100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Jaleo

No. 15 on this year's list.
Full of Spanish-made art, music, furnishings, and, of course, food, Jaleo Penn Quarter shows off José Andrés’s commitment to his home country. Photograph by Jeff Martin.

There is no laurel-resting in the José Andrés empire—his color-splashed Penn Quarter tapas house has been around since 1993, and each year it seems to get a jolt of new energy. The cocktail menu, now presented on an iPad, is better than ever, and the grapefruit-scented London Dry is a candidate for best gin-and-tonic in town.

When it comes to small plates, mix the reliably wonderful classics (goat-cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers, extra-crispy tomato bread with Manchego) with newer dishes such as fried shrimp with caper mayo, thin toast with sea urchin, and Ibérico-pork sliders. Speaking of the famed Spanish pork, it now shows up in platters of simply grilled ribs, which make a nice centerpiece for the meal. 

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Don’t miss: Bacon-wrapped dates; patatas bravas; shrimp with garlic and olive oil; rabbit confit with apricot purée; gin-and-tonic dessert; rice pudding. 

More from Food