Oyamel is another of José Andrés’s “small plates” restaurants. Another winning one, I should add. First thing you do is order a margarita and the guacamole, so you can sip and munch on dipped chips while mulling over the list of antojitos, or Mexican “little dishes from the streets.” Need some suggestions? Try the ceviche (marinated seafood salad), papas al moles (fried potatoes in an almond and chili sauce with a touch of chocolate), house specialty chapulines (sauteed grasshoppers!), and quesadilla de chicharrones (fried pork belly in a tortilla with cheese and chile sauce). This may sound like a lot of food, but remember these are small plates meant to share. Oyamel’s carnival atmosphere is part of the fun. Window-fronted on two sides, Oyamel overlooks the Penn Quarter’s busiest artery, 7th Street; sit at the miniscule ceviche bar in the southwest pocket of the restaurant and you’re in the best spot for people-watching, inside and out.
- Elise Hartman Ford