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Jose Andres's Restaurants

  • j

I'm being taken out for dinner, and was give then choice of one of Jose Andres' restaurants: Jaleo, Oyamel or Zaytinya. I like all the cuisines. Which one would you choose and why? I tend to go for seafood or veggie options. What are the best options to get there?

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  1. Zaytinya is my favorite, I just really love the pita, and they have great veggie and seafood. They have a couscous with veggies that I really like. I just always find good quality things there. Plus I like the outside terrace. Swordfish kebab is pretty good, very light and fresh, the grape leave dolmades are good, I like some of the meats really well too. It just tastes fresh and light not heavy or overwhelming at all. Not that I don't like Jaleo and their white sangria is really good at Jaleo, but...

    1. Jaleo is a great choice. No other restaurant in the area has such a wide variety of outstanding vegetable dishes.

      1. Can you convert that to Minibar?

        1. Isn't Cafe Atlantico a Jose Andres restaurant? If that an option I would go there. I love their food and ate there last weekend for my bf's birthday. I had an amazing butterfish dish filled with flavor. I find the Nuevo Latin cuisine just popping with flavor and color. It's a fun environment with good drinks.

          Zaytinya is good for vegeterians but I've never been a huge fan of that restaurant. I need to try it again but my few meals there haven't been very enjoyable...mostly because of service issues and me just thinking the place is way to packed, noisy, and sceany (in a bad way).

          I like Jaleo but enjoy Cafe Atlantico more.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Elyssa

            I love Cafe Atlantico. I'm pretty sure it's a Andres restaurant.

            I'm not of one of those that despises Jaleo, but to me Zaytinya and Cafe Atlantico are both much better. I have yet to get to Oyamel.

          2. Love, love, love Zaytinya...probably my fave of his four. Excellent food and beautiful decor.
            A friend and I went to Oyamel recently and it was very good. Service was fantastic and everything our server recommended was fabulous.
            I have to say that I've been to Jaleo a number of times, and although it's a fun atmosphere for happy hour or with a large group of friends, I've never been very impressed by the food. I've never understand what all fuss is all about. The other three, in my opinion, are head and shoulders above Jaleo.

            1. Agreed with joann hill. Jaleo is on the same level as an Olive Garden, in my opinion. I've had nearly every tapa they offer, but can't help but think that I can do better at home without the instant mashed potatoes and over-salted seafood...

              12 Replies
              1. re: link_930

                If the Jaleo in Bethesda is representative - well, a little better than Olive Garden.

                1. re: link_930

                  Jaleo is fantastic. Some of his sauces could be in a Hall of Fame. The romescu, the sauce for the patatas braves (although misnamed here, it is stilll delicious), and that for the trumpet mushrooms. I can easily name a dozen dishes that equal some of the most delicious food I've had anywhere, including tortilla espanol, patatas braves, trumpet mushrooms, grilled asparagus, eggplant flan, spinach with raisins, apples and manchego, tomato bread, stuffed chicken, cod fritters, bacon and date fritters, and the mini-chorizo. The olives you get free at the table are alone worth making a trip for. Yes, it's a bit of a factory, that's what keeps the good food flowing at reasonable prices, but it still tastes more like rustic Europe than anywhere else I can think of. Jose Andres has deserved his fame.

                  1. re: Steve

                    I think I would like the romanesco sauce more if they didn't put it on EVERYTHING.

                      1. re: Jacey

                        It is called romescu, and it is a very complicated sauce that has a lot of ingredients in it. There are various veggies in it, it is red, but not tomatoey, and definitely there are some nuts and maybe even some seeds (all ground up of course).

                        In response to 'reiflame,' the grilled asparagus is the only dish I've tried at Jaleo that comes with the romescu sauce.

                        1. re: Steve

                          and the xato salad has romesco dressing, but other than that its the only dish with romesco, so I don´t know reiflame gets the everything comment

                          1. re: cleveland park

                            It was on asparagus, shark and the patatas bravas at one point. Three dishes all with the same topping is a little much.

                            It appears Jaleo has changed their online menu (it used to be divided up into Hot, Cold and Seasonal) and I recall it being on a lot more, but I can't verify that now.

                            1. re: reiflame

                              the shark had alioli and the patatas bravas use tomato sauce, not romesco

                              1. re: cleveland park

                                Actually, according to his cookbook the patatas bravas use a romanesco sauce.

                                1. re: reiflame

                                  You should really check again, patatas bravas has a tomato sauce with a kick and alioli, but never romesco. Romesco is a roasted vegetable (pepper, onion, garlic and little tomato) and almond sauce. Completely different sauces and romesco never goes on potatoes

                  2. re: link_930

                    Olive Garden??? That's like saying that a Chevy is just as nice as a BMW... Please...

                  3. So it seems like Jaleo is out. Zaytinya or Oyamel? Right now there are no reservations available, but how hard would it be to walk in around 7:00/7:30 and get a table (I know it's tough, but I'm looking for some hope)? I'm assuming Oyamel would be a little easier. How is the bar area to sit and eat if you're on a date? I've been to Zaytinya's bar and I know it's not the most conducive to conversation.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jacey

                      Did you try calling? I've seen Oyamel booked on OpenTable and then called and had no problem. That would definitely have my vote over Zaytinya.

                      1. re: Jacey

                        Oyamel's regular bar is packed - the ceviche bar though only seats a few and might be better for a date.

                        1. re: Jacey

                          A friend and I went to Oyamel a few weeks ago on a Friday night w/o a reservation and only had to wait at the bar for about 15 min or so. Not sure if this is the norm as this was my first (and only) time there. I would bet you'd have an easier time getting a table there than at Zaytinya.

                        2. Zaytinya gets my vote every time! Only once in the more than dozen times I've eaten there have I had less than stellar service. It was so bad I asked for the manager. Not only did he comp that meal, when I went back about a month later, with a my mother and two friends late on a Saturday afternoon, I stopped to talk to the manager and thanked him for taking care of the problem I had last time. I pointed out that because he was so gracious the last time I was in, I brought my mother and friends who were visiting from out of town. He comp'd that meal too! It pays to be nice, and constructive, I guess.

                          I always recommend this restaurant to people visiting DC, and I've received many Thank You's from folks I've sent there. Go!

                          1. I am seriously addicted to Jaleo's buñuelos, and while I love the other places, those buñuelos will always have my vote. So good, you want to use the aioli for everything else that you order! I've taken so many people to Jaleo, and, hands down, it is ALWAYS the one dish that needs a reprise and another one ordered.