Jaleo - Bethesda

4.5
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3308 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
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 José Andrés. 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.
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What 3308 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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c
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Enjoyed the ambiance and good service for an early Sunday meal; not rushed and was able to pace our meal with friends we hadn't seen for several years, so we took our time to order and eat, no worries from staff. Very good wine choices. However, our food was mediocre at best. Salads, very good, but tapas and main courses somewhat ugh! My husband's squid and bean dish reeked of garlic and it was 95% beans, so the value was poor. Another tapas dish of grilled vegetables (eggplant, peppers) looked like sardines when presented - what!? And the shrimp dish was garlicky and frankly not very tasty. Really disappointed in the food. We'll try other tapas places in the area. Too bad.

P
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Lunched at Jaleo with a friend. We had five tapas dishes, couple of glasses of wine, desert and coffee. Tapas were well cooked - gambas al ajillo were just done as they should be, deep fried baby squid - chipirones (though they call the pundadillitas here?) were fresh and tender, butifarra (sausage) with white beans was basic but nice. Overall, food was good - but not outstanding. Wines were very good indeed - we drank white with seafood - by the glass. The space is roomy and airy with tall ceiling and lit of light. Service was excellent - efficient and friendly but not obtrusive.

So my main complaint is that Jaleo has been doing the same things for a long time now. Unlike José Andrés other small plates restos - Zaitinya and Oyamel - Jaleo seems a little trapped in the past. It needs an uplift to bring a new zing to it!

PM
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good food, good ambiance and good service. Would recommend it. Especially the desserts!

M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always great interesting food

f
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jaleo remains an outstanding restaurant not only for the food options, but for the entire experience! Brought out of towners over and whereas they began slightly skeptical and/or cautiously intrigued they got into the spirit of the place and enjoyed a marvelous time. Thanks!

KR
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Jaleo is a wonderful restaurant!

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M
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service1ambience4

Food was really good. It being the 1st time being there, would have helped if the waiter was more helpful with the menu, what dishes to try and how many tapas plates for our group. One of the plates came a full hour after we put in our order. We had already asked for it to be cancelled since we were finished with all other dishes. Luckily, the other tapas plates were really tasty.

ES
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jess is such a great server! Food was great and the brunch menu was amazing. Thank you Jess, we will definitely return!

OT
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect: Tapas, wine, service - Jaleo did not disappoint.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There were 8 of us and at least 2 of us want to have our Birthday celebration there. All of us want to go again.

Z
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

We have enjoyed Jaleo in the past. This time the food was just ok.

a
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love dining at Jaleo - or any of Jose's restaurants!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was absolutely amazing! Raul was great!

L
Washington DC
44 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

I was disappointed in the food. My sandwich was over cooked and dry. The kitchen apparently could not get four lunches out the same time, they came in waves. I've eaten at the downtown restaurant and found if far better. The food selection was more interesting and the service was prompt/

DL
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent Spanish food and being Spanish I am a bit picky. Service was wonderful and ambience is lovely as well

C
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jaleo always delivers. It’s our go to place in DC.

CA
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We were celebrating a 50th birthday and it was lovely.

L
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Not up to
Par. Food usually great. Not that night

AA
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and excellent service. The tapas were delicious as was the paella. A must go to place!

LM
Omaha
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Food is amazing, as always. I visit Jaleo whenever I go to DC and each time is just as delicious as the last.

o
Washington DC
325 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I ate at the Jaleo Bethesda with friends just a few weeks after dining at the Penn Quarter location. While the menus at both restaurants are essentially identical, and both offer very good food, I did notice some differences.
1. The dishes at Penn Quarter were served in a basically logical order. Not so in Bethesda, where I received my meat course first, vegetables next, and soup last. Pacing was better at Penn Quarter as well, despite it having more diners.
2.; While the food at both places was very satisfying, the food quality at Penn Quarter was a notch better. (This is akin to the difference between an A and a B+ performance.)
3. We dined at both places on Sunday evening. Bethesda was a lot quieter; less crowded and tables are further apart.
4. Of course, on a Sunday night, one can find free parking nearby in Bethesda. That doesn't; exist at any time in downtown DC.

WH
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My meal was moderately priced. At the end of the meal the waitress/advisor mentioned that the higher priced meals are more exotic.

My selection consisted of fifteen tapas. Most tapas have three or four ingredients. The combinations of these few ingredients were interesting. When there was vinegar in the tapas it could have various strengths. If there was a chorizo in the tapa it might be mellow or spicy and if mellow it might be coated with Spanish paprika. So the meal was one of fifteen variations on Spanish ingredients. The meal was in short one of anticipation of flavors of each coming tapa and being satisfied with the taste of each tapa.

GZ
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

We enjoyed our food, but had ordered soup first to get started on, but it didn't come until way after our tapas were delivered.

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Attentive, professional service, delicious food with gorgeous array of tapas choices.

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve been there many times and the food is always delicious!

TB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience2

The server was overbearing. I was disappointed in his approach to serving us.

a
London
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

I would not recommend to a friend with a lot of Tapas experience. I was unimpressed compared to prior visits. The pan de cristal with tomato was good but not amazing. The dates are now breaded and fried which takes away a lot of the date flavor. The tortilla was very pale and not very flavorful. The Spinach with raisins was nice. The croquettes supposedly had different fillings but they all tasted very much alike, you couldn't really tell they had different fillings.

BR
Washington DC
140 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The gazpacho was perfect! I actually could have happily eaten bowl after bowl the entire evening. The only disappointment was the spinach with apples, raisins, and pine nuts, which wasn't as good as the one served at the DC branch of Jaleo. Most of our meal was made up of old favorites--the two previously mentioned, the stuffed red peppers, chicken croquettes. We tried one new dish, very pricy but also tasty, the seared scallops. I was so stuffed, I did without dessert, but my husband and friends had the great flan.

F
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Wonderful time. Ordering was slow but once the order was taken the food just flowed out of the kitchen. It was great as we all (7) shared the dishes.

F
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server was attentive and fun. We ate outside on a beautiful evening. We let him consult with the bartender as to what Chardonnay we would like as the wines were all Spanish and unfamiliar to us. We especially liked the garlic shrimp and the sausage with mashed potatoes. All the tapas were delish! We like supporting this restaurant because Chef José Andrés is such a wonderful humanitarian who has fed countless victims of hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and many other venues.

C
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Took waiter a king time to bring us our check. Too long and we were not in a hurry so it didn’t make sense.

d
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Definitely recommend Paleo. The variety and quality of the food are first-rate. Our waiter, Fernando made the dinner especially enjoyable.

HW
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent all around

TV
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

The descriptions of the food far exceeded their actual appearance or taste. The price for each tapa was about what one would pay for an appetizer plate, with far more substance. It took an inordinate time to get our bills sorted out, (45 minutes). Really would not recommend this to anyone.

M
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had one of the tasting menus. It was great. Server and reception staff were very helpful with our requests. Open later than many Bethesda restaurants. Wide variety and creative dishes.

RP
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always fabulous food, staff, ambiance and low noise level for conversing. And it feels good to support the humanitarian work of a great humanitarian— Jose Andres. Even his corporate staff and restaurant employees are involved in some way with his World Central Kitchen.

HC
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow! great restaurant. Easy to find. Parking close by. Unbelievable service. Delicious food. Creative, different, variety, nice portions. Quite reasonably priced. Good sangria too! You can’t go wrong at this place. Can’t wait to go back!

ND
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal dinner. We ordered waaaaay too much food, though! (We ordered 4 plates each for three people - next time 3, max).

BR
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Excellent food; very creative. Excellent service. (Music is too loud.)

LK
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Sadly , Bethesda Jaleo does not compare to the DC location in food quality or quantity. I can order the same salad, go example, and it seems as if two very different recipes were followed - including different amounts of ingredients. This used to be my favorite restaurant in Bethesda , but it now seems to make little effort .
Very disappointing. The way to win back clientele is to improve, in quality and in quantity of the significant ingredients.