Chicken in soy sauce
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What: White, semi-soft Oaxacan cheese, a.k.a. quesillo, is known far and wide for its mild taste and mozzarella-like stringiness. Naturally, you’ll find it all over its home state in a wide range of preparations, but queso en salsa—a grilled block of Oaxacan cheese swimming in a tomatoey sauce—is one example of a dish that puts it in the savory spotlight. Where it’s quite comfortable, we might add.
Where: We found this at La Flor de Oaxaca (951-516-5522; Armento y Lopez 311, map), a modest restaurant that turns out refined regional dishes. The deliciously salty, warmed block of cheese is generously topped with epazote, a fragrant Mexican herb, and well balanced by the thin, slightly sweet, Italian-esque tomato sauce.
When: Daily, 7:30am-10pm
Alternatively: It’s not exactly the same, but Casa de la Abuela (951-516-3544; Hidalgo 616, map) has a similarly cheese-focused dish: quesillo a la plancha, a grilled hunk of Oaxacan cheese served with black beans and guacamole.
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