Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Holiday Memories: Bazaar by Jose Andres

One of the most amazing meals of my holiday and indeed up there in my list of top eats was The Bazaar by Jose Andres at SLS Hotel in LA. Voted #85 for 2010 in San Pellegrino's 'World's Best Restaurants', the most well known restaurant ranking system in the world, Jose Andres definitely creates a wonderful gastronomic experience at his unique restaurant.
The experience is quirky tapas mixed with suave decor and amazing cocktails. I loved the vibe of the place and the waitstaff were exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful. In many cases the 'experience' and ambience are what make a fantastic meal, almost more than the food itself, and Bazaar completely delivered on this front.

The night starts in the Phillippe Starck furnished main dining area where no two tables are quite the same. We ordered a fun mix of 'classic' and twisted tapas with my favourites definitely being the Tortilla de Patatas (potato foam, egg and caramelised onions), Brussel Sprouts and Scallops. Here are some pics which make me salivate just looking at them!
Tortilla de Patatas
Japanese Tacos - 'shells' made from thinly sliced cucumber
Foie Gras Fairy Floss
Philly Cheesesteak
These Brussel sprouts and scallops were pure perfection. The scallops themselves were what made the dish, being a beautiful specimen of seafood with just enough flavour and seasoning. Those Brussel Sprouts on the other hand were out of this world - the lemon foam added a nice touch and there wasn't even a hint of the bitter taste normally associated with sprouts.

Then there were the cocktails! This was the special Liquid Nitrogen offerring which was served and made at the table so we could take in the spectacle. Definitely a strong cocktail, but worth trying for the fun. We also tried the passionfruit cocktail (because I love anything with passionfruit in it!)

After tapas, guests are taken to a separate candy store esque section of the restaurant for the dessert portion of the adventure. As if the restaurant wasn't beautiful enough, this area was heaven to any Willy Wonka like dessert fanatic as there were fancy glass jars with sweet treats and chocolates.
Dessert bar
We ordered two desserts - one meringue based passionfruit 'island' and a creme caramel like delicacy with vanilla chantilly cream.

This one looks kind of fluorescent under the crazy lighting (plus I was playing around with the settings on my camera).

And to top it off, we tried the salted caramels with edible wrappers even though we were practically stuffed by this point!

While the restaurant wasn't cheap at about US$80-90 a head for what we ordered (if I remember correctly), I'm a true believer in saving for special occasions and splurging on unique experiences such as this. I'll definitely be back if I ever find my way back to LA!

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