Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Un Buen Jaleo

By our definition, "jaleo" is an "uproar". Imagine a party, if you will, where everyone is having a great time, the music is roaring, people are dancing and moving about, and things seem at the cusp of being out of control. It aint a party 'til something gets broken, right. Jaleo - it's borderline madness.

Jaleo is also the name of a popular 18 year-old Spanish tapas restaurant, begun in Washington, DC. It is amazing the care and dedication that goes into imagining, preparing, creating, explaining, managing and executing the daily and nightly flood of tiny dishes of deliciousness. From the mind of the wizard... excuse me - "James Beard Award winning" wizard/chef Jose Andres - to his enthusiastic chefs, to the meticulous cooks, to the proudly invested service staff, somehow most of these little plates find their way to the right tables and end up satiating hundreds a day, every day.

At its best, Jaleo is Spain - only better - in America, without the siesta. Of course, any jaleo is never sustained perfection, only an intoxicating whirlwind of a moment. A good jaleo would be the moment of the event when you realize you are truly at a party. It's a tough name to live up to. Well, we try.

I have enjoyed a great many moments at Jaleo DC and have come to know a wealth of people during these six years. A lot of it was fun, wasn't it? Salud!


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