I cannot begin to say how much I loved the decor of Oyamel. Although a lot of Mexican restaurants in Pittsburgh are certainly decorated "festively" featuring native style art work and bright colors, to me it always looks "childish." However, Oyamel's look was more sophisticated. The ceiling over the bar area was adorned with a bed of bright orange marigolds, a symbolic flower for the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. Butterflies made out of metal (butterflies are big in Mexico especially with artwork) also adorned a ceiling area, along with my favorites, Day of the Dead style calaveras (skeletons). There is also a ceviche bar you can peek at from outside.
Luckily for us, we dined at Oyamel when Restaurant Week in Washington was still "unofficially" going on (Oyamel offered its Restaurant Week lunch and dinner menus for an additional week). As we had dined at Fogo de Chao for dinner the day before, I had decided on eating at Oyamel for lunch. Its Restaurant Week lunch menu was a supreme bargain-for $20.13 you got three dishes plus dessert (dinner was still only $35 for a four course meal). In a major city like Washington D.C. at a hip establishment like Oyamel, that is quite the deal. (If there is a Restaurant Week in your city, be sure to take advantage.)
The first two dishes were antojitos, which in Spanish means "little snacks" (two dishes from two separate categories-antojito 1 and antojito 2).
I have wanted to try nopalitos (the prepared pads or leaves of the prickly pear cactus) for the longest time. Being such a lover of all things Mexican I was ashamed that I never had, although as I mentioned above regarding the menu options here in Pittsburgh, prickly pear cactus isn't one of them. The baby cactus salad came with tomatoes in a lime dressing. After having tried it I will say that cactus definitely has a unique taste to it (go figure). I'm not sure it's something I would eat again but it's one of those food items I can now cross off the culinary bucket list.
More in this series!