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Restaurants & Bars 1

Oyamel---the tacos!

Rebecca | Oct 15, 2004 02:27 PM

Went with my husband to a pre-opening dinner (funds for chartity) to Oyamel in Arlington. Bottom line: the food is delicious and lives up to the standards of the other restaurants of this talented group.

The evening started horribly, however. Jon, my husband, had downloaded and printed out the address and directions. Dashing out of his office, he left them on his desk. He swears the address is 2550 Crystal Drive, problem is there is no 2550 and the block is a full of dark, closed office buildings. Much spousal recrimination. Finally, I call and get the address, which is 2250 Crystal. More spousal recrimination. We brave the closed street, park the car and arrive more than thirty minutes late for our reservation. Turns out the website had listed the wrong address. Jon was right after all and there was much spousal apology. Let me note, this was a big, big detail to get wrong on the website. Given that the restaurant was not officially open and I think it is unfair to make negative judgements while a restaurant is still in training, I would still warn others to make sure this has been corrected before you go -- especially if you are travelling, like we were, from Maryland and don't know the area well.

On to the food and drinks . . . great margaritas, mine with the "Mexican salt air" and Jon's was flavored with hibiscus. Amazing seared scallops in pumpkin sauce (a little pricey at $8 for two scallops, though). Tart, refreshing crab cocktail (this time a bargain for a lot of crab at $8 or so). The best part of the meal was the tacos. From my pespective, these are the best tacos in town. The Yucatan pork tacos had a rich, deep flavor while the oxtail was scrumptious. You get three per order, and this was a bargain. We also tried the gorditas, which were fair, the pork tamale, which was good, and the stuffed plantain, which again, was good but not great. Dessert was goat milk cajata flan -- quite rich with nice consistency -- and chocolate cake, which was above average.

There was much on the menu we wanted to try but didn't. For example, we didn't get to the salads, several of which featured jimaca, and sounded interesting.

Final note on the wines: I had a glass of house cabernet with my meal and it was an excellent choice. Jon's shiraz was a good buy at just under $7 for a good quality choice but we both agreed the cabernet went much better with the food, particularly the meat tacos.

The decor was bright and lovely -- loved the cascading butterflies hanging from the ceiling -- and service attentive, if still working out the kinks. All in all, I would highly recommend other chowhounds visit when the restaurant officially opens. The tacos alone are worth the trip.

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