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“First impressions are the most important.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Jaleo

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Ranked #30 of 3,196 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Special occasions, Families with children, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Brunch, Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Cross street: E St.
Transit: We are located 1 block south of the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro station on the yellow, green and red lines. Take the 7th and Arena exit, walk one block south. The restaurant is located on the right hand corner of 7th and E St. We are also 1 block North of Arhives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station on the green and yellow lines.
Description: Jaleo brings alive the spirit and flavors of Spain with a menu reflecting the rich regional diversity of classical and contemporary Spanish cuisine, under the direction of renowned chef Jose Andres. Jaleo offers an impressive assortment of tapas, the traditional small dishes of Spain, as well as savory paellas, superb sangrias and a fine selection of Spanish wines and Sherries in a festive, casual atmosphere.
Level Contributor
40 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“First impressions are the most important.”
Reviewed November 24, 2012

This was my first time ever eating Tapas. I know, and no, I haven't been living under a rock.
So, the food in this place is excellent. We both ordered a few dishes and my lunch partner and I shared each and every one.
First there was Ensalada De Coles De Bruselas Con Albaricoques, Manzanas Y Jamón Serrano which is a warm brussels sprouts salad with apricots, apple and serrano ham. I'm not a fan of brussels sprouts but this was delicious. Along with this was Papas Arrugás or canary island-style wrinkled baby potatoes served with mojo verde and mojo rojo. The two mojos were very good. The verde was very flavorful and the rojo was too, but in completely different ways. The rojo had a very nice chipotle flavor. Neither was spicy.
We then had Croquetas De Pollo which are traditional chicken fritters. Excellent, if served somewhat strangely (see photo attached). Along with the croquetas came, and I'm not making this up, Butifarra Casera Con Mongetes Daniel Patrick Moynihan; homemade grilled pork sausage with sautéed white beans. I can say without a doubt that I have never eaten anything named after the late Congressman Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but I think I've been missing something. This sausage was so good, grilled as it was it had a strong savory grilled-meat flavor without being hot or spicy. The white beans shared this flavor and were equally tasty. The other sausage we partook of was Chorizo Casero Con Puré De Patatas Al Aceite De Oliva or homemade traditional chorizo with olive oil mashed potatoes and cider sauce. This is where the heat had been hiding, in the chorizo. Very nice.
All in all, there was nothing I did not like on my very first taste of Tapas.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Modern watering hole”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

This is a glass house that happens to house a fine restaurant. Giant windows and a high ceiling give an airy and light feel. It has a nice happy hour and tapas are the specialty of the house.

Visited May 2012
Thank dennis2go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
207 reviews
135 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I hadn't been to Jaleo in DC since it was redecorated so I took five of my friends for drinks and tapas. First, the decor is odd and uncomfortable. Think chairs without backs - more like stools - so you can't get comfortable...a foos ball table for the table that was so wide we couldn't hear each other across the table and had metal underneath that snagged my slacks...there are other distractions in the decor and it just wasn't fun to be there. The food was meh. the Iberian pork ribs were SO salty as to be inedible. The portions were small enough that even though we spent about $350 on food, I left very hungry and headed out to get a burger. The service was fine though when the waiter discussed the menu, it took about 15 minutes and his accent was so thick we couldn't figure out which dishes he mentioned because they sound different than they are spelled.

I regret going there and I regret the big tab for a big disappointment. Although I'm a fan of Jose Andres' Zatinya and Oyamel, I don't like Jaleo. Being "cool" is fine, but there should still be value, good flavors, and comfy seating.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank WFleet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bayonne, new jersey
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Only if you've never been to Spain...”
Reviewed November 19, 2012

If you've been to Spain and eaten tapas there, you will want to skip Jaleo. Jaleo serves a very pale version of Spanish food. The tapas in particular are a disappointment. There isn't a single note of excellence--much less brilliance--in anything that is served. A great deal of what is served is clunky and awkward and doesn't do justice to the food of Barcelona or Madrid or any other Spanish town or region. One of the pleasures of eating tapas is the vibrancy and brilliance of so much of the food. The average bar in Barcelona will dazzle with at least one or two of its offerings; and the really good places will transport you. Jaleo does none of that. It's really badly done. Again, if you've been to Spain, skip the joint. If you haven't been to Spain, what are you waiting for?

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank bayonnefoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Poor Service Tiny Portions”
Reviewed November 18, 2012 via mobile

What a disappointment. We observed that unless you are a party of at least 3 and constantly ordering vats of wine, forget being waited on. I know it's a lot to ask for some bread and butter, so after asking twice, I gave up. By then, my husband was fumbling for his reading glasses so he could see the wee serving of flan he ordered for dessert. Our waitress had WAY too many tables----and we were not drinking enough, apparently, to warrant good service. Too bad---I had fond memories of dining here. We scooted back to our hotel for frites to stave off the hunger pangs. Don't waste your money.

    • Value
    • Food
Thank TLeighWertzO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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