The Food Column: Sunday in the Park With My Vegan Husband, Jeff

On Sundays, as is our routine, Jeff and I like to check out the Mar Vista Farmers Market. I know it’s not in Malibu but what can I say? We like it.

It has a good mix of everything we like, including prepared foods. He’s vegan and I’m not, but have numerous food intolerance/allergy issues, so eating together is challenging. The farmers market also happens to be near our favorite thrift store that occasionally has pretty awesome red tag sales and just down the street is one or our two favorite places to eat (that I shouldn’t eat at due to aforementioned “issues”) after perusing the market’s offerings.  

Our first favorite is a family-run Oaxacan restaurant, Quiadaiyn, named after the owner’s family homestead. We’ve been dining there since they opened and have always enjoyed the food.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, we are usually there for brunch. If you get there early, please try their coffee, brewed with cinnamon, cardamom and I don’t know what else, but it’s delicious, especially if you pick up a gluten free/vegan chocolate chip banana muffin from the farmers market (just saying). 

My favorite breakfast item is enfrijoladas, homemade corn tortilla covered in black bean sauce with onions, cheese and scrambled eggs. Just writing about it, my mouth is watering! Thick corn tortillas are piled high and bathed in a rich black bean sauce flavored with avocado leaves, imparting a slight licorice flavor that the onions and green salsa (that you must have with it ‘cause it’s mind blowing—at least to me) cut through to brighten it up.  It’s warm, homey and if my mom had ever made this when I was a kid, it’d be just like the enfrijoladas she used to make but never did. 

Next, mole. Now, I’ve never been a mole person—you either are or you aren’t, and I aren’t. Jeff, on the other hand, is, and because their negro mole is allegedly vegan, he likes the veggie enchiladas slathered in it. The first time he ordered it, I had to try. First, I experienced the aroma: rich, spicy, slightly sweet. Now, a taste—I close my eyes and fully take in the warmth of chilies, the richness of chocolate and other assorted unknown ingredients, but to my not-quite-guera palate, this is the most amazing mole I’ve ever had: mild but rich, full flavored but not too spicy or sweet. 

Jeff laughed as I tried to describe it to him with tears of joy in my eyes. Suffice it to say, it’s good. So is the yellow mole made from corn and hoja santa leaves and tlayudas (large flat corn tortillas covered in black bean sauce and veggies/meats that are big enough to share). After dining, have a scoop of tuna (prickly pear) and lime sorbet, made fresh, just like everything else there. It’s a light refreshing palate cleanser that’s the perfect ending to a great meal. I could keep raving about Quiadaiyn, but I won’t. I’ll leave it to you, next time you’re in Mar Vista and have a craving for barbacoa de chivo tacos or a cactus salad…  you know where to go.

Quiadaiyn, 12326 1/2 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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