Poca Madre

4.7
99 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mexican
Poca Madre is an upscale Mexican restaurant by Chef Victor Albisu, offering a refined contemporary dining experience in the heart of the nation's capital. Open for dinner, seven days a week, Poca Madre’s menu takes a refined look at Mexican dining with sumptuous dishes like sweetbreads Veracruz, pato al pastor and sablefish with plantain maduro miso.

The restaurant is located in DC’s Chinatown at 777 I (EYE) Street NW, with the main entrance in the breezeway between I and K Streets. Designed by Swatchroom, the 70-seat interior is accented with colors of deep green and black, complimented with gold and bronze accents. An outdoor lounge available for enjoyment in the warmer months.

Albisu also owns Taco Bamba, a Mexican street food-inspired takeout counter with a location in DC next to Poca Madre as well as locations in Falls Church, Vienna and Springfield, VA.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Elegant Dining
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Cuisines
Mexican
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Hours of operation
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00-10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:00 - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(202) 838-5300
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Victor Albisu
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Catering
For catering inquiries please contact Events@pocamadredc.com
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Entrance on TechWorld Plaza between I and K Street NW
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Public transit
Gallery Place/ Chinatown metro 1 block away
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Poca Madre's extensive selection of steaks and various slow-roasted meats served with vibrant herb sauces, such as chimichurris and fresh salsas, is the backbone of the menu. Chef Victor Albisu’s Peruvian heritage shows itself in the form of a Latin raw bar of ceviches, tiraditos and crudos.

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What 99 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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LY
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best meals I have had recently. Service is fantastic, in a beautifully designed restaurant. The shrimp ceviche and the octopus are my favorite dishes. The desserts are incredible as well.

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Blew us away from start to finish!

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OT
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

We arrived at 6:45 pm. We ordered small plates and one large plate to share. As we inquired we could have been told that was a lot of food! But that’s subjective. However we didn’t receive our large plate til 8:30 and attempts to flag someone down to inquire were unsuccessful. It would have been helpful to be told that the restaurant was understaffed ? The mains take an hour? (We had duck - it was delicious but we were too full to enjoy it)

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n
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We really enjoyed the food and service. On Friday night the restaurant was packed and the noise from the bar meant it was hard to talk without leaning across the table and speaking loudly

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DT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a phenomenal new restaurant for DC. Fit for foodies and definitely special. Great value for money. I will be bringing out of town guests here and coming back myself. The amazing cocktails alone are worth the return visit. Only negative, is I wish they had a larger space to accommodate more people. I suspect it won't be long before its impossible to get a table.

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CY
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was an incredible experience. The service, the food and the ambience were all superb. I highly recommend the restaurant.

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TK
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Victor Albisu's latest food venture will not disappoint, in any fashion. What he and his head chef, Faiz Ally, are doing with Mexican food should be experienced by anyone that loves amazing food, foodie or not. Everything was first class; the service, the ambience, the amazing hand crafted cocktails and of course the menu. I'd advise leaving your menu choices up to the chef, makes for an even better experience.

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W
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Terrific food that was creative and tasty. Service was outstanding. Menu is a bit confusing but waiter was extremely helpful in making choices. Location is a bit tricky to find but not impossible. Standard review request that if one makes a reservation I wish restaurants would seat at a good table. Had to ask to be moved. Next door is a lower cost quick service restaurant owned by same. I look forward to trying it based on my favorable experience.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was an incredible meal. I loved it so much I made another reservation in the future. Thank you so much for not only having great service but delicious food. The fusion was so unpredictable and imaginative I was amazed the whole time.

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TL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Poca Madre offered fantastic food. The welcome drinks to the salsa was so different and delicious. Just love the beginning to the end.

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PC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had an amazing first time dining experience. We were celebrating a birthday and they not only comped the dessert but also had the chef come out and say hello after we raved about the meal. They were extremely customer service focused but not in an annoying checking in every 3 minutes kind of way. The portions were just the right size and the complimentary cocktail is a generous touch. We're definitely coming back.

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BB
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food being the overriding concern for most will find authentically tasty, well prepared Overall, our dining experience was well worth finding the side entrance!!

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G
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazingly creative dishes with authentic flavors. Service was excellent. Great for groups or intimate date night.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best dinner in a long time. Great service and interesting space. Will go back. Octopus with mole blanca fantastic. Note to others who wrote bad reviews, this is no tapas restaurant and you all must be difficult you know whats.

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DD
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Arrogant server seemed to be disturbed because we did not order alcohol. Then he practically told us what we should order. He really spoiled our experience and there are too many excellent restaurants in DC to go back here.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Blown away. Word to anyone that would like to experience this new restaurant, the address is hard to find, it’s bustles behind their other restaurant with the same address.

But back to what matters, this is a must dine experience. If you are sick of the only fine dining options all being American, French, and Italian - this is the place for you. It’s quiet, personal, upscale but not stuffy, and what matters most, fun and delicious.

We opted for the shared course, and we got so much food for our money, and it was all different, presented beautifully, and exceptionally delicious. They also are prepared to serve a world class meal around your food allergies and needs, our was fully gluten free from appetizer to dessert!

I will be back and everyone should go, Poca Madre is the beginning of greatness.

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S
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was delicious. Authentic modern twist. Really enjoyed.

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Our server was very nice but the service was bad. It’s a tapas place, so service won’t be fast, but we sat for ten minutes before someone even gave us water, and it was clear the table of six next to us was a higher priority. Food was tasty except too much cilantro (that was not mentioned on menu). Bad for people who think cilantro tastes like soap.

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EK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was one of the best meals I've ever had. We opted for the tasting menu and every dish was incredible. We spent nearly 4 hours here eating and drinking and it was an incredible experience from start to finish. I could not recommend this place more!

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MD
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I liked Poca Madre but I didn't love it. The service was lovely and the food was delicious but for me, too many different ingredients in many of the dishes so that you are not exactly sure what you are eating. A bit frou frou for my taste. But others could love it, it depends on your point of view. I wished for a more expansive and less costly wine list for those who are not keen on mezcal-based cocktails...Also there are not wines by the glass for less than $12. It adds up quickly when you want to have more than one, as the first pour was not overly generous...

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NB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The entire staff was incredibly knowledgeable about the menu. From the moment we sat down we were greeted with a delicious beverage and then were walked through a fantastic menu of Mexican Fusion. Being it was our anniversary, the staff was so wonderful to us. The sous chef came out and served several dishes himself and at the end even Victor Albisu came out to chat with us. A truly remarkable experience. I strongly recommend the Pato Al Pastor and any beverage on the menu. The aguachile cevhice was also fantastic.

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LA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impressed with the service the most! Loved the descriptions of the food. Loved the authenticity. Ate items that I would never have cooked myself. All excellent tastes with multiple and complex flavor profiles.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing dishes! I love the starters. The avocado dish was a bit sour but I think my taste isn't just what the chef is presenting. I really like the combinations!

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C
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Poca Madre is fabulous! It's tucked away in an an alley, so upon entering you get a vibe of exclusivity. The aesthetic is dark and moody with black and deep "agave" green accents. Felt very chic, especially with the dim lighting.

The menu is well designed and the traditional Mexican dishes (a.k.a the ones with the grasshoppers-Chapulines) are delicious and approachable. I highly recommend anything that comes with the in-house made corn tortillas and the shareable duck entree. The corn tortillas are the freshest I have ever tasted and the duck entree was a fun "do it yourself taco assembly."

The desserts are not to be missed. The mezcal pairings are a nice way to end the meal and are a wonderfully unique digestif.

The service is excellent here, and it was nice that Chef Victor Albisu came out and greeted each table (or at least he stopped by ours!)

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic experience! Highly recommend.

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DD
Denver
23 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have traveled the world eating excellent food (to give you context) and this restaurant lived up to online reviews. The chef came to chat and share information on almost every course, waitstaff so warm and efficient, the seasonal cocktail an incredible sensory experience and the food, well, YUMMM!

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EJ
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was absolutely fantastic! I got the tasting menu and every single dish was superb. Highly highly recommend this restaurant.

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m
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Starting with the positive, the food was very good! Really enjoyed the corn risotto, decadent burrito with wagyu beef, lobster and truffle, and the moist sablefish (I'm putting ginger in my black beans from now on). Cocktails were just OK for the money; didn't hate them but wouldn't order them again. The problem was the service. It was very "off" from start to finish. The bartender was...I think the best word is sulky. All she needed to do was smile and feign interest in her job, but it just wasn't happening. The hostess was equally sullen. After a drink at the bar we asked to be seated. We had a reservation, and the dining room was half-empty. The unsmiling hostess looked at her screen, tapped on her keyboard and...walked away. We started to follow her until we realized she had gone into the kitchen. Awkward. She returned with a manager about 5 minutes later...and walked right past us without a word of explanation or apology. After changing over a 4-top to a 2-top, the hostess grabbed menus and motioned for us to follow. Luckily, our waiter was very friendly and engaging. We discussed a few of the items on the menu, he provided helpful feedback (this dish is very spicy, this one is big, this one is small, etc.), we decided on our order and...he never came back. Instead, the manager came over to take our order and proceeded to question our choices and express concern that we weren't ordering enough food. We stuck with our order despite his up-selling efforts (it turned out to be plenty of food). He recommended having the corn risotto as a starter but we asked for all three dishes to be served at the same time. Of course, we were served the corn risotto first and it got cold while we waited for our other two dishes to arrive. At that point we threw in the towel and skipped dessert. I'd eaten at Del Campo several times and loved it, and I like Taco Bamba. Maybe it was just a bad night, but for the price Poca Madre needs to step up its service to match its food.

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A
New England
14 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great and interesting food!

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RP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the look and taste. We made a mistake on the day of the reservation but we were welcome!!

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JE
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Unexpected and excellent food. The menu was a bit confusing and unclear (the only modest downside and easy to fix!) but each dish we received was more delicious than the last. I would definitely go back.

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t
Washington DC
76 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Even though it’s been weeks since we dined here before the Elton John concert, I’m still remembering how much I liked it and we are planning to return soon.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food and accommodating, attentive service. The format is uncommon with sharing plates of various sizes, so I definitely recommend heeding the advice of your server.

I will be back again.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely love this restaurant. This was my second trip and both times both the service and food were impeccable.

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GR
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic and excellently prepared, well presented small and karge plate. Innovative combinations and preparation.
This place is an absolute must!

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S
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Charming and inexpensive way to celebrate my birthday when friends were out of town.

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w
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Contemporary Mexican cuisine is back in the DC area! Our Tasting Menu experience was off the chart - rivaling Quintonil - the hottest restaurant in Mexico City. We had excellent service and personal attention from the manager and the chefs - without being anyone special. TORTILLAS CON MANTEQUILLA was fresh and savory. SHRIMP & CUTTLEFISH CEVICHE and NOT ‘GUACAMOLE’ were new interpretations of traditional dishes. HUITSQUITES are divine - although honestly what they call truffles are really corn truffles (Huitlacoche). DEFINITELY get all the above AND GRILLED WHOLE LOBSTER A LA TALLA. Also, the AUTUMN OLIVE PORK CHULETA 'ARABE' is locally-sourced pork with 6 days of effort put into its preparation. Leave room for dessert - it comes with the tasting menu.

We are not fans of mezcal cocktails, although the bartenders did display expertise in making these. If you love smoky, you'll enjoy these. Next time, we will order beer and wine to go with the tasting menu rather than have the wine and cocktail pairings.

All in all, this place is worth going downtown. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Miracles happen here...definitely best Mexican restaurant in DC! Can’t wait to go back.

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F
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific food, Mexican, with serious and talented embellishment in ny view. The raw fish dishes were well prepared, the cooked fish dishes were outstanding. Lots of interesting sauces, vegetables creative and excellent. Very good wine list. Returning soon.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They provided a surprise birthday treat

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