The soup was pretty typical yet satisfying for a cool June night out on the patio. It was both light and smooth for a bean soup but not exactly outstanding. The thick soup was topped with a little pico de gallo and crema to add a little heat, texture and a smooth finish. It was the kind of dish that you eat, analyze and then torment yourself with how you could do improve upon it at home (I've got a few ideas!).
Then the mole arrived. The reason we loved Indio and the reason we were looking so forward to dining at Cafe Ena was because of the big, bold Mexican and Latin inspired flavors. Mole is a generic name for a traditional Latin sauce that I typically associated with loud and intense ingredients. However, this version was surprisingly subtle. The sauce was smooth with just a bit of grit that actually contributed a nice bit of texture against the big, juicy and nicely grilled chicken breast. I was expecting the dish to be a bit more compelling in all honesty, but it was still far from bland. The mole had a number of elements pulling in different directions, but nothing really rose to the top to make it exceptional. I will note that the pickled onions (which I didn't have in the first few bites) did manage to tie the flavors together a bit better. The tang supplied by the thin pink strips seemed to bring something special out of the sauce much like some cheesy scenario in a brutal Ben Affleck flick where the characters realize (I've heard) they work better together then apart. Regardless, I thought the mole would have brought a bit more to the table. The parsley rice was pretty dull, and the beans were disappointing - the colors and textures were exciting, but much like the mole without the pickled onions, it felt a little flat.