Casa Oaxaca, Adams Morgan

The Top Shelf Margarita ($9.00) at Casa Oaxaca is made with Sauza Gold Tequila and lime juice poured from a plastic pitcher, and the drink is served in a pint glass.

I thought it would be perfect with an appetizer of Ceviche de Huachinango con Piña ($12.00), an annoyingly small cylinder of ceviche made with red snapper and pineapple, sheltered by a mountain of seemingly homemade (or house-heated) tortilla chips that were blessedly thin (an underrated characteristic in tortilla chips). For the portion size, this was too expensive of a dish, but it was delicious, with the juice from the pineapple lending both acidity and sweetness. A random slice of cucumber sat nearby.

For my main course, I switched to beer, and got a bottle of Modelo Especial ($5.50) with my Mole Coloradito ($17.00), a “light red” mole with grilled beef. This entree consisted of two dollar bill-sized pieces of cheap steak with a plum-black (not light red) smokey-sweet sauce additionally thickened by some refried beans lying underneath, and some white rice to soak it all up. I’d saved some chips from my ceviche, and preferred them to the three, four-inch diameter corn tortillas that came with the dish. I wasn’t asked about doneness, so if you order this, you can be pretty sure that your meat will be thoroughly cooked.

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