Saturday, February 09, 2008

Jaleo, Washington DC

Jaleo at 480 7th Street (Tel (202) 628-7949) is a pretty popular tapas restaurant in DC. The concept of tapas is to share a wide variety of appetizers with friends and it's pretty fun really because you get to taste a myriad of different flavors and textures.

We started off with a refreshing red sangria which was tart enough to whet our appetites and not excessively sweet.

Next up was the plate of breads, olive oil and pickled stuff. The breads were ok, they tasted pretty fresh even though it would have been better served warm. I'm slightly prejudiced against the whole "healthier" olive oil with bread thing preferring a slab of salted butter anytime but I guess this is a Spanish restaurant so it can be forgiven.

Next came the smoked salmon on cream cheese topped with salmon roe (ikura). Thankfully the cream cheese wasn't very salty which gave this dish a more balanced edge because smoked salmon and salmon roe always tends to be rather salty.

Then came some delightfully well-fried calamari. Fresh squid, crisp and light batter and dipping mayonnaise, this went fast.

The meat cannelloni baked with cheese was pretty hearty as well. Served whilst the cheese was still bubbling, this piping hot dish was great Winter comfort food.

Of course we had to order a chorizo tortilla (Spanish omelette) in a Spanish restaurant. Somehow the minced chorizo tasted a bit like beef hash and the the oil spilling out from the side was rather overwhelming (even for me), but nevertheless this was still pretty tasty.

The grilled sea bass was excellent with a crisp finish to the skin and a good serve of soft tasty spinach wedged between the slice of fish.

We had to order a straight-up chorizo on a bed of mash because of the lack of chorizo-ness in that tortilla. This tasted like chorizo.

The chicken croquetas was not too bad. A crunchy shell covering soft mashed spuds and shredded chicken. The slight hint of spices (curry powder??) in this made it quite flavorsome.

Deep-fried marinated shark was up next. As with the previous seafood dishes, this was executed excellently as well. The shark tasted like it was brined slightly which helped diminish any fishy flavors whilst still maintaining a nice bite.

Craving some mammal, we ordered the grilled lamb. Not too bad, albeit rather small a chunk but it was tender and succulent.

Another popular tapas dish is the albondigas which is a platter of meatballs. These were good meatballs possibly made with no or minimal filler hence tasting meaty enough to satisfy most carnivores.

Steamed mussels in white wine were next. Fresh mussels in a delicious broth. Served hot and steaming, we would have gotten some bread to soak up that broth if we weren't starting to feel a little full.

Here's another grilled pork sausage on a bed of potato chunks. As good as a coarse meaty sausage can get.

Deep fried potato wedges were pretty much the carbohydrate staple for this meal.

Since we were having such a good run with the seafood, we decided to cram in the grilled squid served on a layer of marinated olive puree. As with the rest of the seafood, this was done just nice as well.

Last but not least, because I love nutella, I couldn't help ordering the rich hazelnut mousse cake to finish off the meal. Rich but not too sweet, this definitely hit the dessert spot.



Anonymous said...

happy chinese new year too! (:

dont you miss the festive goodies? hehe.. maybe not.. cos more cookies than meat~ :P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting up this review - very interesting! Seems like we had just about completely different food... but still cool bread. Odd, that.

Camemberu said...


Yes, salted butter (with all breads) rules!

Hmm...not sure why but the pics on this particular post are not showing up. I'll try again later. The descriptions sound scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

happy chinese new year!!

Nice, how many of you? order so many food. hahahaha!

I loovee Nutella too! Gimme nutella everyday : ))

eve910 said...

hi D, hope you're doing well and Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family :) at least i saw some spinach in that meal ;)

daphne said...

Happy CNY as well. What a spread of spanish food! Love the look of all those CHEESE!

Anonymous said...

hi! stumbled upon ur blog while surfing. im a singaporean living in DC and i work a block from Jaleo. it was such a pleasant surprise to find a review on this blog!


kahsean said...

i relli wanna squish the ikura on top of the salmon! ahha dont ask y..its sumfin i like to do wen i was a kid =/

D said...

jiaying: Heya, actually i do like some of the CNY cookies, especially the cashew or peanut ones... yum

girlie: food really is the true social cohesive

camemberu: I fixed the post a few days later, hoped you got to see it

ladyironchef: Was four of us =P

eve310: Was there spinach? Noooo.......

daphne: how's perth? I may return sooner than i think

jo: DC indeed has some good feeds. Bored politicians with too much money I guess haha

kahsean: You were eating ikura since you were a kid? Wait a minute, you still ARE a kid hahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

That place looks yummy. has anyone been to Bar Tano in Brooklyn? It's another tapas place. It sounds ok but I'm not sure I want too treck out there just yet.

Anonymous said...

D, I just returned from Spain! lol, we had horribly salty food but we also had super excellente food that I still miss lots! My friends miss them too so it's not just me the ever-foodie. Highlight for me was eating at Pinotxo, the little market stall which the El Bulli chef frequents. Anyways, I'm looking for your posts on mee goreng and kambing soup at AbC market or anywhere near me, link me up! Email me? Your site doesn't have a search function!