Ian Martorana

Jaleo

Jaleo

Jaleo is one of the many superb restaurants owned by restaurateur and chef Jose Andres. Fun fact: he is one of the (if not the) biggest importers of iberico ham to the United States. And thank god for that. Iberico is one of the finest ingredients in the world (think the Wagyu beef of pigs), and Jaleo leans heavily on some creative and delicious preparations of iberico.

Left to right, top to bottom: french toast with plantains | rice, tomato jam, a poached egg, and iberico ham bacon | hash with eggs over easy and iberico ham bacon | cured salmon with green onions and capers 

Left to right, top to bottom: french toast with plantains | rice, tomato jam, a poached egg, and iberico ham bacon | hash with eggs over easy and iberico ham bacon | cured salmon with green onions and capers 

As you may have guessed by the egginess of the photo above, I went to Jaleo for brunch. I won't bury the lede here: if lunch and dinner is as good as brunch, just go right now. 

The only downside of the brunch is the method of mimosa consumption (they weren't bottomless). The mimosas also came in what I was told was a traditional South American flask/jug/jar-type-situation. That in and of itself was not an issue for me. But the waiter told my guest and I there was a communal spout to drink out of, and being the germaphobe I am, I can definitively say I am not about that life.

Those are minor quibbles. The eggs were all perfectly prepared (I usually am an over-medium kind of guy, so for me to love poached eggs is really saying something), and the iberico ham bacon... my God. It was so good. Short of actual pork belly, this is the best damn bacon you will have in your life. 

Even the rice, which I thought was really weird to include in a brunch dish, turned out to be a fantastic ingredient to use as a blank canvas upon which to build that course. Jose Andres is a man of many talents as well as international mystery and intrigue (probably), so the quality of the food here does not surprise me, nor will it disappoint you.

Venture forth and enjoy some iberico.