It’s only been in the past few years that serious Mexican food has made an appearance in D.C. We now have our share of taquerias serving up tacos as delicious and as reasonably priced as I’ve ever had. Not to brush off the newcomers, but none of them can come close to Oyamel.
We have Jose Andres to thank for Oyamel, and he brought the best of Mexican cuisine to his restaurant. A meal at Oyamel makes me happy from start to finish. It begins the moment I step foot inside the restaurant. The colorful and lively décor reminds me of the vibrant artscape of Mexico. And you can’t go wrong with pretty much any item on the menu. Start with the guacamole, which you can have as spicy as your taste buds will handle. There are plenty of good tequilas and aguas frescas to accompany your starter. I have to admit that I got addicted to chapulines (roasted grasshoppers) when I was in Oaxaca, and Oyamel is the only place in town that I can get them served the true Oaxacan way—in a taco! Go brave, go grasshopper! If an entrée of insects is not for you, go with a tamale or try the Cochinita pibil con cebolla en escabeche taco for a taste of the Yucatán, where cooking pork in a pit is a centuries-old tradition. End your meal with the tres leches, the most iconic of Mexican desserts.
Every time I leave Oyamel, I can't wait to go back. The same thing will happen to you, guaranteed!
Metro stops: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter or Gallery Place-Chinatown.