You are encouraged to make a meal of the long list of tapas at this lively Spanish bistro, although the five types of handcrafted paella are the stars of an ample entrée menu. Tapas highlights include the gambas al ajillo (sautéed garlic shrimp), tender piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese, and the grilled homemade chorizo, which also comes draped in velvety mashed potatoes. Adventurers are encouraged to sample the octopus. Cocktail specialties range from a sweet and fruity sangria to a half-dozen herbal riffs on the gin-and-tonic. Two spin-off locations, in Bethesda, Maryland, and Arlington, Virginia, are equally memorable.
Jul 24, 2012
Good Food, Bad Table, So-So Service When my spouse and I visited DC in May of 2012, we knew for certain that we wanted to dine at a Jose Andres restaurant (ThinkFoodGroup). Of course, Minibar was at the top of our list, but we only made it as far as the wait list for one of the two nights that we had available. (And even then, we were told that Minibar might be completely closed that weekend because the chefs might be needed to open Jose Andres’
restaurant in the SLS Hotel in South Beach instead.) So we looked at Andres’ other options. Jaleo wasn’t at the top of the list because it was more “chain-like” than Oyamel, Zaytinya, or America Eats, with additional locations in Bethesda and Arlington; however, it seemed to have the most interesting food of those restaurants. You can reserve a table at most of the Andres restaurants (except Minibar) via Open Table. We arrived about 30 minutes early for our reservation, and although they agreed to seat us, we were positioned in the back of the restaurant at a very small table for 2, and we ordered a lot of courses which didn’t quite fit on the small table. The decor is interesting and modern, with a variety of table types (some larger tables are even positioned over foosball tables) and they also have some outdoor seating. Although we didn't sit outside, the outdoor seating didn't seem to be the greatest - tables are arranged either directly next to the building windows or right next to the curb, and pedestrians stroll through the two rows of tables as they walk down the sidewalk.) We had a decent meal here, and we would return to try some of the other dishes. It seemed like other diners had either eaten here (or at another location) before and were familiar with the menu, making wiser choices than we did.
Aug 16, 2008
My friend's and my family went there for dinner after reading good reviews on the internet. I was driving and I dropped them off at the restaurant and went look for a parking lot. Finding a parking lot there wasn't easy and took me almost 15 minutes. I expected them to order drinks and some appetizer by the time I got there. However, when I went back, my friend and my families were not seated and stand waiting for the table even though our table
was available because the waiter said until everyone is accounted for, they will not be seat us. My wife pleaded number of times to the waiter that because of the little children, it was difficult to stand and wait. The waiter continued to say that it is the rule of the restaurant to not to seat guests until everyone is there to maximize number of customers served. The waiter was arrogant and not respectful. Our two children were waiting like poor puppies in an area where dozens of people were coming in and out every minute. My wife was very infuriated and she wanted to leave the restaurant just as I got there. In order to reconcile this matter, I spoke again to the waiter. I hoped that he would give at least a slight hint of apology so we can bring it to a closure. However, he continued to defend this incomprehensible rule. We lost our appetites and left the restaurant to have dinner at a restaurant across the street. One of the reasons why we went there was because the reviews said this place had welcoming atmosphere for families with children. Well, I was dead wrong. If you reserved a table for six, make sure that all six people are there. I do not recommend this place for family with children. Single people may enjoy this place but not those with children.
Apr 20, 2007
There are 3 Jaleos in the DC area- [the original DC location- the best IMO, Bethesda & the newest in Crystal City, VA -- of which btw, Chef Andres recently went up against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef and WON!] :O nothing compares to the being in Spain, but Jaleo comes very close. My favorite tapas is the endives w/ oranges, almonds & chevre - my mouth's watering as I even write these words. The rest of my top five are 2) the chicken w/ green sauce; 3)
patatas bravas [of course]; 4) lamb w/ rosemary & aioli; and 5) the tortilla [omelet] classic! yummy! :) the only drawback regarding the Sevillana dancers that perform Wednesday & Monday evenings while patrons eat is that they use piped in music - no live guitarist in DC or Bethesda- gotta have some duende! I'll have to see what's going on at Crystal City tho [Sundays there for the dancers]... bottom line? excellent food! Great service! Fun atmosphere! Jaleo rules!