Saturday, February 12, 2011

La Carta De Oaxaca

La Carta de Oaxaca is located in the heart of Ballard (Seattle). There are about 40 seats, no reservations, and no option of being seated unless your entire party is there. The kitchen is run by ladies. The front of house by  men. The menu consists of 20 or so items listed on one page without headings or categories. When we asked our server about the size of the plates he answered "some are small and some are medium". They have a solid tequila selection and a self-serve salsa bar. The interior was simple; think unfinished wood, black and white photography, and rustic tin/metal decor. The service and the food are strictly "no-frills" but unlike the service, the food leaves you full and satisfied. The service was such that when we first sat down we looked at each other and said "the food better be good". 

As it turns out, the food was good, even great. Everything was made fresh from scratch and the flavors were well-developed and dead-on. It was authentic regional Mexican cuisine. The black chile mole over slow-braised pork was phenomenal - absolutely melts in your mouth. The halibut tacos were some of the best fish tacos I've ever had. The cheese stuffed chili relleno was delicious - not greasy or oily - just perfect.  The tasajo (thinly sliced, grilled beef) was packed with flavor and paired wonderfully with their green tomatillo sauce. We ordered about half of the menu and I plan on ordering the rest next time we visit.

 I highly recommend La Carta De Oaxaca to anyone looking for "real" Mexican food just don't expect to be impressed by the service. It's not that the food didn't come out quickly, it was more about the lack of warmth or communication from the staff. You could feel the ego in the room - it was like they knew they didn't need to be friendly or inviting because their food was that good.
And it was that good...frustrating yet true.

La Carta De Oaxaca
5431 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

1 comment:

  1. How were the leftovers? Can't wait to try on my next visit.