When Jaleo opened in 1993, tapas-style dining was still a relatively foreign concept in Washington. Even as small-plates restaurants have multiplied to encompass a globe’s-worth of cuisines, José Andrés’s flagship Spanish spot still holds its own. Some of the greatest pleasures are its simplest: a flauta (sandwich) with Ibérico ham and tomato, garlicky sautéed shrimp, or roasted peppers and eggplant dressed with sherry vinegar. Sangría is a tempting way to liven up a meal, but it’s even harder to resist one of a half dozen gin-and-tonics, each with its own lovely arrangement of fresh herbs, citrus, and a crystal-clear block of ice. Moderate.
Also great: Cristal bread topped with butter and sea urchin; potato salad with conserved tuna and trout roe; croquetas; baby squid with white beans; olive-oil ice cream with grapefruit.