2012 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012
Quick, name the most decadent dish at the best tapas restaurant in the country. Is it silken roasted peppers streaked with translucent ribbons of fat from Spain's famous acorn-eating pigs? A raft of toasted bread topped with both butter and sea urchin? Then again, Jaleo's mini-burgers plumped with juicy ground Iberico pork are hedonistic, too. The food at this Jose Andres' creation -- hake in a haze of garlic, sherry-splashed mussels, a standout paella -- has always been terrific; a makeover in January put the scenery on par with the cooking. Si, you can graze at the glass-topped foosball tables. Colorful fabric “tiles" in the bar double as noise mufflers. “You've got to see the bathroom!" a man sitting next to me says to his companion. I follow the cheerleader's lead, and sure enough, photographs of dozens of beaming faces look up at me from the floor of the restroom. At Jaleo, it turns out, food is just part of the fun.
we visited Spain years back and went to many tapas bars. Sure the tapas in Spain were small but they were much much cheaper. Tapas here are too large and much too expensive, after downing $25 worth of tapas, you are still hungry!
Most tapas here at Jaleo are bland and uninteresting.
Terrific result with the tasting menu. We had to wait for our reserved table for about 15 minutes, which was a shame, but we spent it at the crowded bar. Once we sat down and settled on the tasting menu, there was no turning back. Course after course of the most delicately prepared authentic Spanish tapas, all accompanied by copious amounts of Jaleo's outstanding red sangria. Not something you can do every week for affordability reasons and tastebud reasons (it's very rich), but an excellent dinner date.
All in all, the RW menu options at Jaleo were tame to appease the masses but left something lacking for those looking for exciting and authentic Spanish tapas. I truly enjoyed my beet salad and flan dessert, but was not blown away by any one dish ... Read more here http://whatmickyeats.blogspot.com/2012/08/jaleo.html
I have dined at Jaleo in Crystal City several times and each time has been a disappointment. Today, my family tried the Paella Sunday. No one liked their salads and the paella was bland and the chicken was lower quality chewy chicken. Yuck. The flan was also flavorless. We won't return.
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