For Food & Wine, Andy Wang spotlighted Ivan Vasquez, an Oaxacan chef who transformed longtime Palms neighborhood haunt El Nopal into Madre after launching the concept last year in Torrance. His restaurant honors mother Lucila Rodriguez, a talented home cook, and features art-lined brick walls and a lively mezcal-fueled bar.
Madre’s food is more upscale than other Oaxacan restaurants on the Westside, which could be to their advantage, especially since they have a full bar. On the sprawling menu, I looked to Nuestra Tierra (our land) and ordered Costillas en Salsa de Chile Morita ($18). Four crusty fried pork spare ribs were slathered in spicy red salsa crafted with chile morita (smoked and dried jalapeños), salt, pepper, and onions. My plate also featured fluffy orange rice, roasted vegetables (carrots and potatoes), and a choice of hot corn or flour tortillas that aren’t house-made, but still work for building tacos.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.