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2250B Crystal Dr. (22nd St.) Send to Phone
Nearly perfect Mexican's dreamy.

Lunch & Dinner daily

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THIS RESTAURANT HAS CHANGED LOCATIONS Oyamel Cocina Mexicana Restaurant Review

: It's tricky when you pick out just one of a restaurant's group as possibly the most outstanding restaurant in Washington. And that's saying plenty, considering that its fellow restaurants include Zaytinya, Café Atlántico and the Jaleos. But with his Mexican-inspired tapas-style eatery, Oyamel, executive chef and culinary darling José Andrés has reached for the stars and grabbed one. Never mind that Oyamel runs its business in Crystal City, a location that's not very central to most metro-area residents. Oyamel carries the same charm as the book-movie Like Water for Chocolate and has the lively tempo of a mariachi band straight from Mexico City. Besides, its food is an enchantment: We have come to crave the quail in rose petals (yes, it was inspired by Like Water for Chocolate), and dream of the Cornish game hens in mole, the poblano chile stuffed with picadillo and bathed with a walnut sauce, and the macho Yucatan-style pit barbecued pork tacos. We ate and ate---tapas plates and slightly larger entrée-sized offerings---concluding the meal with two improbable desserts that clinched the deal: a warm chocolate cake with mole cream and spiced hot chocolate plus a goat milk cajeta with crumbled shortbread---both nothing short of breathtaking. Perhaps those who find Crystal City a bit of a trek may not end up gaining 75 pounds. If this restaurant were at our doorstep, we might tip the scales at much more.


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