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Jaleo - which branch is best?

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Has anyone notice the difference in the quality of food at various branches? I've only been to the one downtown and that was years ago.

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  1. I've always thought the food at Jaleo DC was better than Bethesda (haven't tried Crystal City), but even the last time I was downtown I felt the quality was slipping. That makes me sad since I used to consider Jaleo one of my favorite no-fail decently-priced restaurant options.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ainara

      I've always thought the D.C. branch was better as well, though I haven't eaten there lately. I am much closer to Bethesda and the meal I had there this spring was lackluster, but acceptable in quality. Have never been to any other branches.

    2. Definitely the DC branch... I go there quite often and while it's nothing amazing, out-of-town guests always enjoy the food and the atmosphere. I went to the Crystal City one a month back and it was really bad.

      1 Reply
      1. re: epicuriousgal

        Agreed...the Crystal City ambiance is just awful

      2. This is a hard question to answer, mostly due to the DC branch slipping in quality over the past couple of years. I often go to the Crystal City branch and it is inconsistent, but sometimes better than recent experiences at the DC branch.

        1. DC for sure.

          1. I agree with the quality slipping. Have you tried La Tasca? Clarendon or Old Town Alexandria?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Smiles2008

              La Tasca in Clarendon is okay, but I have never been very impressed. If you can, it is probably worth it to go to Jaleo.

              1. re: Smiles2008

                La tasca.... Well I don't know but I cannot agree. Tried La Tasca and you are better of with a frozen meal!

              2. Have only been to Bethesda branch - assembly line mediocre. I like Isabella's in Frederick better - smaller, quieter, less pricey, good happy hour.

                1. There seems to be inconsistencies at all branches. I can have a sublime meal in Bethesda one week, and then a mediocre one the next. Same for DC, though I've never been to the Arlington branch.

                  But I can't agree with the La Tasca or Isabella's recommendations - had absolutely terrible meals in both places, and will not return. Jaleo on it's worst day is better than either of these options.

                  1. When we used to go to Jaleo fairly regularly, we would alternate between DC (before the Kennedy Center) and Bethesda {before Italian classes in the area) Never been to CC. We found that for certain periods DC would be better and then for periods Bethesda would be better and then vice versa. We put it down to changes in kitchen personnel. Never had bad food at Jaleo, just variable from good to excellent experiences. These days, we just don't have the time to go any longer.