After a month in Oaxaca, Mexico, learning to make mole, I was thrilled to find a place in Denver that offered a sauce nuanced enough to taste like the real thing. The Mole 7 Chiles, a specialty at Tarasco’s New Latino Cuisine, is a beautifully balanced combination of savory, sweet, and spicy.

Slowly simmered for two days, the sauce marries seven chiles (guajillo, morita, cascabel, arbol, anchos negros, chilhuacles negros, and pasilla) with more than 30 ingredients. The result is a mildly spicy blend with overtones of roasted chile, chocolate, nuts, garlic, cinnamon, and cumin. Served with a choice of chicken, carnitas, or steak, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, seasoned rice, and fresh tomatoes it’s a dish you’ll come back for time and time again.

Despite the Oaxacan origin of the mole, owner Noé Bermudez brings his Michoacán roots into the majority of the other dishes at his tiny restaurant, as well as flavors from Puebla, Jalisco, and Guadalajara. Don’t miss the outstanding posole with tender pork, hominy, diced onions, and shredded cabbage, accompanied with fresh corn tortillas and wedges of lime. Other excellent options include the fiery birra de chivo (goat soup) with roasted chiles, onion, lime, and cilantro; the nopales asados (grilled cactus), and the delicious tamales de elote (corn tamales) drizzled with sour cream.

Tip: There’s no liquor license, instead tame the heat with Tarasco’s 44 varieties of freshly squeezed fruit juices and smoothies.

470 S. Federal Blvd., Denver, 303-922-2387