A window at Espita Mezcaleria is stamped with “Masa. Mole. Mezcal,” a literal and conceptual glimpse into this 88-seat restaurant, on the corner of a mixed use development in the Shaw neighborhood. Here, in a space of rolled steel and reclaimed wood, with dynamic street art–style murals lining the walls, chef Alexis Samayoa celebrates the savory foundations of southern Mexico’s state of Oaxaca, starting with the heirloom corn he grinds daily for the springy tortillas and crackling chips, and extending to the complex moles, whether amarillo with sea bass or negro with lamb neck. Co-owner and Master Mezcalier Josh Phillips holds to the regional focus just as intently, taking advantage of DC’s direct import laws to curate a showcase of seasonal, regional and varietal agave distillates that go far beyond Tequila.
1250 Ninth St., Washington D.C.
This story appears in the print issue of August 2016.
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