Posted by: guythinks | October 12, 2009

The Bazaar

First off, an apology to everyone who has been waiting to see this, I hope it’s worth it to you because it was to me! This past Thursday I dined at The Bazaar located at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Bazaar is a sophisticated Spanish Tapas restaurant whose Executive Chef and Co Owner is world renowned Jose Andrès.

My two dining parters were my co workers Talia and Nicole. We arrived at the restaurant a couple minutes late for our 7:30 reservation, but the host’s said nothing which was very admirable and they seated us immediately. I was a host at a restaurant so I know how we can get sometimes. The dineLA menu allowed each of us to choose 1 appetizer, 3 small plates for our entree and 1 dessert. Of course, we all couldn’t stick to just that and ordered a few extra plates.

We were seated in the Roja room, at a table right in front of the kitchen, with full view of the kitchen staff hard at work. Sous Chef Marcel Vigneron was there that night, also hard at work.

To start off the evening, I ordered the Caipirinha which is a Brazilian drink made with Cachaça liquor. This drink is made table-side as they bring a giant cart with the Caipirinha drink already mixed. They pour the drink into a metal bowl and then add liquid nitrogen to freeze the alcohol but constantly stir with a whisk to make it into a slush. They then pour it into a martini glass, top it with edible flowers, tarragon, and some lime zest and this is the finished product.

This drink is eaten with a spoon until it melts again, of course. Our waiter was telling me that it should be finished before it melts, but that is one strong drink and it melts fast so I couldn’t do it.

On the left is the “Philly Cheesesteak” and on the right is the “Hilly Cheesesteak”. Wagyu beef sits on top of Air Bread that’s filled with warm cheddar cheese. Same thing for the “Hilly” only it’s mushroom instead of beef. These are tiny bites of goodness. The Air Bread breaks in your mouth, like a dam, allowing the melted cheese to flow into your mouth. A perfect first bite of food.

Tortilla de patatas “new way” is an egg that is cooked at 63 degrees for an hour it ends up being not raw but still in liquid form. They top it off with potato foam and caramelized onions. Definitely a must try.

Papas Canarias – these salty wrinkled potatoes with mojo verde to dip in are an example of how something so simple can taste so good, as Nicole said. The mojo verde is simply pesto, cilantro, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and cumin. Also a must try.

Latas Y Conservas – this is quickly becoming a very popular thing in Spain. Serving the food in the can it’s cooked in. These are West coast oysters with lemon and black pepper. This was the first time I’ve ever eaten oysters and it was quite enjoyable.


Jamón Serrano Fermin is dry cured ham served with Catalan style toasted bread and a tomato spread. Jamón is a very popular food in Spain.

We also had the Embutidos platter is chorizo, lomo, and salchichones also served with the Catalan bread and tomato. I was more a fan of the Jamón Serrano Fermin.


Olives – traditional and modern olives served together. The traditional olives are served in a can with anchovy and red pepper. Molecular gastronomy is used on the modern olives as they go through a sphereification process in which the olives are liquified and surrounded by a membrane. When closing your mouth the membrane breaks releasing the olive flavor.


At this point we ordered a couple more drinks. First we have the Magic Mojito which is what I ordered. A martini glass is brought to the table with a ball of cotton candy placed inside. The server then pours the shaken Mojito over the cotton candy making it “disappear”. The second is the Air Salt Margarita also served in a martini glass. Instead of having a salt rim, there is salt foam on top of the margarita.

Here’s a video of the Magic Mojito being made:

Buñuelos are codfish fritters that were served with honey aioli on the side. The fritters were warm, in fact kind of hot but still good, and the honey aioli added such a great sweet contrast to the somewhat salty fritters.

Boneless chicken wings topped with green olive puree and some kind of herb that I have no idea what it was. Even as we were eating it we couldn’t figure it out and completely forgot to ask. Nicole said it tasted like weed and even had THC crystals on the outside. She was kidding. The chicken wings were cooked perfectly making the chicken really moist and tender and the green olive puree was gave it some flavor and a some visual appeal.

Cotton Candy Foie Gras is foie gras in on a stick wrapped in cotton candy. This was my second time ever eating foie gras and again I loved it. The perfect balance between sweet/salty/savory. You’re supposed to eat this in one bite, so I did. At first the cotton candy melts in your mouth creating this sweet coat around the inside of your mouth and then you’re left with this piece of foie gras that’s creamy and salty. Another one of my favorites.

Rossejat paella-style pasta with shrimp. Not your traditional paella but still very good. The flavor of the paella and the shrimp and the shrimp fat was all really good and it was served with some garlic aioli on the side to add to it. Also a really good dish.

Not your every day Caprese is exactly that. This dish is a really cool play on a Caprese salad that has cherry tomatoes that are skinned, liquid mozzarella using molecular gastronomy, and air bread. It also has a basil sauce in the center of the dish. The mozzarella is made the same way they make those olives, a process called spherification. Put putting the mozzarella, a tomato, a piece of air break and some of the sauce all in one bite, you get your Caprese. Definitely a must try!

Beef hangar steak served with piquillo pepper confit. The meat was cooked really well. It was a really juicy piece of steak and the sauce it was in was really good. Overall a solid dish but I didn’t think it stood out in the meal. There wasn’t anything special about it.

Sautéed cauliflower “couscous” is a play on couscous because they use fried quinoa instead of couscous. Cauliflower puree, lemon, pomegranate seeds, elderberries, and raisins give this dish some sweetness and texture. They also pour a harissa broth over it at the table to give it a bit of a kick. All together the dish is actually really well composed because you get sweet and spicy and sour all in one. It reminded me of Moroccan food. I really enjoyed this dish.

Sea Scallops in a Romesco sauce. I’m not really familiar with Romesco sauce but to me it tasted like smoked tomato. The scallops were perfect. And when I say perfect I really mean perfect. These were probably some of the best scallops I’ve ever had. As for the dish as a whole, I wasn’t too impressed. The three of us definitely agreed it was missing some kind of acid.

Finally, after 3 hours and 16 dishes we reached the time for dessert. The first of the three was a Creamy Chocolate Heart with Coffee and Cardamom and then a little Caramel foam on the side. Chocolate lovers will really enjoy this. I know I did.

Greek yogurt Panna Cotta with apricots and Muscat gelatin. I love Panna Cotta so I immediately chose this as my dessert. The creamy sweet goodness mixed with the sweet/tart apricots and the sweet Muscat wine gelatin was really light and really good.

Traditional Spanish Flan with vanilla foam and fruit. I am not a big fan of Flan so I only had one bite of this dish. Nicole however who is a fan of Flan said this was some very good flan. However, I did enjoy the fruit with the vanilla foam.

For our very last dish/dessert we were given this special treat compliments of Marcel Vigneron, the Sous Chef. He even came to our table to talk a little bit about this dish after our meal because we wanted to thank him. He actually also gave us the Olives, so a thank you was definitely in order. These are Japanese Baby Peaches, American White Peaches, Greek Yogurt with a little olive oil and balsamic, safron, and lemon zest, and baby arugula. Not quite a dessert but not quite a main course. This dish was very interesting with all the different flavors and textures. I enjoyed this dish very much. Marcel told us that each one of those baby peaches were like $1.25 each and they are like the size of a quarter.

Overall, I must say that this was probably the best meal I’ve yet to have. After being there for 4 hours and eating all that food and having those drinks I was extremely happy. I can’t wait to go back and try some of their many other dishes. That was truly a spectacular dining experience. And I almost completely forgot, but our server, Kenneth Michael, provided us with one of the best dining experiences and excellent service, so a big thank you to him!

This week, I will be dining at Taste on Melrose. I’ll try to post that much quicker than this one. Again, I apologize for taking so long with this post.

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Responses

  1. ::jaw drops:: O_O incredible


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