Mayahuel Cocina Mexicana landed in Woodley Park earlier this month with a lineup of ceviches, tacos, and spicy cocktails, all served in a colorful and funky Day of the Dead-themed setting.
The 90-seat restaurant (2609 24th Street NW), which moved into the space formerly occupied by Bar Civita, comes from co-owners Jawad Saadaoui and Miguel Pizarroso; Pizarroso also handles cooking duties at sibling establishment District Kitchen. He’s whipping up starters ($7 to $15) like corn-poblano chile soup, guacamole, and fried plantains. Entrees include tacos de lengua, featuring braised beef tongue topped with habanero-mango salsa, and accompanied by rice and beans ($18), as well as a Mexican-style burger ($17).
Fabian Malone (Lucky Buns) is heading up the bar with an assortment of Mexican-inspired craft cocktails, palomas, and pitchers of sangria.
Read on to hear what the public is saying, a few weeks into service:
The Highlight Bites News: Yelper Lana R. says, “the chips and salsa were simply better than most I have ever had at a restaurant and the Beef Tongue Tacos were phenomenal!” Instagrammer @travellingswood says “their #churros were AmAzinG! As were the drinks, and decor!” [Yelp, Instagram]
The Must Order News: Google reviewer Kevin Enriquez says the “Spicy Margarita is like nothing I have tried before,” adding that the tacos are “well worth the price.” Ryan Wegman calls the guacamole “addicting. And entree portions are big. Expect to leave with a doggy bag.” And Kritika Khurana, who went twice in three days, says, “If you have to get just one thing on the menu, make it their mango-tamarind margarita. Good food, good service.” [Google]
The Pretty Pricey News: Yelper Natalie V. says prices are “a bit high, but it’s a tourist-driven neighborhood.” And Trevor M. “would highly recommend it to anyone looking for great Mexican cuisine if time and money are not a concern.” M K. writes, “I want this place to succeed but it will be a challenge at these prices. $15 appetizers (big), $25+ entrees.” [Yelp]
The Fun AF News: Washington City Paper writes “the owners ... are prioritizing fun. Think buckets of beer, frozen margaritas, bottomless sangria at brunch, and possibly mariachi bands.” And Instagrammer @Districtshotelconcierge posts “Mayahuel Cocina Mexicana is Bringing Sexy Back by the team behind District Kitchen ... the hood will never be the same!!” [WCP, Instagram]
The Recs News: Yelper Suge K. suggests trying the “fried plantains, braised lamb nachos (droooool), and the grilled corn. Mains: short rib tacos and the mexican burger (char grilled to perfection). Desserts: tres leches cake and the dulce de leche filled churros with nutella sauce (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!)” And Moe L. sat at the “comfortable” bar and got the “corn sopa - yummy; roasted corn - wow; fish tacos - whoa.” [Yelp]