My parents visited me for my birthday this past weekend and The Bazaar was one of the restaurants I chose for us to dine at. Since they were my parents and since it was just my birthday, they let me have total control over what we ordered. It was nice :)
Dinner at The Bazaar definitely lived up to my expectations. Being my first exposure to any kind of molecular gastronomy, I was beyond excited when each little plate came out. Some texture were just as I had imagined and some were a pleasant surprise. To me, it was a lot of familiar flavors presented in a new way with exciting new textures. I could tell that each little bite I put into my mouth had gone through extensive consideration and preparation. Much thanks to Chef José Andrés for making molecular gastronomy a little more accessible me!
Not only was the food exciting and innovative, the decor of the restaurant was also very eclectic while remaining comfortable and welcoming. We sat in the Blanca portion of the restaurant and it was a relatively calm and soothing atmosphere given the fact that the restaurant was at full capacity. I wish I had taken better pictures of the restaurant itself but I was too busy eating!
The menu itself was divided into Traditional Tapas and Modern Tapas--we ordered a good variety from both. The little plates were delivered to our table in small clusters. Initially I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of food that ended up being on our table at one point, but slowly we worked our way through them enjoyably.
The Bazaar by Jose Andres
at The SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
West Coast Oysters
lemon, black pepper
perfect little bites of incredibly fresh oysters--the lemon juice added a wonderful acidity to the sweetness of the oysters
one of the dishes that I did not enjoy as much--the mussels were a little tough
salty wrinkled potatoes, mojo verde
absolutely amazing! I could've eaten the whole bowl but I wanted to save room for other plates. Once you bite through the salty outer skin, you get to the warm tender potato. The purple colored ones actually had purple flesh and they were a little sweeter--it reminded me of mini sweet potatoes
garlic, guindilla pepper
perfectly cooked shrimp in a nice spicy, garlic-y sauce--like a waaay better version of shrimp scampi
Not Your Everyday Caprese
cherry tomatoes, liquid mozzarella, pesto
I was so excited to try this dish and it did not let me down! The little spoonful was the epitome of the perfect caprese salad. The balls of mozzarella burst into liquid the second you put them into your mouth! It was so exciting for me.
Tortilla de patatas "new way"
potato foam, egg 63, carmelized onions
This dish exceeded my expectations. I didn't realize how much I would enjoy the potato foam. It had such a nice rich creaminess--and who could say no to a perfectly cooked egg with delicious runny yolk?
seaweed salad, soup of itself
I've said perfect way too many times already in this post but this bite of lobster was seriously perfectly cooked. It was tender and sweet and tasted of pure lobster goodness. I LOVE LOBSTER. The seaweed salad was also nicely seasoned--it wasn't some drab soggy mess. Finish with the little shot of lobster bisque and I was giddy with foodie satisfaction!
Boneless Chicken Wings
green olive puree
no bones! just a nice juicy piece of wing--skin and all
Seared Persimmons with Jamon Iberico Fermin
Pedro Ximenex reduction, walnuts (?), "edible flowers"
It is, after all, persimmon season and it paired beautifully with the jamon iberico. The sweetness of the persimmons and the salty pieces of jamon iberico, plus some crunchy nuts made for one balanced bite. I enjoyed this dish a lot!
Hamachi, wasabi, red wine, soy, jalapeno
This was such a visually appealing plate. I love the concept of the watermelon nigiri. When I have nigiri, I hate it when the rice to fish ratio is off. I usually prefer a little less rice. This got rid of the rice all together and substituted watermelon. Ingenious! The lightly torched fatty hamachi went great with the sweet juicy piece of watermelon.
Cotton Candy Foie Gras
Two of my favorite things in the world combined together? Couldn't be! Well, it was true. The cotton candy melted into subtle sweetness the second you put it in your mouth and you're left with some crunchy corn nut crumbs and the creamy foie gras. It was only a tiny mouthful but a rich, exciting mouthful it was.
air bread, cheddar, Wagyu beef
Although once you put the little "sandwich" in your mouth you can hardly tell that is Wagyu beef, the way the "bread" crumbles in your mouth and turns into cheesy goodness it is one bite that caused up to widen our eyes a little more. Definitely something I'd been wanting to try and now that I've tried it, I'm satisfied.
paella-style pasta, shrimp
Initially we did not order this but after seeing the piping hot paella pan of wonderful smelling goodness arrive at the table next to us, we decided we needed to try some as well. Although it was tasty--I enjoyed the slightly crunchy pieces of pasta--the honey aoili was a little to garlicky for me and I ended up with garlicky breath. Before that, I was fine. The other dishes were all nice and light. This was definitely heavier and I'm glad we saved it for last. I probably would not order this again.
with passion fruit and vanilla, caramelized bananas, espresso sauce (?)
BEAUTIFUL! However, it was more visually stunning than flavor-wise. Although breaking into the "nitro island" was pretty cool and the sensation of eating it was also a new experience. Without the bites of caramelized bananas, however, the flavor was just a little plain and flat.
Sadly, we were rushed for time so we did not get to enjoy our dessert in the patisserie part of the restaurant. However, before we left we did manage to walk over there and take a look. The little bonbons and cookies were so cute! I am definitely moving to the patisserie next time.
I can't wait for my next visit to The Bazaar! (hopefully its soon!)