Having just been to Jose Andres' Spanish tapas restaurant recently, I hadn't planned on going back so soon. But, a colleague of mine wanted to have a nice sit-down lunch and Oyamel came to mind.
We arrived on a busy weekday with reservations for noon. They seated us at one of the booths near a window. This restaurant has a lively decor with colorful walls and multi-colored butterflies everywhere. It is consistent with the vibe you get from all of the other Jose Andres restaurants in town -- one that assures you that you arrived at a happening place.
For lunch, they offer a short list of items that are 3 for $20. Usually that means an appetizer, entree, and dessert. They served us the delicious spicy chips as we perused the menu. Unfortunately, there isn't a vegan dessert so I inquired as to whether I could take advantage of the special at all. The server confirmed that I could. I'd just order from the appetizers and entrees instead.
For my starter, I went with the Nopalitos, one of my favorites. This light salad of cactus is served with these huge, fresh peas, chopped red onions, and roasted tomatoes in a lime dressing. I love it.
I reluctantly ordered the Acelgas con nuez de Castilla -- I say reluctantly because I thought it might be very sweet and I don't like a lot of sweetness in my savory dishes. I was pleasantly surprised. This was a hearty dish filled with sauteed swiss chard, cabbage shallots, toasted hazelnuts, dried cranberries and raisins with spiced apricot puree and topped with pickled swiss chard. It was like a party in my mouth with the savoriness of the veggies, the crunchiness of the nuts, and the sweetness of the puree and dried fruit. It was delicious.
Lastly, I had one of my longtime favorites -- Taco de hongas minus the cream. These sauteed wild mushroom tacos are topped with salsa serrano and pickled red onions. If you love mushrooms, you will love these.
All of this food was just $20, which isn't bad at Oyamel. The service left much to be desired as our server didn't seem to know much offhand without going back to the kitchen and the food wasn't delivered very quickly. This may not be the spot to go to if you are in a hurry to get back to work, but the food was very good. I'll be back, but probably just for dinner when I can take my time and nosh on guacamole.
April 28, 2016
April 10, 2013
December 6, 2011
401 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004