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Holy mole! Is this the center of the mole universe?

Ed gets drunk on Mole Poblano, yards from the border fence

You can call this every cliché in the book...the hidden jewel, the Shangri-Là, whatever. Fact is right here, yards south of the border...

...in the Casa del Mole (543 Aquiles Serdan, Colonia Libertad, 011.52.664.682-9074) delivers mole poblano like I've never had anywhere else. Totally Rico, like a deep-flavored liqueur you share only with your special squeeze. Or like the first time you discover real cacao chocolate. Or in my case, the first time I took a guzzle of Arrogant Bastard.

Because there's echoes of all that kind of stuff in the deep molasses-ish, winey, stout-like, velvet-peppery mole that's smothering this-here thigh of chicken in front of me.

I came past this place ten minutes up from the border crossing, but heading east and north, practically back up to the line.

You could go to safer, more middle class versions of the Casa del Mole in the Rio district, or over on Playas. but this is the original and feels like what it is: the real thing.

Yes, Colonia Libertad is kinda scrubby, but full of life, like a real Mexican town. And just past "Mofles-Radiadores Tony," thar she blows, even if it is behind heavily grilled windows. Heh heh, Mofles turns into Moles.

"La Casa del Mole."

None

Inside is all painted white tile, yellow stucco walls, brown arches, a large chocolate-brown Virgin of Guadalupe...

None

...niches with other religious relics, a chuckling fountain, tropical plants, shiny mocha booths that look like bench seats from grandpa's Olds Cutlass, and music, like Los Panchos, singing close harmonies over the system.

None

The place is surprisingly crowded at four in the afternoon till you remember we're talking Mexican lunchtime. They say good wine needs no bush. Tijuanenses know this place. Businessmen, families, mothers, hip kids are all here, feeding their mole addiction.

Geraldo the mesero comes up with chips, salsa, menu.

But there's no issue here. All the other stuff fuzzes out below the very first item, "Especialidad de la Casa," Mole Poblano (mole concocted in the great state of Puebla.)

With a chicken leg it's 85 pesos. Maybe $6.50. But it comes with a chicken consommé with rice and cilantro...

None

...and the plate itself has Spanish rice, refried beans and hot corn tortillas, along with the big chocolate-covered chicken steaming untold aromas up my nostrils.

None

I also get a glass of horchata, the rice drink (19 pesos, say $1.50).

I'm kinda prepared to be disappointed, because you build up expectations, but this mole oozing all over my chicken and dotted with sesame seeds is simply wicked. Deep, sweet, tangy, thick, with a tantalizing alcoholic feel. It is supposed to have lots of chocolate, of course (another Mexican invention), plus ground poblano chile, guajillo chile and some pasilla chile, plus ground peanut sauce.

Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's the chocolate in it, but I find it so addictive I eat it down to the last lick. Dang but that was good.

Oh, and also part of the deal: a sweet tamal wrapped hot in a corn husk with pineapple inside.

None

Nice end.

If you feel too queasy about coming up to Colonia Libertad, catch a cab to their slightly more expensive place down in the Rio district. Don't worry: that location is where they make this actual mole.

By the way: the number outside by the front door here is 10745, not 543, but what do I know?

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The soundtrack of our lives

If we’re all just ranting from our respective enclaves, then We Live In A Society really is a memeworthy gag and nothing more.

You can call this every cliché in the book...the hidden jewel, the Shangri-Là, whatever. Fact is right here, yards south of the border...

...in the Casa del Mole (543 Aquiles Serdan, Colonia Libertad, 011.52.664.682-9074) delivers mole poblano like I've never had anywhere else. Totally Rico, like a deep-flavored liqueur you share only with your special squeeze. Or like the first time you discover real cacao chocolate. Or in my case, the first time I took a guzzle of Arrogant Bastard.

Because there's echoes of all that kind of stuff in the deep molasses-ish, winey, stout-like, velvet-peppery mole that's smothering this-here thigh of chicken in front of me.

I came past this place ten minutes up from the border crossing, but heading east and north, practically back up to the line.

You could go to safer, more middle class versions of the Casa del Mole in the Rio district, or over on Playas. but this is the original and feels like what it is: the real thing.

Yes, Colonia Libertad is kinda scrubby, but full of life, like a real Mexican town. And just past "Mofles-Radiadores Tony," thar she blows, even if it is behind heavily grilled windows. Heh heh, Mofles turns into Moles.

"La Casa del Mole."

None

Inside is all painted white tile, yellow stucco walls, brown arches, a large chocolate-brown Virgin of Guadalupe...

None

...niches with other religious relics, a chuckling fountain, tropical plants, shiny mocha booths that look like bench seats from grandpa's Olds Cutlass, and music, like Los Panchos, singing close harmonies over the system.

None

The place is surprisingly crowded at four in the afternoon till you remember we're talking Mexican lunchtime. They say good wine needs no bush. Tijuanenses know this place. Businessmen, families, mothers, hip kids are all here, feeding their mole addiction.

Geraldo the mesero comes up with chips, salsa, menu.

But there's no issue here. All the other stuff fuzzes out below the very first item, "Especialidad de la Casa," Mole Poblano (mole concocted in the great state of Puebla.)

With a chicken leg it's 85 pesos. Maybe $6.50. But it comes with a chicken consommé with rice and cilantro...

None

...and the plate itself has Spanish rice, refried beans and hot corn tortillas, along with the big chocolate-covered chicken steaming untold aromas up my nostrils.

None

I also get a glass of horchata, the rice drink (19 pesos, say $1.50).

I'm kinda prepared to be disappointed, because you build up expectations, but this mole oozing all over my chicken and dotted with sesame seeds is simply wicked. Deep, sweet, tangy, thick, with a tantalizing alcoholic feel. It is supposed to have lots of chocolate, of course (another Mexican invention), plus ground poblano chile, guajillo chile and some pasilla chile, plus ground peanut sauce.

Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's the chocolate in it, but I find it so addictive I eat it down to the last lick. Dang but that was good.

Oh, and also part of the deal: a sweet tamal wrapped hot in a corn husk with pineapple inside.

None

Nice end.

If you feel too queasy about coming up to Colonia Libertad, catch a cab to their slightly more expensive place down in the Rio district. Don't worry: that location is where they make this actual mole.

By the way: the number outside by the front door here is 10745, not 543, but what do I know?

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Holy Mole

Comments
2

Excellent review.

Sept. 27, 2013

Thanks, Salvador. I'll definitely be going back. Whole lot of mole dishes I haven't tried yet.

Oct. 15, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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