Saturday, December 8, 2018

Mi Vida

Mi Vida translates to "My Life." However, in Mexico, it is a term of endearment bestowed on close family and friends to signify love, care and importance.  Located at The Wharf in DC, this restaurant is the evolution of Chef Roberto Santibañez's culinary journey as he continues to explore his beloved Mexico. The menu is inspired by Mexican street food and traditional home cooking of his country, but in a modern, elevated presentation. Closest Metro is L'Enfant Plaza.

We brought my parents to Mi Vida to celebrate my Dad's birthday.  He is a huge fan of Mexican food and we had never been here yet, so were excited to try it.  We started with an appetizer of Queso Fundido made with broiled Chihuahua and Oaxaca cheeses and chorizo, served with salsa verde and hand-pressed tortillas.  The cheese was tasty and the tortillas were lovely, but the serving size was a bit on the small side.  We also shared the Guacamole - hand-crushed served with house-made chips and Pasilla de Oaxaca salsa.  The guacamole was fresh, but the chips were overly salty.

For their main course, both my Dad and Keith ordered the Enchiladas de Mole Negro made with braised brisket and topped with sesame seeds, cotija, and crema.  The meat filling was plentiful but the sauce was more sweet than spicy.

My Mom ordered the Costillitas con Mole - slow-braised and seared baby back ribs with mole negro and crema.  The ribs were incredibly tender, and fell off the bone.  The meat was flavorful, especially the burnt ends.

She also ordered a side of Arroz & Frijoles for the table.  The fluffy white rice and creamy refried black beans were surprisingly very tasty.  Normally, I would have overlooked the sides, but I would definitely order these again.

I ordered the Enchiladas Suizas made with braised chicken and topped with Chihuahua cheese.  Again, the meat filling was plentiful and while the sauce was good, it was a bit spicy for me.  I loved the tang of it though, and would have just preferred some cooling crema to balance the spice.  Eating the beans and rice helped.

Overall, we had a great meal at Mi Vida.  There were many other dishes that looked appealing and with the location on the Wharf, we would love to come back in the warmer months to eat outside on the patio.  Our server was friendly and explained the menu very well.  We only wished he came by more often to take additional drink orders.  The ambience was colorful and fun, very inviting, and great for large groups.

Total Rating: 3.98
Food: 4, Price: 3.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 4.5, Accessibility: 4.5

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