Friday, February 24, 2012

Tapas in Bethesda and Kareoke in Rockville

Spanish tapas is the equivalent of the Chinese Dim Sum or Greek mezze. I am a huge fan of tapas. What is not to love about this small plates concept-you get an assortment of tastes and you don't have to feel guilty about wasting a ton of food (though I do appreciate left overs). Needless to say I was excited when my friend Theresa announced her birthday dinner was going to be at Jaleo in Bethesda but at the same time a little wary. Jaleo is one of Jose Andres' restaurants and if I have learned anything from my restaurant sojourns over the years its that sometimes food quality decreases with the increasing fame of the chef and the price of the food increases as well. One example would be Paul Deans restaurant in Savannah Georgia where quantity takes precedence over quality.

Well unfortunately Jose Andres did not prove my prejudices wrong. Not only were the plates even smaller than a small plate (I mean two mini red peppers the size of my finger) and overpriced but the food was also bland and mediocre. La tasca has better patata bravas hands down (these were soggy and the red sauce had an off taste). The low point of the meal were the ham croquettes. When I took a bite out of them I immediately reached for my water and almost gagged because they were so intensely salty. The sausage and beans were worse than a disappointment and the shrimp paella gave off a most pungent fishy aroma. The roasted red peppers stuffed with goat cheese were probably the best thing we ordered as well as the smallest. The duck was the most bland duck I have ever tasted and the chicken with herbs was not memorable. There really wasn't anything I would go back for and nothing else on the menu caught my eye. Luckily I was not very hungry that night, the company was good and at least I discovered that a cool empanadas place was nearby which had a variety of dipping sauces and seemed like a creative future lunch spot. Also, we got to end the night with some Kareoke awesomeness.

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