Zaytinya Has A New Groupie In Me
Concluding my Jose Andres Washington DC tour after Oyamel and Jaleo was Zaytinya, his homage to Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisine. Well, truth be told, it didn’t really conclude it … after Zaytinya, I made a quick stop by barmini (the bar next to his minibar restaurant – I know, confusing?) … and then just had to fit in one more visit to both Jaleo (for lunch) and Zaytinya (for dinner) before leaving town. So, with all that, I tweeted that I unlocked the Jose Andres badge (to which @chefjoseandres agreed!).
What struck me was that the experience was very much like what I’d had in Montreal and New York at Milos, the very high end Greek restaurant chain that’s known for incredible seafood. More accurately, while Zaytinya’s food was on a similar level to Milos’, there were several advantages Jose Andres’ venue brought – more menu items, livelier atmosphere, friendlier and more approachable service, and lower prices. All very welcome!
So, let’s cut to The DeathbedFood then, shall we? While all we tried was phenomenal, the unquestionable DeathbedFood was the “Keftedes Kapama” (beef and lamb meatballs with feta, rustic tomato sauce, cinnamon and allspice). The combination of lamb and cinnamon made these truly spectacular. Sorry there’s no photo but they were devoured so fast, I didn’t know what hit me.
There were other DBF contenders too: (1) Grilled Mediterranean Octopus – among the most tender ever; (2) Crispy Brussels to die for – flash fried for what must have been a second to create the lightest ever decadence; and (3) Ouzo Battered Trout – just take a look at that photo below!
Really, the only problem at Jose Andres restaurants appears to be how difficult it is to work your way through the menu. This visit, I didn’t even make it to dessert. Crazy, right?! Oh well, maybe next trip … or maybe I should just move to DC so I can conquer all of his menus? Or, maybe, Jose, you should just open a Zaytinya here in LA? Personally, I vote for that option!
Meantime, at least we have the photos …