When I love something, I love it all the way.
I watch all of The Real Housewives franchises.
I know every dance step to “Oops, I Did it Again” and perform it each and every time I hear it.
This is where The Bazaar comes into play.
This Jose Andres restaurant kinda put him on the map for the West Coast. In the swanky SLS hotel in Beverly Hills, it bills itself as a molecular gastronomic palace that delivers both traditional tapas and nouveau ones. I knew that I had to check it out.
The vibe is so cool. It’s irreverent and eclectic, like somewhere that your super cool sister might live if she came into a ton of money and went on a trip to Morocco to find herself. Think tribal masks, hologram maitre d’hotels, plush divans on which to dine, and a beautiful outdoor space that seems relaxed yet provides excellent people watching. Magic Mojito Because when your mojito comes sweetened with cotton candy, it’s magical and you get it. It is sweet and tasty, but really…also so cool.
A little disappointing, to be honest. The flavors are all there – juicy, earthy tomatoes that have the thinnest skin ever…they are totally undetectable, which is great in my book! The pesto is garlicky and fragrant and the little fried croutons are delish. The mozzarella tastes great but the whole “liquid mozzarella” thing falls flat. It just seems like burratta, but less creamy. It delivers on taste but not the molecular gastronomy selling point.
Steak tartare on kimchi crackers
One of the winners of the night. Less molecular gastronomy, more fusion of great flavors. The crisps are made in house and have just the faintest memory of kimchi – some heat and a little fish funkiness that plays off of the steak tartare in a classic Worcestershire sauce way. The tartare is way above par. It’s so rich and hand chopped, so it has a good chew and a really minerally, deep flavor. It isn’t overly spiced or salted – the kimchi rice crisp does most of the flavoring work. Excellent.
Great idea, okay execution. The lettuce rolls are filled with cheese and caesar dressing, then topped with more cheese or a raw quail egg yolk. It needs some more acid, salt, and garlic to really come through. Chicken croquettes
Just as delicious as I remembered them. Wow, I love these. Yellowtail ceviche with grapes, rice crisps, and yogurt
Good, not great – wouldn’t get it again. It just fell flat. The grapes are a surprising punch of juice and sweetness, but the yellowtail needs some more acid to keep it from tasting flat and/or fishy. Philly Cheesesteak I wish that I had a photo of the inside of these sandwiches because they were filled with homemade cheese whiz….yes, you heard that right…CHEEZ WHIZ…BUT HOMEMADE AND CREAMY AND SHARP AND CHEDDAR AND DELICIOUS! The bread is a very crisp, hollow cracker that is filled with that cheese mixture and the top is layered with thin slices of buttery, delicate Wagyu beef. I could eat another 4 of these, easily.
So, what did I think of Bazaar? Well, I liked it…a lot! It wasn’t insanely pricey (for a special occasion meal), the service was some of the best hat we had in LA, and the food was for the most part quite good. However..it should be billed as modern tapas. Not molecular astronomy. It doesn’t deliver on that front.
Where it does deliver is on the meat front.
Get that steak tartare and magic mojito, then sit back and watch people pull up with their Audis and their nose jobs. It doesn’t get any better than that.