken, salmon, carnitas, carne asada and Oaxacan specialty meats cecina, chorizo and tasajo. He then adds beans and rice, but the crowning glory is the four different kinds of mole available, red, coloradito, yellow and the black mole which is made with two dozen ingredients and garnished with sesame seeds. As a finishing touch, crema is layered on the very top. 

Dark moles are generally made with chocolate, which is a surprising ingredient and flavor within the sauce, adding layers of flavor that novices to Mexican cuisine might not be aware of. The restaurant is decorated with traditional Oaxacan colors, marigold and orange, and Mexican folk art. 

The restaurant started with a food truck named Epy’s Kitchen in 2011 after he worked at various other establishments. They found a space in Culver City and transitioned quickly into a brick-and-mortar restaurant after eight months. The restaurant is named the truck with a reference to his home in the San Miguel de Valle. 

The mole wet burrito is an innovation that came out of his experiences in Los Angeles. Chef Garcia said, as quoted by Eater Los Angeles, “In California, they have wet burritos, like in Tex-Mex cuisine. I said well, why not do a mole burrito? And people loved it. It’s richer and has more flavor. For me, black mole is the king of moles.”

The fans of the restaurant are not Oaxacan or Mexican, in fact they are mostly not Latino. Chef Garcia said, as quoted by Eater Los Angeles, “For some reason, a lot of Oaxacans don’t come here. But that’s the business that I have, and I’m happy.” That’s also the reason why the restaurant serves more Mexican food made popular in California which works for the people who love the restaurant and its flavor.

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