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The Bethesda location of José Andrés’ Spanish tapas spot Jaleo reopened yesterday after a week-long modern makeover.
Andrés collaborated with Spanish designer and architect Juli Capella, who also worked on the downtown Jaleo renovation and Minibar, to create the restaurant’s “Barcelona avant-garde” design. The tapas menu and drink selection remain unchanged, as does the floor plan.
Chairs, tables, and light fixtures—all from different Spanish designers—come in bursts of red, black, and yellow. The look is supposed to vary from “playful and casual” in some areas to “formal but relaxed” in others, according to a press release.
Some interesting additions: New tables have word cloud designs with names of traditional Spanish dishes on their surfaces, and one dining alcove is painted entirely lime green with a yellow-topped table.
Like the Penn Quarter location, the revamped restaurant also has two foosball tables. With glass over the top of the table, they function as a dining tables and a game space. The foos players are characters that Andrés remembers from his childhood in Spain, including Spiderman, FC Barcelona soccer players, and a nun. The stools for the table are seats from a Vespa scooter. Guests can call ahead to specifically reserve these tables.
A mural of a flamenco dancer by John Singer Sargent called “El Jaleo” (the restaurant’s namesake) that used to adorn the back wall is now gone. A new mural by Barcelona artist Rafael Vargas spans one wall, portraying a myriad of items ranging from red heels to flowers to an owl and a pig.
Jaleo Bethesda, 7271 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda;