You can in fact teach an old dog new tricks my friend. And very quickly at that. Jaleo, Jose Andres’ first ever restaurant in the District, has undergone a makeover, and with its refreshed modern look comes a seriously delicious menu full of creative twists on Spanish classics. I went to Jaleo the day before it closed for renovations, and exactly a month following- the total time it took to revamp the place- I returned to a completely new experience. Hello Jaleo, Fully Loaded.
Jose Andres really had no idea that when he opened Jaleo in Chinatown as a mere 23 year old kid that he would be setting the foundation for an empire, one that would span across States and elevate tapas to the highest levels. With all of his success (such as making it to the shortlist of Time’s most influential people) Jose Andres continues to be an unofficial Ambassador of the District and of its culinary talent. Right off the train from the James Beard Foundation Awards, Jose came straight to Jaleo and spoke with us extensively about the new restaurant, but furthermore, about our city, it’s food, and the people behind it. In his words, we need more “cheerleaders” – whether journalists, bloggers, or simply customers – that cheer on our chefs and those in the industry to build DC’s reputation as one of a food-town, and for its tasty offerings to no longer be an after-thought.