Jaleo - Bethesda

4.5
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3374 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 3374 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
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
Pittsburgh
45 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Varied menu with many options. Portions are perfect for sharing or eating on your own. You can try several dishes and not feel stuffed. Food is flavorful and presented nicely.

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines Day

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was fine in terms of food. The restaurant is wide open so it’s noisy.

r
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We went with the Jaleo Classic option and received 10-12 different courses, plus dessert, all of which were excellent. The service was very attentive and the waiters did a great job of describing each of the dishes.

RT
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best multi course lunch meal in Bethesda and Metro DC. Food is plentiful and delicious.

JC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Great food in a fun and casual environment. Love the tapas

H
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Mother and son date

s
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food was good but portion sizes vary dramatically depending on what you order

J
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

We went for lunch. The special was great, $16 for three different dishes, $5+ for sangria. It was great. Our food didn’t come out consistently together and it took a while for the other dishes to get to the table but the waiter was very nice.

RH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Birthday celebration with friends. Great selection of tapas. Delicious chocolate custard dessert - perfect for the occasion.

BA
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All good especially the service

MW
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service! Excellent vegetarian options on the menu. Highly recommend!

E
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience5

Hostess was lovely. She acknowledged us right away and seated us quickly.

Service was soooo slow. Empty restaurant, so there is no excuse. It’s obvious the server forgot to put in the 3rd part to our meal. He came to ask if we were ready for our check after we had our salad course. We said we were waiting on our mains. He said that it would just be a bit—15 mins more. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but the other dishes came out at a snail’s pace. Also, the dishes were staggered, so my husband got his soup while I waited for my 1st course. Same with 2nd. The 3rd came out closer together, but still not together.

Overall, the fennel salad and creamed cauliflower soup were stand-outs. The soup was perfectly creamy (great mouthfeel) and well-seasoned. The fennel salad was bright, crunchy and fresh.

The sautéed spinach with pine nuts and raisins was fantastic. I added a bit of the garlic olive oil that’s served with bread, and it kicked it up!

Chicken with herb sauce was good. I happen to like dark meat, but my husband doesn’t and he was disgusted by it. I found the dish filling, and I loved the herb sauce, which I used to dip in a piece of the sausage from his plate (see below).

The endive with orange and cheese was so disappointing—nothing to it, the oranges were too tart and it needed something to bring it together. Better with a little of the aforementioned olive oil.

The sausage with beans was not good. While the sausage was cooked nicely, it’s flavor was very ordinary. The beans were dry and tasted like they were left out overnight. The aioli tasted like it was from a jar.

We will come back, but I’d probably want a different server and we would not get the endive or sausage plates again.

Good lunch value: 3 tapas for $16. We left very full.

B
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As usual from this group, the service and ambience was good. What always stands out is the menu of distinct tastes. Every single plate was to be savored. The gazpacho - always a favorite- did not disappoint and was one of my reasons for returning.

s
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Muy agradable todo.

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TB
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My friend from LA came to DC to celebrate her birthday, and I treated her to dinner at Jaleo in Bethesda. It could not have been more wonderful. I ordered the Solomillo al cables (my favorite!), and she suggested that we try the tasting menu because she likes trying a variety of flavors. The excellent wait staff brought us dishes from every category on the menu, all of them delectable! I highly recommend this restaurant. We had a great time.

J
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Ate here during Restaurant Week, with a special menu. The tapas selection and service were great—variety (vegetable, meat, seafood, cheese), generous portions, attentive service. A delicious meal.

D
Sydney / NSW
139 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was fine overall but after requesting not to sit by the door/ in the wind tunnel area, that is where they seated us. Which was disappointing and cold.

p
Washington DC
51 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience3

I am not sure if this was just an off night because it was restaurant week but I have been to Jaleo in DC and Bethesda each multiple times and this was by far the most disappointing of times. Although we had a reservation and arrived on time we waited almost twenty minutes to be seated, and we were not offered the option to wait at the bar. It was an extremely frigid night and we were right by the door seemingly in the way of everything and there was no additional seating for waiting which made it a very awkward twenty minutes. Fast forward to being seated and we ordered off the restaurant week menu and while I understand that tapas generally come out when they are ready the speed and consistency on timing was totally off. At one point we received three dishes and then didn't receive any others for another twenty minutes. The restaurant was busy and our waitress rarely checked in leaving our water glasses empty and never once refilled my drink from my half carafe of sangria. Additionally once we were through with dessert we had to flag our waitress down for the check. While I understand it's busy and restaurant week, that doesn't equate to being satisfied with a subpar restaurant experience and extremely poor service and timing. It takes away from the entire meal and while the food was good the service was so bad that it detracted from the taste and overall we were just very unsatisfied. As paying customers a little human recognition, even a small hello and how is everything, goes a long way.

MM
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience3

The Bethesda branch of Jaleo is definitely a winner. The tapas tends to arrive to the table much too fast, often getting there before the drinks from the bar, but the food is interesting and always good. Jose Andres is one of Washington's greatest stars.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Special occasion coinciding with Restaurant Week. Superb food, excellent service, great deal for the set menu.

C
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I am a huge fan of Jose Andres. I have been to two of his restaurants, the latest being Jaleo. It was absolutely wonderful, as was the service. Did I mention that I am also VERY fussy? Love him for his humanitarian work too. He is the real deal

L
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, great service

JS
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Restaurant week at Jaleo was great - fantastic foot at reasonable prices.

D
Austin
4 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jessica’s service was great! Restaurant week menu was delicious and a great value!

s
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Jaleo is a regular group favorite because of the lively ambience and great food! I do caution diners to check their bill closely for many times we have been charged for drinks that we did not order. For example, we ordered 3 margaritas but were charged for 4. Subtle overcharges that are easy to miss. It’s happened several times. This last visit when the bill came to us first before we provided our two credit cards to split the bill it was correct. However, when it came back for us to sign, the amount had changed from $95 to $109 (an extra margarita was added to the bill AFTER we verified charges before provided form of payment)! Even easier to miss the additional charge when the bill is split but my friend caught the error.

AG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience1

I love Jaleo, I have been many times. The table we had was just awful and really negatively affected our experience. It was in a back corner near the kitchen and very dark. Conversation was very difficult.

r
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

We went for a special lunch and it was extremely disappointing. First of all, it was restaurant week and the vegetarian options were pretty minimal (I didn’t know it was restaurant week when booking so I thought the typical lunch menu would be available).
The food that came was nothing to write home about. No magical flavors or anything that felt special. I’m a big Jose Andres fan but this dining experience was extremely disappointing.

JK
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Perfect evening out with friends. EXCELLENT food and SERVICE. Our mistake by sitting right next to the kitchen. Other than that it was absolutely lovely. Will definitely recommend Jaleo to more friends AND we will go again!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

To be clear: Jaleo has great food and I AppleTalk that Jose Andreas does for the community.

That said: we walked out because the service was terrible and the place was freezing. Jaleo Bethesda is very chilly and in a couple of years they have not made the simple fix to stop freezing air blowing in every time someone enters or leaves.

Our server ignored us for about 30 minutes then took the order of a large table who walked in averse us. At that point, cold and hungry, we left.

L
Wilmington
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for their Three Kings day celebration, again. It did not disappoint. Food is fantastic, as always! Will definitely return soon :)

BD
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Spanish food! The dishes are small but they are delicious!

e
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great place to share food choices with friends! The best tapas! Loved the calamari, beets salad, spinach, the cheese offerings, buñielos de bacalao, buey asado and much more... also Jaleo has a good variety of wines. We shared a Rioja Rosé.

SS
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

A million reasons to go to Jaleo. The food never disappoints and Chef Jose Andres is an incredible person who defines what is best about America. Having said that, I would recommend that you go on a night other than New Year's Eve. Despite my reservation, I had to wait quite a while for a table. There was no good place to stand and the others who were waiting for tables and us were fairly crowded around one another. I was seated by the band (didn't know there would be one) and while they were great, the noise level made conversation impossible. People were dancing all around me (didn't know there would be dancing) and I'm a little claustrophobic. There was no other table for me to move to. I'm in the minority on this one. People were having a great time so this is still a 5 star place for me. If you're older and a little bit cranky like I am becoming, it is a (quiet) head's up, but only for New Year's Eve. Definitely go to Jaleo, and every other Jose Andres restaurant in America.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came to Jaleo for NYE and the service, food, and entertainment was outstanding!

PC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

New Year’s Eve prix fixe menu is always great. A vibrant mood and excellent service.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was great as always!

SB
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience4

Menu is overwhelming and it is difficult to know how many plates to order. Food is delicious! Wish you had a fixed price menu where you would pay a set price and have choices from different categories of food.

V
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff terrific, food tasty. Only problem was cold blast of air every time the front door opened!

KD
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience3

The food was EXCELLENT. Loved the menu. Everything was delicious. That said, the service was abrupt and rushed. We were instructed to order two orders of one (expensive) small plate when one would have been fine. About 35 min in, after consuming several dishes, we asked if we could order a cheese plate and the server asked if we wanted it “to go”?!? Also, my husband and I were on a date night and were seated next to a family with two small girls, whose parents were constantly admonishing them. Otherwise, the atmosphere would have been much better.