Ferran Adria and Arzak at Jaleo (review w/pics)
We just returned from LV after sampling the menu at Jaleo. We had to go 2 consecutive nights and we were pleasantly surprised with the variety and quality of the food. The flavors are definitely Spanish and the techniques are a mix of modern and traditional. Paellas are constantly being cooked in a center woodfire pit (wish I had one of those!), thus having the exact consistency of what a traditional paella in Spain would be like. It's also served as it's ready to avoid the rice being "overdone"..again, as it is in Spain.
We ordered a variety of items and the pricing is pretty fair..actually great deals on the food, a little bit more for the drinks. Service just got spotty a bit being new..like the pan con tomate arriving late in our meal. The progression of the rest of the tapas though went smoothly. Small glitch..that's about it. Everything else was excellent. Our favorite was the empanadillas de bacalao (light and creamy center). The lamb ribs with calcots/romesco was also very good but the calcots were more like green onions (understandable as the calcots are not avialable locally). Other items we tried that are notable:
Dates wrapped in bacon (served in a shoe), setas/forest mushrooms with olive oil potato puree, squab and foie gras with shaved truffles, fried egg J. Andres style topped with caviar, berenjenas/eggplant drizzled with molasses (memories of Malaga!), rossejat with langostino (best deal ever at $13!!).
We also had the cone with La Serena cheese and membrillo, pan con tomate topped with anchovies, patatas bravas (light crispy version..better than the heavy potatoes). Do not skip dessert. The desserts are fantastic: flan with espuma de crema catalana and grapefruit ice, olive oil ice cream (tasted like mel-i-mato) and the pan con chocolate (modern style..chocolate ice cream rolled in chocolate crisps).
Meal highlight: bumping into the 3 great chefs and having small talk..right!!! Oh no, guess Ferran's not cooking at El Bulli end of December!