History of La Cocina Oaxaquena on Capitol Hill, Secret Recipes

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La Cocina Oaxaquena is one of Seattle’s best Mexican restaurants

The concept of La Cocina Oaxaquena on Capitol Hill started like how most restaurants begin, on a napkin in a bar. David Gradwohl was the bar manager at Matadore in Ballard and his partner was co-founder and brain child for a Oaxacan restaurant La Carta de Oaxaca (most locals say La Carta de Oaxaca is the best Mexican restaurant in all of Seattle).

One day, the two were grabbing a drink and decided it would be a great idea to team up with David doing the bar program and his partner doing the food side of the business with his wife Tina Pinillo as the executive chef.

“The recipes have been family secrets for some time and kept very close to the vest.  Long story short we found the space on capital hill and decided to start our first venture.  We have now been in business for 3 years and things have steadily began to get busier.”

The restaurant is a family run business with David’s partner and most of his family working for at La Cocina Oaxaquena so the quality standard stays strong. David uses only the freshest ingredients and make everything in house and do NOT have a microwave in the building. Tina (chef) arrives every morning at 6am to start preparing all our dishes so that the restaurant is ready to open for the day.  Some of the ingredients we actually imported from Oaxaca due to the higher quality of Mole.

Some of our most popular dishes are the Mole negro, carne asada plato, pozole and caldo de res (beef soup with vegetables). What makes La Cocina Oaxaquena stand out from other Mexican restaurants is the focus on packing big flavors in the food without drowning it in cheese. The Mole is seriously one of the best, read what we thought here.

We are an Authentic Family Oaxacan restaurant and people sometimes don’t understand why we don’t serve nachos and burritos.

The reason why nachos and burritos isn’t served is to bring authenticity to the local regions of Oaxaca as they are not served in those cities.  If guests are looking for tex mex, there are great options around the city to choose from.

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