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“Do you like MOLE....??”

Maria Bonita Gourmet Mexican
Ranked #184 of 427 Restaurants in Ventura
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Takeout
Costa Mesa, California
Level Contributor
274 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 253 helpful votes
“Do you like MOLE....??”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

If you do, try the mole from the Maria Bonita Gourmet Mexican restaurant located right across from the Mission in Ventura. It's fabulous. On our last trip up the coast, we didn't have time to stop at the Maria Bonita for lunch.

Instead we picked up two mole orders to go...one Mole Negro and one Mole Cafe. That night...further up the coast we had a feast...!!!

Even better...we picked up a couple of 16 oz. containers of different Moles. They are now in our freezer waiting for when the "mole-mood" strikes again....!!

Highly recommend....!!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ebrynnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    12
    10
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
So Cal
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wow ...”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

We ate here because we were attending an event at the Mission and it was the closest venue being right across the street. At first we wondered if this was going to be one of those restaurants you see on Restaurant Impossible because there just wasn't anyone in the place on a Tue night (we found out later it is buzzing on the wknd). But the reasons restaurants make it on that show started being taken off the list when our host and waiter came to seat us. He was so down to earth but well-informed, with lots of humility and laughter, I would even say he was charming. He is one of the brothers who owns this small undiscovered treasure. The other brother is visible in the back cooking, and upon hearing a jovial callout from his bro, gave us a wave. So take personable staff off the list.

The decor. Well its clear that a pro decorator had not come in, but there was gallery art on the walls so that at least showed somebody thought enough of the place to have their art hanging there, and there was a newspaper clipping showing an award the restaurant had won. So take decor off the list.

Cleanliness. There was a bit of dust on the floor near the window which we only saw because we moved a table for our large group, but there wasn't anything else to complain about, so that is off the list too.

The food. Just looking at the menu will show you this isn't your usual cheap mexican restaurant. We just didn't have it in us to try and relax in the busy step up and order, bright lights, uncomfortable plastic booths Mexican restaurant a few doors down (which we peeked into before coming back to this place), and the kind of food that can be served in a bag. This food and the ambience was so different. From the black bean soup, which I will have to get next time, to the choice of three dif Chicken Mole entrees, which I got instead of the soup, the menu was mouth watering. The Mole Negro Oaxaca Style has 18 ingredients listed. It was crazy unreal good. My hub and friend got cream sauce chicken items that blew them away. He had the one with a Tequilla cream sauce and she had the one with a poblano cream sauce. Perfect cream sauces (we all passed bites around, which we don't usually do, but you just had to here) and everything was FRESH, FRESH, FRESH. We were told the chef brother hits the local farmers market in the park to get his produce. They specialize in tamales, which can be ordered in bulk, with a couple days notice. We all tasted the tamale my hub's aunt got. It was wonderful, of course, but the cool part was she was given 3 side sauces to try with it. They ended up being too spicy for her, so I took them all and put them in rows on my rice! OMG, this was such an experience for my tastebuds on so many levels with all the homemade tastes I was able to enjoy. It turns out the sauces can be taken to go as well because they are so good and desired.

All little pricey compared to what most think of as a mexican restaurant, but this isn't that at all. It is more like a gourmet chef-owned and run restaurant that just happens to serve outstanding mexican food ie. the prices are very reasonable for this caliber of dining.

Here is the menu, everything is a treat - http://mariabonitagourmet.com/

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Li M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nebraska
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Real Mexican Food”
Reviewed September 5, 2012

This small hole in the wall is the place to go for real mole. Try the white mole with chicken,, and the Chilean wine. so good!!!!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank LouiseNebraska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Mesa, California
Level Contributor
274 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 253 helpful votes
“Try the "Mole"...it's good!!!!”
Reviewed October 28, 2010

If you like good, authentic Mexican food, try the Maria Bonita. We have been there several times and we always end up ordering the "mole". They offer several different kinds and all are good.

Prices are VERY reasonable, and the service is very attentive. I believe our "waiter" is actually the owner, and...his brother is manning the kitchen.

This is not a "fancy" place, but you can definitely take your family here...or a date.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ebrynnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO.
Level Contributor
82 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great Restaurant”
Reviewed July 24, 2010

Great place visit for great food...Good wait staff, good pricing, good looking staff, nice plates.
Clean restrooms, great drinks, friendly wait staff. nice owner............

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank uncoD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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