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Apr 25, 2007 10:36 AM

Casa Oaxaca-Adams Morgan

It looks like it opened last night? Early reviews?

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  1. Haven't been yet but I walked by yesterday and the menu looked delicious! I can't wait to hear about it...I LOVE LOVE LOVE Peruvian chicken done right!

    4 Replies
      1. re: GregJ

        2106 18th St. NW

        Btw...for some reason I thought this was a Peruvian's not. Clearly from the name you can tell its Mexican. The owners of Arlington's Guajillo also own this place. Haven't been to Guajillio but I know Casa Oaxaca has been highly anticipated by some foodies in the area.

        1. re: Elyssa

          You might be thinking of the new Peruvian place up the street on 18th - I can't remember the name, but its near Brass Knob. Its been boarded up FOREVER, and I know they're about to open (or already have).

          1. re: winger1930

            YES! That's probably it. I know a real Peruvian restaurant is opening up around 18th somewhere. I'll have to go by there sometime to see what the deal is.

    1. Went last night. Tried the "tres moles" entree, a sampler of three of their four moles (negro, green, and red) over chicken. They were quite good, with the negro best among them: rich, subtle, and a bit spicy.

      Also had the huitlacoche raviolis (okay but a bit too doughy and sauce too watery) and the salad with carmelized figs and nuts.

      Service was surpisingly smooth, considering they've been open only a couple days. Servers seemed to know the menu well, offered to translate specialized food terms for gringos, and the chef even came out to say hello.

      All in all, a welcome addition to the area, we thought.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DC in DC

        Does anybody have an idea about the prices at Casa Oaxaca?

        1. re: mzfoodie

          The apps we ordered (see above) were $7-9 each. Our entree was, I think, in the mid-to-high teens ($14? $17?). With one dessert and two beers, the whole meal was around $52 before tip. Not expensive (like Rosa Mexicano), not dirt cheap (like El Tapatio), but then again, the place isn't a hole in the wall. It's a nice mid-range place in atmosphere, with prices to match.

      2. We tried it this evening and it jumped to number one on my Mexican restaurant list. Note I said Mexican, not Tex-Mex or Cal-Mex or Salvadoran-Mex or ......

        They served sliced jicama with red pepper instead of the over-present salsa and chips. A nice change. Our margaritas were very tart and good.

        We had two appetizers: the squash blossum and huitlacoche raviolis and a salad with greens with a fried tortilla in the center with cheese, beans, and sauce, Both were very good but I am unsure how "authentic" the Mexican ravioli may be despite the filling.

        For entrees, I tried the chicken "tres moles" which featured a boneless chicken breast with red, yellow, and black moles. [The yellow is on the sweet side and the black is the spiciest]. My GF had the chicken with mole pablano. Guajillo has the same dish.

        There are only three desserts: flan, an Oaxacan tiramuisu [made with Mexican chocolate], and a dish with carmelized bread cubes, raisins and ice cream. She had the tiramisu [good but don't bother; Mexican-Italian ??] and I had the bread cube thing. The latter was different and very good; try it.

        Prices are very reasonable: we had two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts, and four margaritas. Total was $100 (before tip).

        If I lived closer, I'd go there often. However, the southeast area of Admas Morgan is not easy to reach or easy to find a parking place. Nevertheless, try it

        1. I too have been eagerly anticipating the opening of Cafe Oaxaca since I saw the sign a month or so ago. I stopped in yesterday evening but only had time for a drink- really excellent sangria! The menu looks wonderful and very authentically Oaxacan. I've spent several months there over the past few years and the food is some of the best in the world, both the traditional home-style moles and the more inventive stuff- yes, they do make ravioli in Mexico! Anyway, we chatted with the chef at Casa Oaxaca and we'll definitely be going back for dinner very soon.

          2 Replies
          1. re: poshspice

            We were there about a month ago (Cafe Oaxaca) and were very disappointed. The food was completely bland and over priced. The Sangria was alright, but nothing special. The tres moles especially was awful-- boiled, bland chicken, and tastless sauces. There are way too many good places out there to waste your time here.

            1. re: thetwops

              I agree completely! I ordered the tres moles and I thought it was totally bland and underwhelming. And nineteen dollars! My companion enjoyed his steak tacos, but I must say that I will NOT be returning to this place.

          2. I was so looking forward to this place. My BF and I are going to Oaxaca this summer and there was a good review of the Tom Sietsema chat. Verdict: not so great. We split the tamal oaxaquena, which was really good, but maybe needed a sauce of some sort. BF had the De Borroches (sp?)/lamb tacos, which were good, but needed also might have benefited from a salsa. They were a bit dry. I had the fish tacos, which were breaded turbot with a chipotle tartar sauce. Maybe this isn't authentic, but I like my fish tacos with some cabbage or something to cut through the fish. The sauce was okay, but the fish lacked favor and salt. The worst part though were the rice and beans. The rice had no flavor at all, not enough salt, nothing. The beans were like mushed black beans with some oaxaca cheese on top, but again, totally lacking in flavor or seasoning. The margaritas were great. The space is really beautiful, and maybe I'll go back to try some mole, but I'd love to hear other reviews of this place.

            2 Replies
            1. re: vb_lady

              Not a fan. The place typifies an amateur restaurant, but with professional restaurant prices. One bright guacamole I have ever had. Ever. I think they use fresh epazote.

              The ceviche was so rank that the waiter apologized when he smell it. The tres mole was incredilbly expensive for one poached chicken creast and a half cup of watery mole.

              Stay away. Go the the Taco Bakery on Columbia road if you want good mexican (though not Oaxacan) food.

              1. re: moogjuke

                A note on the bad ceviche you had: perhaps it was on a bad night -- last month, I had wonderful red snapper ceviche there that was fresher than any I've had in a while.