Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Review: Oyamel, DC

After checking out the cherry blossoms, S and I checked out Oyamel, one of the many restaurants in Chef Jose Andres' empire.  It's a much smaller space than his other spots like Jaleo or Zaytinya, but a bright and nicely spaced restaurant.  Both S and I had pretty high expectations for Oyamel, since we both love Mexican food, and like the other Jose Andres restaurants. 

Chips, Spicy Guacamole

We started off with a requisite order of tableside guacamole, yummmmmmm.  This one was a little different than other guacamoles I've had before, with the addition of crumbled queso fresco mixed throughout.  

You could easily fill up on just this chips and guacamole combo-  not the best meal choice, but definitely delicious. 

Oyamel's Ponche

I enjoyed a glass of the Ponche, which is "A twist on a traditional Mexican ponche: white wine, Simebra Azul, Patron Citronge, agave nectar and a blend of tropical fruits."  It reminded me of white Sangria but v. light and sweet with the addition of the agave nectar.  It was a great, refreshing lunchtime cocktail :o)

Oyamel's Pomegranate Margarita

S opted for a margarita, with their signature "air" topping - how cool does that look? 

Frijoles refritos con queso

Not exactly the most photogenic side dish, but what can you do- it's black beans by the way, haha.   

Tacos: Cochinita pibil con cebolla en escabeche, Carnitas con salsa de tomatillo

Our two tacos came on a neat little taco holder which reminded me of my file organizer at work, haha.  On the left is S's barbeque pork taco, and on the right is my pork taco.  Mine was the ultimate combo of pork, tomatillos, and PORK RINDS.  The crispy pork rinds were a fabulous counterpart to the rich and delicious pork underneath, with a wedge of lime to cut through the greasiness.  

Cóctel de camarón y jaiba

Finally, my long-awaited ceviche dish.  And I mean long-awaited; it came out way later than the rest of the dishes, and we thought they had forgotten about it.  It was a great combination of shrimp, crab, avocado, and tomato, but to be honest I was already pretty full by the time it came out.  Even so, it was a delicious combination of flavors that I love, and I'm glad I had it.  I think this would make a fantastic starter dish for a summertime dinner, and would love to replicate this at home.  

As you can see neither of us got any of their "real" entrees, so we can't speak to how those are, but I think we were pretty satisfied with our small plates/tacos.  I like places like this, where you don't have to commit to one dish and can combine a few smaller plates that you're interested in- but still have the choice of a larger entree if that what you're looking for.  I would especially like to try their many taco options because they all sounded interesting- grasshopper taco, anyone?  

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
401 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Reservations: 202.628.1005 and OpenTable.


  1. Sounds like Mexican tapas...hehe. Um, what exactly is in a grasshopper taco?

  2. everything looks so good...drool!

  3. @SNC: "The legendary Oaxacan speciality of sautéed grasshoppers, served with shallots, garlic and tequila" ... yup. Haha!

    @KandS: Thank you for commenting, it was all great!