bad service, beautiful place, great tapas, favorite tapas style dishes, good food, refreshingly unique experience, ok brussel sprouts
A den of molecular gastronomy for the well-heeled set: This is the place to see high-rollers downing tapas-size portions of sea urchin sandwiches, sweets on skewers and margaritas topped with "salt air."
Molecular gastronomy. Recs: the Philly cheesesteak, the liquid nitrogen cocktail and the ceviche. Delicious and mesmerizing all at the same time. You'll break the bank eating here but it's well worth the splurge.
You've never had food like this before, the presentation and plating is out of this world and come in bite size portions. This place must be tried.
Food that is created with beauty in mind, while not always consistent, it is worth a trip. The decor and ambiance is certainly impressive as is the drink selection. Go for the chips during Happy Hour (fun to look at!).
Swank and scrumptious.
At first I was a hesitant when told I would have to move to another table later in the evening for dessert. Some people are drinks people, some love apps, but I am one of those proud few who is thinking ahead to the sweet sunset at the meal's sunrise. So when I was told I would be given a mandatory exercise regime to get my sweet on, I was suspect. But, this was just one aspect of the Jose experience. Get ready to eat well, pay a hefty sum and enjoy a lingering experience.
I recommend the Jamon, philly cheese stake and tortilla the "new way" dish. The latter is not your typical tortilla, but melts in your mouth, absolutely divine. Note the tortilla comes in an egg shell that looks a lot like a little ceramic dish. As I was trying to dig the very last taste out of the egg/dish my exuberance led to a massive egg cracking (and this is not egg you want to get in your face). I enjoyed the cracking as a culmination to the dish (and an indication that I had licked it clean), but be weary if you are on a first date.
Otherwise, the truffle rice was good, the sauteed shrimp fresh/well spiced and the beef hanger stake cooked to medium rare perfection.
Be prepared to pay up for the experience, but well worth and I will be back.
Note, 5 stars are reserved for multiple consistent experiences and take into account price/value considerations.
I love this place!.
I have been here a couple of times now and it has been great both times!
The drinks are slightly pricey, but they are worth it! The liquid nitrogen caipirinha is my favorite, but I also love the Jale Berry (pronounced ‘Halle Berry’ it’s a cute play on words for this blackberry martini with a jalapeno finish).
The servers that we’ve had have been extremely knowledgeable & attentive on both occasions, doing a fantastic job of walking us through the experience, making recommendations, offering more drinks, etc. There are so many people working here! It seems like a different person brings each dish to the table, but they always describe what it is as they deliver it. This last time I was slightly disappointed with the busboy that we had, he was just a little gruff and didn’t do as good a job at clearing the empty plates and keeping our waters refilled (but they did bring us clean sharing plates a couple of times, and it was a busy Friday night).
OK, most importantly: the food! Absolutely incredible! Stand-out favorites: philly cheese steak (must have!), caprese with ‘mozzarella spheres’, caviar steamed buns, Norwegian lobster, garlic shrimp, veal (server explained that it is a free-range veal that stays with it’s mother in pasture and is not given antibiotics or hormones). I was disappointed not to be able to get 2 my two favorite dishes on my second visit because they are not currently in season: the truffle rice and the baby corn on the cob (a-mazing!). I will definitely ask for these dishes each time I come, hoping that I am there at the right time.
The dessert room is not to be missed! Seems a little strange at first to move for dessert, but it’s a nice change atmosphere & a good chance to see the unique items in the ‘gift shop’ adjacent. I’ll be getting the chocolate lava cake and the edible paper caramel every time I come.
I can’t wait to bring my brother here next month when he comes to visit- he lives in NY and has been less than impressed by LA restaurants in the past. I think The Bazaar might actually live up to his high standards (I’ll let you know).
PS While I didn't see any celebs while I was there, a friend of mine said she was here last week and saw Gordon Ramsey dining with David & Victoria Beckham and Eva Longoria!
Caution! - Petty theft is thriving here!!.
I actually used to enjoy coming here mostly for great food. Until the
night my purse was stolen from my table, by someone who was sitting
next to us with his group of friends. The security camera was right
above us. However, management refused to show me the tape, call the
police asap and try to track this person down via the credit card that
his table paid with. They were uncooperative and plainly uninterested
in resolving this issue and in helping me getting my property back --
my phone with all my contacts, different ID's, some cash and the keys
to my place. you can imagine of time and money I now have to spend to
try and renew all those things, however most of the business contacts
and information are forever lost. In 30-40 minutes after my property
was stolen I was forced to raise my voice several times to try to get
their attention, BEGGING them to call the police so the report can be
made and show me the tape from the camera. Well, guess what? They did
call cops, but on ME!! What????!!! Are you kidding me?! I'm the victim
here, not the criminal!!! In all this time they could have already
gotten this guys info from his or his friends payment info -- it was a
table of 4 or 5 guys not just one guy, call the police, make the
report and maybe help young girl who now has to break her door down or
at least call a locksmith for me, I mean something, right? But, I keep
forgetting that in the REAL world things are not so simple. So at the
end I did get that yellow paper that's called a "police report" in
which the following was written -- Suspect has taken the property and
fled into unknown direction... I guess folks, that's all I will ever
hear.. oh and I was told I was not allowed on premises anymore. I was
what?? Outraged?! You damn right I was! Wouldn't you be? and I guess I
should frame this yellow "glory paper" so it can remind me of the
"Protect and to serve" bitter sweet sentence.
Anyway, guys enjoy the food and hold on to your bags and your "rights"
, but you have to be aware of the fact that the second thing that
you're holding on to so tightly is only an illusion...
So-so food. I give this place a big 'ehhhhhhh'. I ordered the chef's tasting menu and it was so mediocre that I would not return. The atmosphere was great - but not worth the wait! Very overpriced as well.
A for originality, B for food, B- for service.
I had high expectations for Bazaar all around given the difficulty getting a reservation (tip: it helps A LOT if someone in your party is staying there), the general buzz and the mob of hipsters occupying the lobby, which feeds into the bar area.
As a lover of Spanish tapas, I was impressed by the unique mix of traditional and (for lack of a better term) new age small plate offerings. The traditional were spot on - Iberian ham, manchego cheese with sweet marmalade, garlic prawns - delish. The new age items were inspired in substance, but fell short on taste - yellow tail and jalepano sashimi atop wedge of watermelon and truffle risotto. Sound amazing, but for me, failed to either have the right amount of each ingredient or in the case of risotto tasted like the two other truffle risottos I've eaten before - nothing special this time.
I do have to acknowledge the service staff for being cordial and resisting the "you are so lucky to be here that I can't be bothered with your order" aura that often accompanies hip establishments. That being said, they seemed to forget a lot of things we requested...namely a wine list (25 minutes and 3 asks), the second half of our order (30 minute lag and 3 asks), one person's drink that didn't come out with everyone else's at our table (15 mins and 1 ask).
Is it the best meal and experience I've had? No Would I go there again? For sure. It's fun, hip and the food is innovative.
Fun while Dining!. Killer good. Distinguished by its unique menu and flavors. A do not miss restaurant.
Was not impressed.
When in search for quality price goes out the door. You are basically looking for the best tasting food and good service. However, that is not what happened. Maybe the cooking staff was off that day; maybe the hostess did not see my car and thought I was not worthy of being there. Whatever the case, here is a run down.
The wyagu beef was too fatty on the Philly cheese steak. The brussel sprouts were unique and ok. The carrot fritter were the best item tried. The boneless chicken wings were too salty. The wild mushroom rice was not unique. Other places do the same thing with risotto.
Bottom line, way over rated for all the hype. For those who want to know about pricing. The price per person is average for the dining experience expected for a place of such caliber, but again the food quality did not live up to expectations.
Bazaar. Love triangle..
I feel like I've just woken from a dream.
A strange dream in a dark candyland populated by well dressed smiling monkeys, impossible chandeliers and clouds of liquid nitrogen.
And this man. Marcel from Top Chef.
The words "Savor Life Slowly" repeating faintly but insistently in my mind.
I've emerged from the world of José Andrés, where food is art, art is ironic, and irony is for sale.
Parts of the meal are coming back to me. I remember flashes of brilliance, whimsy and contradiction. Textures and tastes that deceived and surprised. Dishes that reminded me of a history not my own.
But ultimately the experience of a meal that was greater than the sum of its parts.
Let me try to paint a picture.
Nitro Caipirinha. Rising out of a fog of liquid nitrogen like a caipirinha in slushee form. Prepared tableside, liquid nitrogen is stirred into the caipirinha until it reaches its desired consistency. That being the consistency of delicious.
Papas Canarias. Salty wrinkled potatoes with a mojo verde. If baked potatoes are good, baked baby potatoes are better.
Mussels, canned with olive oil, vinegar and pimenton. The salt of the sea meets the sweetness of tomato broth meets the acid of vinegar.
White asparagus, yogurt and black olives. A tiny forest of asparagus trunks rising from a can. Desolate. Resolute.
Embutidos platter. Chorizo, lomo and salchichon. Jamon Serrano Fermin. Dry cured ham, sliced thin. Folded onto a slice of Catalan style toasted bread, lathered with a tomato salsa and manchego. A taste of Spain.
Endive, goat cheese, oranges and almonds. A perfect bite to cleanse the palate. The crunch of the endive, the soothing goat cheese and the brightness of orange.
"The ultimate Spanish tapa!" Ensaladilla rusa. Potatoes, carrots, mayo, tuna belly. If José Andrés wants to call this the ultimate Spanish tapa, who am I to argue?
Brussels sprouts, lemon purée, apricots, grapes, lemon air. The tart preparation belies the bitterness of the brussels sprouts. Surprisingly light.
Bunuelos. Codfish fritters with a honey alioli. Battered fish, in any language, tastes good.
Sea scallops with a romesco sauce. Sweet. Perfectly caramelized. Simple and flavorful.
Japanese taco. Grilled eel, shiso, cucumber, wasabi, chicharron. Thinly sliced cucumber replaces the tortilla. José Andrés does Japanese masquerading as Mexican.
Organized Caesar. Caesar rolls topped alternately with a quail egg yolk and parmesan. You say organized. I say deconstructed. Everyone fights over the quail egg.
Watermelon tomato skewers, Pedro Ximénez reduction and lemon dressing. A visual treat. It tastes like it looks. Watermelon and tomato.
Boneless chicken wings with a green olive purée. Andrés does fried chicken. The Colonel should take note.
Butifarra Senator Moynihan. Catalan pork sausage, white beans and mushrooms. Frank and beans Spanish style, if you will.
Beef hangar steak, piquillo pepper confit. Seared medium rare. Juicy and pink.
"Philly cheesesteak". Air bread, cheddar, Wagyu beef. Essentially thinly sliced Wagyu over a puffed bread with cheese. Don't ask for cheese whiz.
At this point, I'm stirred from my slumber and lead into some half-dream room. Glass bells cover perfect groups of candy, like some laboratory of sugar. The Alchemists tried to turn lead into gold. Here the ingredients are sugar, flour, eggs and cream. The results are just as alluring and desired as the precious metal. Sweet Little Snacks.
Creamy Chocolate Heart. Coffee and cardamom. Dense. Rich. Chocolatey. Good.
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta. Apricots and muscat gelatin. Dig down. Scoop up. Taste. Repeat.
Ice cream and sorbet. Orange, peach, strawberry. Refreshing.
Traditional Spanish flan. Vanilla and fruit. A classic to end the meal.
And with that, the dream gives way to waking.
Save for a final image. A beautiful girl resting her head on a concrete pillar. "Soft Like Silk".
I wonder if she shared the same dream.
A ripoff. They said they could seat us either a 6:00 PM "on the terrace" or 10:45 inside. We chose 6:00 PM on the terrace. But it was cold. Once we were seated, they struggled for about 25 minutes to get the heaters going. We were two people, and my friend a non-drinker. Bite size portions at an average of $12.00 a bite. Quite a ripoff. The only thing that was spectacular was the waitress's lack of genuineness. We were out by 7:30 PM, having paid $165.00, and I'm thinking of a place to have dinner now. After I said good night to my friend I went to In N Out. Double Meat with Grilled Onion and Fries. $4.08. Only then did I feel that I'd had dinner.
Good spot in a sea of incompetence.
Sam Nazarian strikes again. With Starck and Andres latched firmly on his nipple, Bazaar at the new SLS Hotel spares no expense. Well, maybe some but gets a solid win despite it.
The hotel took so long to open that I was sure of the project's death. Shows what I know. Sammy Boy Entertainment (or SBE without deeper meaning as he likes to lie to interviewers) has so much money behind it that whatever problems they were having were simply waited out. Didn't even have to sell one of his 12 cars or sub-lease the Veyron. Money clearly ain't no thang considering dysfunctions in the company ensure that not a single bar they've ever opened turns a profit. Except The Abby. Gays are profitable. LA hipsters ain't. But who cares when daddy has a billion dollars? Here's a few mil kiddo. Go away and don't bug me. Sammy got enough to buy publicity with Fortune ride-alongs, Entourage cameos and Top Chef judgeships. Good for him, but we're not here to gossip about Nazarian or envy his estate. We wish to analyze Bazaar on its own merit.
LA restaurants require LA yardsticks. Else, details like timely seating, flighty service and hour-long valet lines would sink them. Bazaar was spectacularly busy even though the place had been open for months. This means ordering will be a lottery of fame and prettiness. This time was no different except that our order was actually taken and delivered in under 5 minutes. A remarkable change of pace in a city whose default motion is through motor oil: slimy, dirty and slow. But Bazaar did better. And made us pay. The disparity between the prices of their food and drinks is canyonesque. A $23 bottle of Peay Vineyards Pinot sells for $19/glass. A Maker's neat goes for $12. Pretty steep but they're not afraid to pour making the "shot" in reality a triple. For $4 it's a steal.
But the food sure hits the sweet spot. And saltiness. And umami. Mention must be made of the Jose Andres take on Philly Cheese Steak which consists of a toasty dumpling filled with melted truffled cheese and topped with a near-raw slice of Wagyu. $8 for a single but worth more. Astounding. I ordered one and got two. It was meant for the party next to us. They let me keep the extra portion. Then, a few minutes later, I got ANOTHER plate delivered with the proper single serve. I didn't eat it out of politeness but really wanted to. The most expensive item was the lamb at $16. It was worth it. The rest of the items, although good, could not match the the Philly. It was the evening's highlight. As was the bill. Had we nothing to drink, 8 dishes would have cost $90. Recession pricing indeed.
The evening's low is LA, not the restaurant itself. They did not seat us until we checked up on our status. An old trick and with the bar prices, a profitable one. The waitress, although competent, had that annoying personality common to those who believe their life to be a stage. And the valet line took 20 minutes to pay the bill and another 25 to get the car. Incompetence by any yardstick. But the people here wait and say nothing which is so different from the adolescent tantrums they throw at every other thing. What is it about cars and parking that bring out LA's best when it should bring out its worst? I'd rather treat my waiter well and leave tire-tread on the snout of whoever schedules valets. Plan ahead moron. But, it is not fair to judge an LA restaurant by its support services the problems of which are endemic in the city. Bazaar is a fantastic deal in a place where deals are hard to come by. You should go before Sammy Boy Nazarian changes his mind.
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