In our current cover story, The Houstonian's Ultimate Guide to Mexico, I detail the time I spent learning about Oaxacan food with Rodolfo Castellanos, chef and co-owner of Oaxaca City restaurant Origen with Houstonian powerhouses Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught.

At the time, Castellanos mentioned consulting on the menu at Xochi, Ortega and Vaught's latest Houston restaurant. "We have known Chef Rodolfo professionally for several years and have also formed a wonderful friendship with him, and it was a great opportunity to partner with him at Origen in Oaxaca," the couple said via email to Houstonia. "It is nice to have the support of a chef that shares your same level of passion for cooking and to be able to bounce ideas off of each other and help each other."

Xochi will open in early January on the ground floor of the new Marriott Marquis Houston Downtown. And now that we're just weeks away from the debut of Houston's first upscale Oaxacan restaurant, there are some exciting menu details to share. 

Readers will recognize tlayudas from our article about key Oaxacan foods to try, as well as the sope-like memelas that I enjoyed at coastal Oaxacan restaurant La Teca, and the tetelas, tortillas folded into a triangular shape around their fillings, a signature at Slow Food palace Itanoní. At Xochi, the memelas will be topped with pork ribs, while the tetelas will be made with blue corn tortillas filled with cheese.

An entire section of the menu will be dedicated to moles (including mole de chicatanas, made from flying ants), with a mole flight available for diners who can't stop at just one. In the meantime, why not try making your own mole negro or amarillo with the recipes provided to us by Castellanos? They'll be a fair preview of what's to come at Xochi.

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