Oyamel

Start with the guacamole, which is literally made in front of you with fresh green tomatillo, Serrano chile, crumbled queso fresco cheese and is served with a basket of warm tortilla chips. Paired with a traditional “Oyamel” margarita made with Patron Citronge and Jose Cuervo, you are instantly transported to a warm Mexican oasis. You can also make a meal out of just the chips, guac and margaritas.

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If you want to start out with something light, try the baby cactus salad with tomatoes in a lime dressing. The cactus is tender and tasty, and the lime adds just the right bit of tartness.

Perhaps the best of Oyamel’s six signature meat dishes is the Costillas de Cordero a la Parrilla, which is two grilled lamb chops with green sauce served with grilled baby corn and corn nuts. The green sauce is made with cilantro, parsley and garlic and is an explosion of unique flavor.

For the more adventurous out there, the Hapulines are a great dish to try. The legendary Oaxacan specialty is made with sautéed grasshoppers and served with shallots, garlic and tequila. If you don’t think about what you’re eating, the grasshopper dish is actually quite delicious.

Complete your meal with the Pastel de chocolate con crema de Mole Poblano y helado de vanilla, or in other words, chocolate cake with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. The cake is made with a cream of mole poblano sauce and a bit of spiced Mexican hot chocolate. It comes sprinkled with crushed peanuts, corn nuts and cocoa beans and is the perfect dessert for the end of a flavorful meal.

Oyamel opens every day at 11:30 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Sundays and Mondays, 11:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Brunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.

Oyamel is located at 401 7th St. NW, close to the Penn Quarter Metro station.