Seattle >Food & Dining > La Carta De Oaxaca
5431 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810747.668147 -122.385779
Tuesday To Saturday From 11:30 AM To 03:00 PM Monday To Thursday From 05:00 PM To 11:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 05:00 PM To 12:00 AM
Neighborhoods: Adams, Ballard
This place is addictive! Great for lunch as it isn't as busy. and if it's cold, sit at the counter grill where the tortillas are being hand made! The tamale is not to be missed!
Lucky for us the proprietor was wise enough to commission back-lit Spike Mafford photographs of Oaxaca, as well as hiring a Oaxacan family to run the front and back of house. That means we get first rate authentic mole, posole and moletas in a modern room chock full or gorgeous images that transport us to Mexico.
Eye-opening food, absolutely delicious but the place is WAY TOO LOUD – La Carta de Oaxaca will really clear your palate of Americanized Mexican food. These dishes are spicy, subtle, and light. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to keep track of the latest and greatest eateries in Seattle.
However, even at lunch this place is much too loud. Large parties, trendy parents with adorable kids running completely out of control, and everone bellowing to be heard over the deafeningly loud mariachi-style recorded music. Great food, but the only way I'll ever taste it again is if it's take out or if I wear noise-cancelling headphones. Not the place to go on a date, for sure.
Authentic Oaxacan food – This little whole in the wall was a little hard to find but worth the drive and the searching! its tiny but the food is amazing and mmmmm, some nice home-made tortillas like my abuela makes! (and me on occasion!) the waiters are cute too.
Delicious Comfort Food – Best mexican food I've had in years. I'm so happy to live in Ballard so I can come here often. From the luscious mole to the simple, carne asada tacos, La Carta shines. The margaritas are delicious and the bartenders friendly. The homemade tortillas are addiciting.
Authentic? No way. – This is a massively overated place. My wife and I moved to Seattle from Chicago two years ago, and have been woefully disappointed in the awful Mexican food here. To those who call this "authentic": have you ever eaten real mexican food? My wife had the goat and I had the Pollo en Mole. The Mole was overly sweet, without any of the complexity and earthiness of true mole artfully prepared. The goat and salsas all shared the common theme of being one-dimensional and bland. The earthiness and depth of true Mexican ciusine are completely absent. Even the tortillas seem to be some flour-corn hybrid that is too sweet.
There has only been one Mexican restaurant in Seattle I would consider worth eating at - and I'll be posting a review for that next.
la comida autentica oaxaquena – I finally visited this crowded popular spot in Ballard. I sure am glad I got there at 5 05. I wound up sitting at the bar, where the guy was just an amazing bartender, waiter, and conversatonalist with exceptional balance and rapid service. I had a special tequila drink that was new to me, plus lots to eat: tamales, enchilada, and wonderful posole with tender pork. I was so full I had to cancel the greedily preordered flan. I have been to Oaxaca before, and found this place to be absolutely as good as any place I had eaten in that wonderful, temporarily distressed colonial town. I asked the bartender about expanding the limited space. He said they liked it just the way it is: noisy and crowded. I will go again, and thank my friend from El Salvador for recommending it. I cannot stomach the boring Mexican "cuisine" offered up in this town.
Finally - Authenticity – I have been waiting for a place like this to come along. The food is excellent and authentic. The magaritas were perfectly made, the tequila list is impressive. Every dish that my party had was given a thumbs up. The halibut tacos were my absolute favorite. I will go back again and again. This food is WORTH the wait if it's crowded.
Mmm... Mexican we had been wanting! – My boyfriend and I were searching for MONTHS to find a great Mexican restaurant in Seattle. We braved the hour-long Friday night wait at the bar, where we decided to order. My margarita was great, not too wimpy like some places. Bartender recommended unique sipping tequila for my boyfriend. Food is AWESOME and reasonably priced. Very fresh, authentic, none of the standard "refried beans & 'spanish' rice of the typical restaurant. Sizes are small-ish, we ordered 3 for both of us. Not stuffy and intimate at all, but a fun and festive atmosphere.
Best Mexican Food In Seattle – I grew up in Southern California, and since moving to Seattle have been searching for authentic Mexican food. This is it. The service is prompt, the food is absolutely delicious and authentic, the drinks are strong and the price-point is perfect. Be prepared to wait, its a popular spot, but well worth it in my opinion. The ambiance is also not romantic in any way, but it is extremely fun and the quality of the food makes you forget about sharing a table with strangers.
Good stuff – In general very good, definetely recommended and worth going back. Plus I love the name and the state of Oaxaca!
For other posters: as a transplant from Mexico I find it funny that a Mexican restaurant would be judged by the Sangria - a typical drink from Spain.
Delicious food and drink – Wow. I am still thinking about the mole--the perfect balance of spicy yet chocolatey goodness. From the camarone tostada to the posole there is something for everyone. The margaritas rocked. Love the modern decor and the pictures on the walls are incredible. Seating is limited. There is one large communal table and the other tables are situated closely together but the food makes up for the close quarters.
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