LU Cocina Michoacana – Morelia, Mexico - Gastro Obscura

Gastro Obscura

LU Cocina Michoacana

This upscale restaurant specializing in Michoacán cuisine serves sauces tied to important life events. 

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The 2010 addition of Mexican cuisine as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage included the example of “the Michoacán paradigm.” The state of Michoacán’s regional culinary traditions were singled out due to its feature of having specific dishes assigned to holidays and life events. The xanducatas de novia y de novio, for example, are distinct versions of xanducata, a thick mole-like sauce with a pronounced minty note, prepared for a bride and groom.

LU, lead by Michoacana chef Lucero Soto, is one of the few restaurants in Morelia, the state capital, where singles and long-married couples alike can try the xanducatas. Located in the lower floor of the central Hotel Casino, LU is known for its commitment to local Michoacán ingredients, including trout from the many surrounding lakes and farms and the state’s famous avocados. 

Atápakua, another sauce similar to xanducata but usually reserved for funerals, can also be found here. So can the state’s famous cheeses, such as cotija and adobera, along with more stereotypical Michoacán fare such as carnitas (pork) and the tamale-like uchepos and corundas. To wash it all down, LU showcases beers from Morelia-based brewery La Brü, which feature ingredients such as blue corn.

It’s rare to find an upscale restaurant serving Michoacán’s cuisine. The majority of Morelia restaurants favor auteur cuisine, while regional food is left to greasy-spoon and diner-type establishments. With its combination of local ingredients, traditional recipes, and modern techniques, LU represents a unique fusion.

Know Before You Go

The restaurant has distinct menus for breakfast and lunch/dinner.