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“Jaleo - excellence idea for date night” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Jaleo

2250 Crystal Dr, Ste A, Arlington, VA 22202-3796
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Ranked #16 of 715 Restaurants in Arlington
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Doing business, Entertaining clients, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dessert, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 23rd Street
Transit: We are a 5 minute walk from the Crystal City Metro Station, located on the Yellow and Blue Lines. To reach us, exit the Metro, go left on 18th Street, right on Crystal Drive, and walk 5 blocks to 23rd Street, finding us on the right. Or come halfway up the escalator, left into the Shops, and proceed to 23rd Street, turning left to Crystal Drive.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Jaleo - excellence idea for date night”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

We went to Jaleo in Crystal city for our Valentine's dinner. What a great place! "Share your love -and your tapas". The ambiance was really nice and friendly. The food was excellence. Highly recommend for special occasions like birthday or date night.
There is no flowers in the restaurant, so if you would need to buy flowers for your date before coming to the restaurant.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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338 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
198 reviews 198 reviews
164 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Do the Chef's Experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Although it was $55/person, the Chef’s Experience was the best deal. After seeing the portion of the tapas, I could have easily order about $55 worth anyways. That being said, from what I could remember, my fiancé and I shared about 16 tapas and 2 desserts. We had to ask them to stop bringing tapas and finally bring dessert we were so stuffed. Also, when we ordered the Chef’s Experience, the chef, Ramon, came out to greet us and talk a little about the restaurant and see if we had any requests. He was extremely friendly and made the experience even better.

My favorite tapas were the Sliced Apple and Fennel salad, Endives w/ goat cheese and oranges, Seared Scallops with Butternut Squash Purée, and Grilled Hanger Steak with Mustard.

Overall, it is a great place for a celebration or special occasion and I can’t wait to go back.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Top Contributor
222 reviews 222 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
“Fresh Ingredients, Festive Atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We visited with 7 PM Open Table reservations on a Sunday night; shared a table with friends who were visiting from out of town, and settled in for a relaxing evening. Our waiter arrived promptly with water requests, explained how small plate ordering worked, and invited us to take our time with the menu. High ceilings and ceiling to floor flame colored drapes and wall hangings injected a festive spark to the dining room.
Only one of us had experienced Jaleo before; the three of us who were newbies wondered how we would share salads and soups. After some discussion of our individual preferences, we ordered individually and shared a spoon of our choices here and there. I tried a sauteed spinach dish, a lump crabmeat salad, and an apple, cucumber, and cheese salad- all very fresh and delicious. My tastes of scallop and sausage were very satisfying. It was clear that every dish had been prepared with thoughtfulness and care. I ended my meal with mint tea and hazlenut chocolate cake (decadent)-so rich I ended up sharing more than I ate.
A major highlight was the unhurried and relaxed environment the staff provided; we were the last folks out of the restaurant three hours later; we stayed at our table for almost an hour after we finished our coffees and tea and not once did a staff member try to usher us away- Kudos to authentic Spanish dining in a city that doesn't like to linger.
I agree with other diners who say you need to be prepared to spend some money. The seemingly inexpensive $8.50 and $10 small plates add up. Our per person cost was $50 (before tip) but that did include a bottle of wine, dessert for three of us, and tea/coffee.
I hope our experience was the norm- if so- Jaleo Arlington is highly recommended for delicious food and a relaxing evening out. We'll be back!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
331 reviews 331 reviews
167 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
“Plan to spend a lot if you want to leave full”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

The title of the review makes it sound negative, but this is a really nice restaurant if you are prepared for the cost.

The restaurant is decorated in a cool, modern style, with mosaic-style tables that effectively remind you of Gaudi's Guell Park and thus set the Spanish mood nicely. We arrived early and they seated us right away. The seating is a little tight, but it was not a problem and there were no issues with noise from other tables. The service was excellent, with constant attention from multiple servers who brought out the tapas in good order.

The tapas themselves were all excellent. There is a variety of types of tapas from bread to salad to fish to meats - including ham, chicken, lamb, quail and rabbit tapas. The desserts are exquisite and the $7.50 per dessert price is reasonable for a 2-person dessert.

The big quibble that I have with Jaleo is how small all of the portions are. Tapas are small plates by definition, but most of the tapas at Jaleo served only 3 people with about one bite of food each. All of the tapas are $8-$12 each, so plan to spend $50 per person on tapas before anyone even starts to get full. That's a lot of money considering that you can go down the street to Ruth's Chris and get a salad, steak, side and dessert for $52. The drinks are similarly small, as 2 carafes of Sangria ($28-$34 each) yielded only 8 glasses worth.

To summarize, Jaleo is a great group dining experience, and a fun way to try a lot of different things, including unusual items like quail and rabbit that you won't find on many menus, but I felt like I spent a lot of money on what amounted to snacks, rather than the full meal that you'd expect to have for that much money.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Tapas and no bread???”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I've been enjoying tapas at Jaleo since I arrived to DC in 1997.
Last year I went and they did not bring the bread and oil as usual, after asking they told me they bring only bread upon request...
Yesterday I visited the one in Arlington.
This time they refused to bring bread.
It seems that Jose Andres is not involved any more and should take his name from the place, if he is still involved, he needs to pay attention to his restaurant. It became another typical chain restaurant.
How can you serve tapas with no bread??? This is inexcusable and a cheap move.
Other issues I found:
- Service was horrible
- Dishes were bland, Pollo al Ajillo had no garlic, served with a dark sauce and chicken consistency was uniform, that chicken was boiled and not seared. Bean salad the same, lack of taste.
- Tapas sizes seems to be getting smaller

It is a shame, I used to enjoy this place very much and I will not be coming back.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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