Our Story


Our house
is your house

We began as a small restaurant in 2004, founded by Kathleen Andersen, who moved back to Seattle after living in Mexico for 30 years and raising her two youngest children there. We’re proud to have served Seattle for more than 15 years.

We celebratecomida típica, the home-style cooking found in Mexico’s markets, fondas and backroom kitchens. Our food is authentic, our environment is casual, and every dish is made and served with heart.

Kathleen and the origins of El Moose

Our founder story

My love for Mexico began over 40 years ago, living first in Mexico City and later in Nayarit, Jalisco and Michoacan. As I traveled deeper into Mexico, I quickly discovered it’s heart: the food. I ate at the markets, amazed at the women who commanded 5 gallon steaming cazuelas of what was fresh that day, watched, and made notes as I talked to the women in the fondas, road side places, houses and markets. I was fortunate to have had wonderful creative women to learn from, cooking with what was there that day, what was interesting at the market, food they prepared for their families from memory, recipes from mothers, grandmothers and aunts—and a few of my favorite men as well.

When I moved back to Seattle in 2004, I started El Moose under the original namesake, Señor Moose. Our menu was primarily American breakfasts and lunches. I started adding Mexican specials to the menu and the Mexican dishes quickly outsold our standard fare. Soon the entire menu transformed.

The food at El Moose is a culmination of my family, travels and experiences, the recipes, traditions and people, as well as the heartfelt effort from our amazing staff. I’m proud to share these dishes and hope others will continue to enjoy!

Camila continues the tradition

Food is my lineage and my destiny

From my grandmother, to my mother, and those before, cooking, serving and the joy of a shared meal has represented a labor of love. My mother opened El Moose over 15 years ago in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. Her vision was to craft real fonda food that tastes as much like it does in Mexico as possible. I am honored to continue her vision for El Moose, and look forward to carrying on the tradition with my daughters for generations to come.

From Seattle to Bucerias

The Moose family extends beyond our Seattle location and includes Luna Luna in Bucerias, Nayarit. Luna Luna opened in 2008 after an amazing location with a huge palapa and a beautiful garden became available. The food is just as delicious as El Moose and every dish is crafted and served with the same heartfelt joy and pride. Luna Luna is owned and operated by Kathleen’s son, Alexander and his wife Karla, who moved back to the Pacific coast after spending many years in Guadalajara. Kathleen moved back to Mexico in 2016 and continues to cook with family and friends there.

Las penas con pan are less.