Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Bazaar, Los Angeles


Bazaar, Los Angeles

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you're well rested and ready for 2011. I'm not much of a New Year's resolution type person because any day is a great day to make changes in your life, so why wait until New Year's right? Buttt, if I really had to make New Year's resolution, it would be to take life one day at a time, don't sweat the small stuff. Everything will work out for the best! It always does.

I'm gonna start the New Year with a post from one of my favorite cities to visit, L.A! I love L.A. partly because it is so over the top, but mainly because I can always count on my cousin H to show me a great time.

On my last visit, we met up at The Bazaar in Beverly Hills for dinner. We got reservations to eat at the bar, and had an awesome and exciting meal full of ooh's and ahh's as each dish came out.

José Andrés is the man behind The Bazaar, and is known for bringing the small plates concept to the US. In addition to his endless awards, he also trained at El Bulli early on in his career.

The food at The Bazaar is a combination of both traditional and avant garde Spanish tapas.

Our exciting meal began with a "Salt Air" Margarita, a traditional margarita with salt foam. It was good but a little on the strong side. Their cocktails may seem expensive at first glance but you're paying for the alcohol and the creativity that goes along with it.

Margarita with Salt Foam
"Salt Air" Margarita

My favorite dish of the night was the “Philly cheesesteak”, air bread filled with gooey cheddar, and topped with thin slices of Wagyu beef. Not only was it delicious, but it was fun to eat too.

Philly Cheese Steak
“Philly Cheesesteak”

My second favorite dish of the night was the Organized Caesar with quail egg and shredded Parmesan. It doesn't look like a Caesar salad and you don't eat it like one, but it tasted exactly like one! Each roll was wrapped with a thin slice of jicama.

Caesar Salad
Organized Caesar

The Japanese taco was grilled eel, shiso, wasabi, chicharron, with a cucumber taco shell.

Japanese Tacos
Japanese Taco

The embutidos platter was a combination of chorizo, lomo, salchichon. My favorite was the lomo, shaved pork tenderloin.

Cured Meat Plate
Embutidos Platter

The fermin platter consisted of Jamón Serrano Fermin (dry cured ham), Jamón Ibérico Fermin (dry cured, free-range Ibérico ham), and Jamón Ibérico de bellota Fermin (the finest free-range Ibérico ham, acorn-fed). There were slight differences in textures between each ham, and no doubt, Jamón Ibérico de bellota was the best.

Jamon Iberico
Fermin Platter

The two meat platters were served with a Catalan style toasted bread with tomato.

Catalan Style Bread with Tomatoes
Catalan Style Toasted Bread with Tomato

The papas canarias is another dish I recommend. Salty potatoes served with mojo verdé. The potatoes were boiled in sea salt water, and the sauce had a fresh cilantro taste.

Salted Potatoes
Papas Canarias

"The ultimate Spanish tapa!" is a traditional Spanish potato salad (ensaladilla rusa) with potatoes, carrots, mayo, and tuna belly. I'm not a huge mayo fan so it wasn't quite the ultimate tapa for me.

Spanish Tapas
"The Ultimate Spanish Tapa!"

The Ottoman carrot fritters were awesome! They were served with apricots, and a pistachio sauce.

Carrot Fritters
Ottoman Carrot Fritters

The croquetas de pollo (chicken and bechamel fritters) tasted kinda like chicken pot pie in fritter form.

Chicken Fritters
Croquetas de Pollo

The great thing about sitting at the bar is that you get to see what goes on behind the scenes. At one point in the night, a lady was making liquid olives as we all watched with amazement. Noticing us, she asked if we wanted to try some. YEAAAA, of course we want some! :)

The liquid olives were AMAZING. They burst apart the moment it enters the mouth, resulting in a rush of fresh olive puree. I could sit there and eat a big plate of these if I could.

Liquid Olives
Liquid Olives

At this point, I was insanely full, and didn't get to enjoy the watermelon tomato skewers the way I wanted to. The skewers were served with Pedro Ximénez reduction and lemon dressing.

Watermelon/Tomato Skewers
Watermelon Tomato Skewers

The last dish was the tortilla de patatas "new way". Slow cooked egg at 63C, potato foam and caramelized onions served in a real egg shell.

Slow Cooked Egg with Potato Foam
Tortilla de Patatas "New Way"

After dinner, we were moved to The Patisserie for dessert. It was a cute little area, but it was isolated from the rest of the restaurant and we found the service rather slow.

H had the creamy chocolate heart with coffee and cardamom. It was good but it didn't wow us like the tapas dishes did.

Chocolate Cake
Creamy Chocolate Heart

I had the Greek yogurt panna cotta with apricots and muscat gelatin. Their desserts are good but if you're not a huge dessert person, I would skip it and stick to the tapas.

Passion Fruit Dessert
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

There were other dishes that I wanted to try like the fois gras cotton candy but I was way too stuffed. Check out this blog post by blogger Caroline on Crack for some other cool dishes.

The Bazaar (SLS Hotel)
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, USA
Telephone: 310-246-5555

The Bazaar By Jose Andres on Urbanspoon


La Table De Nana said...

Happy New Year! You promise? Everything works out for the best?

Yay.I am counting on what you said!

Look at that food..Like Bourdain's trips to really avant-garde restos..


Your photos are as great as ever!

All the very best to you..So glad to see you posting again..Do u miss here?

Weston said...

Thank you for the info. Going next month and doing a little studying.