Oyamel has been one of my favorite restaurants in DC for years. It’s really no surprise though, as I’m a fan of several other Jose Andres restaurants as well: Jaleo, Zytania and Cafe Atlantico (before it closed).
Oyamel has the best guac in the Penn Quarter neighborhood (sorry, Rosa), they serve dynamite pomagranate margaritas topped with a salty foam, and the small plates allow you to try a few items in one meal. That’s if you can ever be torn from your favorites, which I’ve found to be pretty hard.
For example, I’ve been ordering the Ensalada de palmitos for so long, I’ve had it served several different ways.
Recently, the hearts of palm have been served shredded in a bowl with tamarind dressing on the bottom and garnished with avocado, orange and grapefruit. Not everyone may agree with me, but I think this version is my favorite.
I’ve managed to branch out a little though and recently started ordering the Nopal asado con salsa molcajete, which is grilled cactus topped with salsa and chiles.
The cactus reminds me of okra and is pretty spicy – so I loved it. I think my love of sriracha has turned me into an overall heat junkie.
This trip was in the middle of a work day, so even though we didn’t end up getting margs, we definitely had to order chips and guac!
The guac fueled this whole trip all on it’s own. It’s practically like a Siren’s call for someone I work with. Already thinking about it at 10am the day we went, she sent out an email to our little lunch group simply stating she “needed” it and wanted to know who else was in. We all were.
Just note that unlike most other places, it comes served with a sprinkle of cheese on top, so it’s important to tell your server ahead of time to leave it off. They do offer a separate dairy free menu now, but it doesn’t offer anything different than the regular menu – just puts all the dairy-free items in one place, making it easier to order.
401 7th Street, NW