Today, I am thinking of Tapas! (Jaleo DC – photos)

photo (1)Some of my favorite restaurants in DC are owned by the chef José Andrés. On Wednesday evening, a friend of mine from out of town came to visit and I took her and a group of friends to Jaleo DC. I loved our table! The glass table sat on top of a Foosball Table (it’s been so long since I’ve played with these!). I helped my team score a goal on this evening! Go me! Photos speak louder and convey more emotion than words, so it’s mostly just going to be lovely photos. We then went to see a few of the DC monuments/memorials (lovely view at night)… but I’ll present those to y’alls in a separate post. Here’s the food! Enjoy~

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First up came the Mejillones Vinagreta (mussels served with pipirrana, sherry dressing and honey). These were served cold on a platter of ice. The scallions, tomatoes, vinegrette was so delightful to eat.
Jarkie’s Rating: 9/10

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Next came the Croquetas De Pollo (traditional chicken fritters) which was DELICIOUS! Anything fried is yummy in my opinion. And it was so incredibly cheesy & savory… it all just melts in your mouth.
Jarkie’s Rating: 8.5/10

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I’m not a fan of octopus–well, this was my first time trying it–so this next dish was not my favorite one. Pulpo A La Gallega Maestro Alfonso (boiled octopus with pee wee potatoes, pimentón and olive oil) – I spied some light paprika sprinkled on top … but other than that, there wasn’t much flavor. I was not a fan of the texture of the octopus. The thing that saved the dish for me? The potatoes. You can’t go wrong with potatoes.
Jarkie’s Rating: 4.5/10

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Another type of chicken this came along… this time, grilled to perfection. Pollo Al Ajillo Con Salsa Verde (grilled marinated chicken served with parsley purée and garlic sauce).
Jarkie’s Rating: 6.5/10

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We proceeded to eat the Rossejat (traditional paella‘ of fried pasta with shrimp and calamari) which my lovely company told me tasted like a popular Malaysian snack. Very good. Granted, there could have been some more shrimp and calamari.
Jarkie’s Rating7/10

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One of the highlights of the dinner was the Costillas De Cerdo Ibérico De Bellota (grilled pork ribs from the legendary acorn-fed, black-footed pigs of spain) that serves about 2-6. Whatever marinade they use is so very tasty. The ribs were tender and juicy. I wish I could have had more! Comes with rosemary (for decorational purposes?) and salt.
Jarkie’s Rating: 9/10

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There were two other dishes that we tried that are not pictured above. The Ensalada Campera (salad of conserved tuna, fingerling potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and hard boiled eggs) and the Pan De Cristal Con Tomate (toasted slices of uniquely crispy and ethereal bread brushed with fresh tomato).

I ended the night with their signature red sangria by the glass. It was a bit too watered down… but for my personal taste, it was perfect!
Jarkie’s Rating: 6.5/10

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Today, we reunited!

And, oh, it was grand.

I sheepishly admit that I’m actually tearing up a tiny bit as I write this post. It seems silly but seeing you all tonight reminded me of the silly 18-year olds we were when we first met and the (comparatively) grown up 23-year olds we now are. I know saying that will make those of you who have conquered 23 and moved on to better, brighter ages laugh, but hey, these past five years have been filled with challenges, growth, friendship, and many, many good memories.Image

We reunited at La Tasca Restaurant in Washington DC for tapas and drinks. I’m curious to see what the other ladies will say about it; I really enjoyed it. We got there pretty early in the evening but the upstairs area was already filled! No worries, though, because the nicely lit lower floor had our number, and the festivities began.

The tapas we ordered (mine included patatas bravas and a fried eggplant dish) were delicious, but I think the blackberry mango sangria was the biggest hit of the night. Our waiter was a nice British man who, upon watching our hilarious attempts at taking a photo of the four of us, offered to take one for us – nice of him considering that the place was packed and the waitstaff seemed busy, busy, busy the whole night. Anyway, I liked the vibe a lot, and I would recommend it to friends who want to meet up in a lively place in DC.

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Charkie, you were missed! xoxo

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Today, I think of “Tous Les Jours”…

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KENTUCKY DERBY!!!! 🙂 If you do not have a TV, stream live here. Starting soon. Playing of my Old Kentucky home!

So much to say in so little time. First up, my product of the day… I am in love with ALTERNA now. Today’s review? Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil. Makes the hair so smooth!  Next up, if you’re looking to score some samples, I stumbled across this today – TATCHA skin care promotion. Unfortunately this was posted 2 weeks ago, so TATCHA probably caught on to the fact that too many people were ordering 13 different samples for only $5.95. You can only have one sample order in your cart at any given point in time. However, the deluxe samples are pretty large and you would get that + 3 samples (foil packets), so still a good deal. Go check it out.

Last night, I met up with some friends and had dinner at Oyamel. So so so delicious!

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Chips and Salsa – first one free

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  • LEFT: weird hanging creatures. cool.
  • RIGHT: guac made right in front of you. nomnomnom.

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  • (LEFT) Special: Meatballs, Salsa Verde, Black Beans, Fried Egg, Cheese
  • (RIGHT) Pork Belly Taco – w/ a slice of pineapple – delish!

Everything was lovely! This morning, I decided to finally use of my groupons for Spa World… So relaxing… a shower, a massage in the bade pool, a steam sauna, poultice rooms to sweat out all my toxins (lol some of the descriptions… save my arteries, etc), an ice room, a 3-minute workout in the fitness center (and then I figured I’d rather sleep than bike), a shiatsu massage (the masseuse walked on me, at first I thought it was her elbows), a lovely rice cake/dumpling soup… 🙂 And some reading…

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Two of the poultice rooms (dry sauna)… Sleep/lounge area.

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  • LEFT: Rice Cake/Dumpling Soup with assortment of cold side dishes
  • RIGHT: Entrance to sauna 🙂

Tous Les Jours‘s Centreville, VA (right next door to the spa) location grand opening happened yesterday! I would have never known had I not stopped by Spa World. So happy… I love asian bakeries.

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H Mart Splurge! 🙂