After nearly 20 years in Penn Quarter, Jaleo briefly closed its doors at the end of February for a renovation that resulted in foosball tables, beaded curtains, bright orange hues and some minor changes to the menu and the cocktail program. Now that people have had a few weeks to get back inside the classic José Andrés tapas restaurant, it's time to take a look at what they're saying about it all. Were the changes for the best or would it have been better left alone?
The Jetsons News: One Don Rockwell commenter and Jaleo regular weighed in on the changes with some good observations: "Stopped by yesterday and wow. Felt like I was in a Jetsons episode. Recapte was good. A few prices looked a bit higher, but the same crew seemed as eager to please as ever. The construction smell needs to be aired out a bit. I'll be as regular as I ever was." [Don Rockwell]
The Disney World News: In a similar vein, this email arrived in the Eater tipline: "Why why why are the lights so bright at the "new" Jaleo? Feels like Disney World in here. :-( [Eater Tipline]
The Great News: Zagat offers a preview and some predictions for the renovated Jaleo: "The place is hopping, thanks to its all-day hours, moderate prices (there's a $25 pre-theater option) and a location that's near the Mall and museums, the theater, Verizon Center, high-end condos and office buildings. Its vibrant, modern new design should make it even more so." [Zagat]
The Annoyed Yelper News: Though this Yelper likes the food, they're full of complaints about the service, the music, the bathrooms and the new decor — yes, including the foosball tables: "Lots of quirky things in the redecoration, not all of which relate to each other or the comfort of the diner. What's with the potholder-like ceiling tiles, and the glass covered foosball tables...no clear theme in the decor. All this overshadowed our enjoyment of the food which was up to past levels of excellence." [Yelp]
The Rave: One of the reviewers who booked through OpenTable raves about all the changes at Jaleo 2.0: "Cannot say it enough....It was absolutely FANTASTIC! The new menu additions, such as the canalones, are great and the renovations are vibrant and upbeat....very much like some of the new, modern restaurants in Barcelona. This is one place you do not want to miss!!" [OpenTable]
The Bad Service News: Another OpenTable review brings some bad news: "The Bad Service News: "No one came by for a long time to get our drink orders, and when the waitress did show up it took forever to get our beverages. Refills--fahgetabouddit! Then it took forever to flag her down to get our check and another eternity for the check to be rung up-we finally had to flag someone else down for that. After all that the check was rung up and charged twice-incorrectly! So we had to wait for the correction. Ugh. Hopefully Jaleo's can get the kinks out and return back to the same excellent quality of service we've come to expect over the years. The food was excellent, as always!" [OpenTable]
The Foursquare News: People on Foursquare seem mostly pleased with Jaleo since its reopening — recommending the white sangria and the bacon dates — while another tip notes that this location no longer has a happy hour. [Foursquare]