Poca Madre

4.7
67 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
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 67 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
4.8
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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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
35 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
6 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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AA
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Way better than expected!

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MV
Cancun
14 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the best meals I have had in DC, hands down. Authentic flavors, creative twist on Mexican dishes, great cocktails--just a wonderful meal overall.

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DB
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was an amazing meal. So very clever and creative. And our waiter Jan was superb. Can't wait to go back.

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D
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Some of the best food I have eaten in years. Food is amazing!

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KV
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous artful drinks, attentive service and delicious food! Perfect dining experience

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TK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Mexican food at its finest. Nuevo cuisine and taste sensations unlike any other Mexican restaurants in town. Lovely ambiance especially in the private dining room area. Excellent & friendly service from the general manager. Order the duck for two...mouthwatering and masterful. Fairly expensive but worth every penny.

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LC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great service. Everything we ordered was delicious and the drinks were fantastic. The waitstaff was attentive but not overbearing. Definitely going back!

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l
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely staff helps you to feel coddled and relaxed. Great attention to detail. Interesting cocktails. Food very good to excellent (shared duck; sweetbreads). Small complimentary cocktail a welcome start.

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DC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Very delicious and innovative dinner. We had the "not guacamole" (needed some salt but very tasty), octopus (perfectly cooked), sweetbreads (incredibly tender), risotto (full of flavor), and fried chicken (absolutely delicious homemade tortillas).
The waiter was lovely, but service was very slow from start to finish--we were seated for a long time before being greeted by our waiter, waited a long time between each dish (and they recommended five for two people), and it even took a long time to get our bill and then run our credit card. The two of us were there for two and a half hours, so plan accordingly.
I wonder why they asked in the reservation request if we were celebrating an occasion (we were--my husband's birthday), because there was no acknowledgement of it.
It's also very expensive--more so than it seemed worth to us.
We're glad we went once, but likely won't be back very soon.

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OT
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I didn't see the tasting menu (four courses for $65) advertised online, so it was a great surprise to try it in the restaurant. It is a must-do and a great deal! The four courses is really more like seven, so you get to try a huge variety on the menu. Our favorites were the corn risotto, octopus, duck, and the passion fruit dessert. The duck especially was amazing - even if you don't do the tasting, get the duck!

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JB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service. The food was fantastic and the drinks were amazing!

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CK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

We were disappointed. We were big fans of Del Campo and were excited to try his new venture. Maybe it will get better with more time, but just not an experience I will be looking to repeat soon. The smaller space feels, well, small. Cramped. It was way too hot in the restaurant throughout our meal. All four of us were literally sweating. Service was very inconsistent. While pleasant, our server disappeared for long periods. Given how hot it was, we needed water refills and it was almost impossible to get one (I had ordered a bottle of sparkling water and finally told them to just leave it on the table because they were holding it hostage somewhere). We tried a variety of cocktails (if you don’t like Mezcal, don’t come, because it is in every cocktail - if you just want a grey goose on the rocks, you are out of luck), and none of them grabbed us. Some we affirmatively hated. I contrast that to Del Campo, where we loved so many of the cocktails and there was a variety. Although I found a bottle of wine I liked for a not insane price (around $80), I thought the wine list was too heavily weighted towards nutty high prices (like $200-$700) for good red wines. I know all restaurants mark up, but, again, found the Del Campo wine list to be better balanced. The food was certainly better than the service and the drinks, but there was nothing that made us say “wow - can’t wait to come back.” If someone wanted me to go back with them, I would, but I won’t be suggesting it and would go elsewhere for a pre-dinner drink.

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FB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for a date. Poca Madre is a hidden gem adjacent to Taco Madre. Beautiful sleek modern layout with earth tone colors.

Very thoughtful approach to cocktails, crafting rum with refreshing ingredients such as cantaloupe.

We had the Pulpo, the mole chicken, and the not guacamole. All pretty good.

Service is top notch. We had the gentlemen server and he was very knowledgeable about EVERYTHING on the menu.

It’s only been open a month but it’s going to be one of the hot places to dine.

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Inventive, complex, flavorful food and incredibly attentive staff. Highly recommend.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic, especially the cauliflower and the not guacamole. Also the drinks were delicious. The waitstaff were awesome. Knowledgeable and helpful. Highly recommend!

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WG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite restaurant in all of DC!

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EE
Denver
30 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food, interesting dishes. Really great restaurant.

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r
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great new addition to the DC Mexican scene. Unusual dishes made with quality ingredients.

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D
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was excellent. I will be back soon. I had the lobster with a lobster rice was sensational. I hope when I go next time I can order a 3lb lobster

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KP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

The food had too much heat; you couldn’t actually enjoy the flavor. Very disappointing.

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f
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic, flavorful, different! The drinks were amazing. Every single staff person went out of their way to make it a special evening with friends. Thanks. We can't wait to come back!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was great, but it took an unusually long amount time to get it!

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RS
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner!! We experimented and were not disappointed.

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JB
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent and creative menu. All dishes and drinks masterfully crafted. Great service and cool location.

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L
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the best restaurant in DC for a special meal that won't break your wallet. The food is delicious. All burritos should have caviar and truffles on them, not to mention wagyu beef and lobster in them! The hamachi is delicious. The octopus is exquisite. I wished I had gone with more people this time so we could have tasted more dishes. The first time I came here, four of us split seven or eight dishes, and each dish was a wonderful experience in and of itself. I found myself savoring every bite. The staff elevated the experience even more. One of the hostesses opened the door for us. Michael spoke with us and provided some bonuses to our meal to add to the delight of the evening. He also introduced us to Faiz, the amazing chef, who was personable, kind, humble, and genuine. I already have reservations for the next time I am in town. The only issue with highly recommending this place is that I may not be able to get in once everyone else finds out how great Poca Madre is!

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PT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food! The dishes were nicely complex and complemented each other nicely. A great take on traditional meals!

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LV
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Go quickly before it gets too hard to get a reservation, the food is that good. A creative take on real Mexican cuisine. A fall off the bone slow cooked duck, some great shareable riffs on ceviche, tempura avocado that is “not guacamole”and sablefish with miso are some of the the things we tried. Instead of fusion cuisine, I would call this truly Mexican cuisine with a few diverse ideas sprinkled in. The bar does great work too. Try the gintonic and some of the mezcal craft cocktails. Also, the service is 5 star.

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P
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an incredible meal at Poca Madre. The cocktails were inventive and delicious. The food was stellar. Try the cauliflower, corn risotto, 'not' guacamole, and hamachi ceviche. A truly incredible, yet not pretentious, dining experience.

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G
Washington DC
98 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Poca Madre was outstanding - the food was fresh and inventive, the space was cool and intimate and the service was like none I’ve seen in DC. No less than 5 people came to thank us for dining there. They made extra tortillas for us to take home with our leftover (and awesome) duck. And the cauliflower was among the best I’ve ever had.

I was a big Del Campo fan, but I love what they’ve done to the space - splitting off the noisy bar into a seprate taco place. So the new space is much quieter and more intimate. When we had trouble finding the entrance, a worker from Taco Bamba walked us there!

We’ll come back again for sure, hopefully when we can eat outside in the lovely garden. Keep doing what you’re doing! (Oh, and please start serving lunch!)

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Expensive, pretentious and mediocre.

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NG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique décor with great attention to details. For example the really cool light fixtures, exposed concrete behind the bar. You feel like you may be in a very chic restaurant in Spain or Mexico. The mezcal cherry welcome cocktail was ahm-mazing!! Our server was very knowledgeable and attentive. The GM stopped by our table. They went out of their way to make you feel very good about dining there. I got fish for my main and it was delightful. The highlight was the smooth and smokey signature margarita, complete with large square ice cube. You have to go here!!!

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Made a reservation here for a girls night. Everything was amazing - ambiance, service and food. For a new DC restaurant, they have the full experience completely dialed in!

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