Tuesday, August 12, 2014

DC Restaurant Week 2014 - Oyamel

I haven't been a huge fan of Restaurant Week promotions in any city/neighborhood and usually approach them with a huge dose of skepticism or outright repeal. My thinking is that a good restaurant doesn't need to promote a gimmicky menu just to get people in the seats. On top of that you get volume surge that could be above normal operating conditions (good for restaurant, bad for you) that yields less interesting menu choices or worse, a kitchen just churning out the same dishes quickly without pause. To say that I'm down on "Restaurant Weeks" is accurate - but like everything in life, you give things another look when the time is right. This week I'm giving DC the benefit of the doubt and going full force into Restaurant Week to try some new places in town, and hopefully force me to throw up some more reviews. Last night started with Oyamel.

I've heard good things about Oyamel from many people and understood it to be a Chinatown staple by talented restaurateur Jose Andreas featuring Mexican fare, tacos and ceviche. The prix fixe menu ($35.14 for all participating restaurants) is five courses with multiple choices for each course to give you quite a lot of flexibility to choose your own Oyamel adventure. Even with a large amount of food on deck, Kelly and I decided no good Mexican meal can start without a solid heaping of guacamole, chips and salsa. Unfortunately for my appetite and desire to not over-eat, both the salsa (very similar to Rick Bayless salsa) and chips were delicious. They add a nice spice mixture to the crispy fried chips that make them quite addicting. The guacamole was relatively average in taste or special flavors, but you do get the table side treatment that makes the experience a little more fun. I also started the meal with one of their specialty margaritas that included a nice watermelon flavor. Yum.



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