Still in search of delicious Mexican food in the District, I joined Natch at Casa Oaxaca, located at 2106 18th St NW in Adams Morgan. She had gotten a $35 Bloomspot deal for a 4-course meal and mezcal tasting for two.
The interior of the restaurant was painted in bright colors and decorated with folksy Mexican artwork. We ate on the lower level, which had little natural light, but was still cheerful.
The mezcal flight consisted of three different shots. One of them was very smooth and easy to sip. The other two tasted a little stronger, like tequila. We followed each taste by sinking our teeth into the accompanying orange slices with sal de gusano (my google search said that was a powdered combination of salt, chilis, and roasted gusano worm…I kinda wish I hadn’t looked that up.)
The waiter explained to us that our deal got us 1 appetizer, 1 taco dish, 1 entrée and 1 dessert. Then he brought out a complimentary appetizer—two small corn tortillas with salsa and cheese. They were a nice start to the meal.
The restaurant’s manager, Joanna, walked us through her favorite items from the menu. She highly recommended the Rellenitos de Platano Macho. These sweet plantains stuffed with black beans and sprinkled with cheese were delicious!
We ordered the Tacos de Pescado (fish tacos), a lightly breaded turbo fillet served on a corn tortilla with chipotle tartar sauce. These too were very good. I loved the side of black beans and corn salsa.
Casa Oaxaca is known for its mole sauce, so for our entrée we ordered the duck mole. The dish was duck covered in mole sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with rice and black beans. Natch and I both thought it was good, but it definitely could have used some vegetables to round out the dish. I would have liked the mole to be a little more chocolatey and peanuty.
Then for dessert, we ordered Churros con Cajeta. Good choice!—crunchy on the outside, soft and donuty on the inside, perfectly warmed, a lingering flavor of cinnamon and sugar. It was served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Perfection!
After being disappointed by the mediocre food and pretentious atmosphere at Bandolero, it was nice to have a delicious Mexican meal at a relaxed but classy restaurant. The service was great, the dishes were tasty, and we left feeling very satisfied. I’ll put this on my list of restaurants to revisit.