after our horrific experience at bourbon, a bunch of us were hungry (we had planned to eat dinner at bourbon but clearly that didn't happen), so i decided to throw out the option of casa oaxaca. a few months back, casa oaxaca had been featured on groupon or living social and I meant to purchase the deal but I unfortunately forgot to buy it but great buddy of BOOF, sho, purchased it and went there with her bf and they both said it was super delicious. essentially, i had been trying to get there ever since and with a group of buds who are willing to try mostly any cuisine, casa oaxaca seemed like the perfect spot for us to hit up.
casa oaxaca is located in adams mo on 18th street a little north of California. It is definitely a perfect place to go pre a night out in adams mo or just to grab a good meal and drinks with friends. after reading numerous yelp reviews, most rave about how authentic the mexican cuisine coming out of this restaurant is and i will definitely echo those sentiments. lucky for us, psuedo bigbro of BOOF, ak, also our resident tex-mex expert was in tow, so he definitely could give us the real review on how authentic this place is.
casa oaxaca has a few levels of seating, a long with some outdoor seating, but with a large group without a reservation, they easily accommodated us quickly on the bottom level. the lighting is dim but comfortable and it was actually very nice that we were downstairs because our group can definitely be a little rambunctious at times. the restaurant definitely depends on a lot of natural lighting which i prefer but as the evening hours set in, it definitely is very dim and more candlelit than anything else. the colors are warm red and yellow colors, the tables are a brown wood and the restaurant is definitely welcoming. the restaurant also features artwork from what i presume to be local artists which is pretty interesting. I do not know if I would call the artwork "good" but rather just "interesting".
to start off they give you complimentary little tostadas topped with mole and melted cheese. they are definitely a nice little treat but nothing too heavy to ruin the rest of your meal.
we all ordered various things but most of the group went with the tacos of some sort. some members of the group had the "Famosos Tacos de Borrego" which are tacos with slow roasted lamb with garlic and oaxacan peppers. Others had the "Tacos de Carnitas" which are pork carnitas roasted in garlic-guakillo sauce and some others also had the "Famosos Tacos de Arrachera" which is the Tacos with grilled skirt steak. all the BOOF buddies who ordered the tacos of some flavor were all very pleased with the flavor. all the meats were seasoned well, the sauces were not too overpowering and they flavors were traditional but yet not boring.
Another BOOF buddy ordered the Mole Verde Con Costillas de Puerco which is a Green Mole with Baby Pork Ribs and he was very pleased with the flavor. This was also one of the most visually pleasing entrees of the evening (i can say that even as a pesca/vegetarian), and the flavor did not disappoint.
BOOF buddy kk, decided to order the Mole Negro Oaxaqueno which is a black mole with chicken breast. This buddy also enjoyed the dish but it was definitely one of the more simple dishes of the evening.
I ordered the Enchiladas De Camaron Y Queso de Cabra which were Enchiladas with Goat Cheese, Shrimp, and poblano pepper cream sauce. These were so so good. The flavors were delicious, the sauce was perfectly creamy and had such a slight but perfect poblano pepper that it perfectly complimented the shrimp. I am also still on this goat cheese kick (i probably would now call it an all out love affair), so pairing goat cheese and shrimp only seems like a brilliant idea that casa oaxaca did very well. if only all mexican cuisine were this flavorful, not greasy and delicious...
because i was driving, i did not partake in any beverages at casa oaxaca but the table had the sangria and maragaritas which everyone said were very good.
All in all, after the debacle at Bourbon, we only knew that the night could get better but we were not aware of how much better. Casa Oaxaca is definitely a hidden gem in DC and if you want good mole and real authentic flavors to boot, then the casa is your place. This is definitely the best Mexican I have had in DC and even ak, the expert said that it was the best he has had in the DC/MD/VA area and it is up there with the stuff he used to get in Texas. Go here. You won't regret it.