Spring is finally in full swing in DC, and with that comes an increased desire to be outside and explore new restaurants. I was finally able to make a trip to one of Zagat’s most anticipated restaurants of 2016 in DC, Espita Mezcaleria, and I assure you it deserves to be on the list.
Espita Mezcaleria is located in DC’s trendy Shaw neighborhood where it seems a new restaurant pops up each week with a line out the door to match. With colorful murals on the wall and the smells of simmering sauces wafting out the windows, the restaurant has no issue drawing a young and hungry crowd.
We were a hungry party of six and quickly requested recommendations for starters from our sever. Before we knew it we had fresh made guac, grilled plantains, and hamachi ceviche in front of us. The hamachi ceviche was by far my favorite with its smooth texture and citrusy bite, we all agreed we wish we’d ordered more! Second best were the plantains, they were perfectly grilled with just a little bit of char to balance the sweet crema drizzled on top. While the guac was good as always, it wasn’t anything mind-blowing. I would definitely recommend sticking to the more exotic options on the menu.
The southern Mexican cuisine tantalized our tastebuds more with each course. After finishing our round of appetizers we moved on to the tacos. We were a bit overambitious with our ordering and requested that the waitress bring us an order of every taco on the menu, the food coma was inevitable! With about 20 tacos in front of us, each of us tried two to three each. My favorite by far was the Smoked Pork Jowl tacos, they were so tender with an delicious flavor – I’ll definitely be going back for more! The Grilled Tilapia tacos were another favorite of the table, followed by the Crispy Chanquetes, which had these little mini silverside fish in them, definitely not your average fish taco.
Overall I thought Espita was worth the trip and I’ll definitely be returning for more of the ceviche and those Pork Jowl tacos. The ambiance was fun and refreshing and the service was great! You can check out the menu here.