Tapas on Top of DC
480 7th St NW
The patrons were quite noticeable because they are definitely are power brokers of the District. The older established crowd looked like they could be friends with Hillary Clinton, and they toted the D.C. 50-something uniform of classic clothing, pearl necklaces, and perfect political haircuts that would not embarrass if the paparazzi were to be around the corner. The 20-something crowd was also in force at Jaleo, and many of them were at the bar area to see who they can see on a Saturday night. They too had their uniform on, with sleek dark pants, refined power shirts, and for the woman, their hair cuts all were mid length, straight, parted on the side suggesting they buy into the power broker game. The 20-somethings who can last in this high pressure area of influence, will one day replace those 50-somethings I saw at Jaleo.
Jaleo’s menu is divide into cold, temperate, hot, and dessert tapas. The way I approached my visit to Jaleo was to pick one tapas from each category. I opted for a salt cod salad made with tomatos and Spanish extra virgin olive oil. Tomato and SEVOO is always a winning combo, and was a good opening tapas. The second dish I got was a tuna carpaccio with capers, pine nuts and anchovy oil and this dish was distinctive and really sent my taste buds into a happy dance. The hot tapas I ordered was a lamb chop dish that was flavorful, but was heavily sauced and maybe a bit too heavy because it did not let the natural lamb flavor come through. I decided to order orange flan because I thought it what I should do in a Spanish themed restaurant. The dessert plate was delivered with fresh whipped cream, flan, fresh orange segments and thyme sprigs. I never thought savory thyme would work with a sweet flan, but it did. What a sweet way to end my fun food adventure at Jaleo.I can see why Jaleo is one of the most popular restaurants in the District. Cost is about $5-7 per plate, combine 3 plates and you got a meal for about $20 which is a good value inside the beltway. If people are on a budget, they can get 1 or 2 dishes, and if there is a lot of disposable income, then go for many tapas and share with the table!