Since I have a soft spot in my heart for Spanish food, I purposefully do not go to Spanish restaurants in DC. I felt sure that anything falling short of expectations would just be a disappointment. Case in point: La Tasca.
But I was pleasantly surprised with Jaleo. Not only was the food delicious and perfectly sized into small plates for tapas, it was affordable. Yes, this was happy hour, but that’s the perfect time to tapear.
For $4, you can choose between any (or all) of the following: endives with orange and goat cheese, garlic shrimp, roasted potatoes in brava sauce, platter of cured meats, Russian salad, bacon wrapped dates, and so on and so forth. Everything was amazing!
The experience was not complete, of course; Spanish beer was not well represented. That’s OK, Spanish beer isn’t very good. Also priced at $4, the sangria is wonderful. Sweet and strong, it’s just what sangria should be. I saw many carafes being made up behind the bar. None of this bottled stuff.
The chef and creator of Jaleo, José Andres, was recently honored by the country of Spain with the Order of Arts and Letters medallion (a first for a chef) for his evangelism of Spanish cuisine around the world. He is featured in Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. In the clip he shows how to cook well for an entire week, Spanish style. Check out how bored his little girls look during the monologue. Classic.
Stop in for Jaleo Hour, 4:30 to 7:00, Tuesday through Sunday, and be delighted.