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Restaurants & Bars 10

Oyamel - review

Mari | Apr 25, 2005 12:04 PM

I visited Oyamel ( on Friday night and was a bit dismayed with the food and the service. I left DC a few months before it opened, so it was the one restaurant I was really looking forward to visiting during my weekend trip. I had read so much about Oyamel in various food magazines that I thought it would be a big winner. However, it seems like a place where some dishes are hits and others are misses.

First of all, the setting is gorgeous. I particularly liked the lighting, coloring and the high ceilings.

Now the food sounded very exciting. I think it is rare to find a menu like Oyamel’s in the U.S. We ordered the following for 2 (yes we went all out!):

- Jicama salad
- Albondigas
- Taco de Tinga
- Tacos de Cochinita Pibil
- Tacos de Rabo
- Papas en mole
- Flan de Chocolate

The Jicama Salad was light and far better than what I had expected. The jicama was thinly sliced, as opposed to cut into huge chunks as I normally eat it. Overall, it was light and refreshing.

The albondigas (meatballs) were simply awful…they were bland as can be, greasy – just not good. Maybe going to a place like Oyamel on a Friday evening is a bad idea, or maybe something was off in the kitchen, but we didn’t eat these and left them untouched for the rest of the evening.

The tacos were good for the most part. The best one was the Cochinita Pibil and I rarely find a Cochinita in SF. The only thing missing were the limes, and the waiter was MIA for most of the evening, so I had to eat them w/o the lime. I particularly liked the homemade tortillas. The tacos de tinga were good – the tinga sauce was timid and lacked depth. I ordered the tacos de rabo since I had read on this site, also good.

I expected small new potatoes for the papas en mole dish, but we got French fries instead. Interesting. The mole was quite good. This was a fun dish.

For dessert, we ordered the Chocolate Flan. I think this was my favorite after the Cochinita. I was impressed with the presentation, but the ice cream served with the flan was made with anise, which I do not like. The menu failed to mention the anise. Oh well – I ate around the ice cream. Delicious nevertheless.

The margaritas were interesting with the salty foam. The total for 3 drinks and all the food was $79.

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