El Cholo's chile rellenos set the standard

SOS REQUEST: El Cholo's chile rellenos set the standard. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / April 29, 2014)

Dear SOS: I grew up loving the chiles rellenos from El Cholo. I remember going to the Western Avenue location as a kid when it still looked more like a house than a restaurant.

Nowadays, I go to the Santa Monica location more often than the downtown location. Both serve the fluffiest, most satisfying rellenos I have ever eaten. It's the standard by which I judge all others. If you could coax the recipe from them, I would love to try to make them at home.

Gayle Endo

Rancho Park

Dear Gayle: These chiles rellenos, from one of Los Angeles' most venerable Mexican restaurants, have an avid following all their own. The trick with that extra-fluffy coating lies in El Cholo's method: A little of the whipped egg batter is fried on its own until set, then a stuffed chile is gently laid over; more batter is spooned over the chile, then it is flipped and fried to golden perfection. Drizzle a spoonful of the rich and slightly tangy relleno sauce over the top to complete this signature dish.

El Cholo's chiles rellenos

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Servings: 6

Note: Adapted from El Cholo

Relleno sauce

1 tablespoon oil

3 garlic cloves, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1/2 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons vinegar

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

2 whole canned green chiles, diced

1/2 cup chicken broth