El Molino isn’t just one of Sonoma County’s best Mexican restaurants. It’s one of the county’s best restaurants of any category. Period.
The restaurant, the work of owner Karen Waikiki and a coterie of skilled cocineros and cocineras from all over Mexico, consistently delivers seasonally delicious Mexican food made from top-shelf local produce, meats and other ingredients drawn from regionally diverse recipes you’re simply not going to find north of the border.
"It’s one of the county’s best restaurants of any category. Period."
The restaurant made its name with tamales (El Molino means the mill, as in they grind their own masa to make the tamales and corn tortillas) and they are still superb, to go by the bag or in-house. But you simply can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, not unless you’re looking for gooey nachos or a sour cream stuffed burrito. Some would argue those plates have their place (maybe after a late night at one of the local breweries), but not in a one of a kind regional Mexican restaurant like this. Instead, look for red mole poblano chicken, Bohemia beer-battered fish tacos, and fresh halibut ceviche.
"It’s as close to Mexico as you’re going to get without leaving the U.S."
In spite of the restaurant’s enduring popularity, it’s still the same old place 10 years after it opened. You order at the counter and then walk through the kitchen past cooks and dishwashers to the comfortable and colorful patio out back. It’s as close to Mexico as you’re going to get without leaving the U.S.