The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel is a freaky place. Freaky good.
The restaurant is divided into three sections: bar, dining room, and patisserie.
This is no ordinary tapas place. This is a celebration of molecular gastronomy. Top Chef fans will be delighted to know that this is where ever-so-cocky Marcel Vigneron continues to serve up his trademark foams as a sous chef.
Good taste is not enough. Presentation is key. Everything you eat is as gorgeous as it is delicious. It's like the beauty and the brains of the culinary world.
Our dineLA menu consisted of the three tapas each, a "Philly cheesesteak" (you'll see why it's in quotes later), and dessert. Order wisely during dineLA week, or your $44 deal may not really be a deal. We saved about $8 each with our particular selections. Parenthetical prices below are regular menu prices.
BroMo had a dirty martini with olive spherification and olive brine air ($16). I had a bellini with fresh peach juice, Japanese peach, and sparkling wine ($16). Good!
rojo and blanco. "Red" tapas are traditional Spanish fare, while "white" tapas take a more modern approach. We got a good mix of the two. The rojo dishes tend to be heartier. The blanco dishes are lighter and generally more innovative.
Jicama-wrapped guacamole with micro cilantro and corn nuts ($9). Little pockets of creamy freshness. Great start!
Foie gras with quince on brioche buns ($12). So rich! So cute! So...yes!
Crab meat steamed buns with pickled Japanese cucumbers ($15). Cool and crisp enveloped in warm and fluffy. Fab juxtaposition.
Tuna toro "Nigiri" with wasabi, watermelon, red wine, soy, and jalapeño ($16). Fruity sushi! Who knew? Neat combo of textures.
Galician lobster medallions with olive oil, crushed potatoes, and paprika ($15). Traditional flavors meet modernity. Gives a whole new meaning to seafoam.
Tortilla de patatas "new way" ($3). Warm potato foam with a slow-cooked egg and caramelized onions. Oh. Em. Gee. Unlike anything I've ever tasted. Incredible. Special thanks to our server Heidi for suggesting that we add this beyond our dineLA set! And it was just $3! Brother Monkey said he wanted a conveyor belt in front of him with at least 10 of these on it.
Shrimp paella ($12). This came in a gigantic silver pan and was apportioned evenly between the three of us. No skimping here! Heidi informed us that each pan comes with at least 12 shrimp! Piping hot, old-school, and filling. Yum.
Braised veal cheeks with California oranges ($10). Melt-in-your-mouth tender. Seriously good meat.
Lamb loin with foraged mushrooms and potato ($14). The good meat continues, drenched in the crazy delicious foamy potatoes!
"Philly cheesesteak" ($8). Air bread, cheddar cheese, and Wagyu beef. So not from Pennsylvania! Mmmmm.
Japanese baby peaches and persimmons with yogurt and olive oil ($12). This was the sole dish that didn't win me over, but Mr. Monkey and BroMo liked it.
At the end of our tapas-fest, Heidi gave us the option of remaining seated in the dining room and having our desserts delivered to us or moving to the patisserie. We went to the patisserie.
This is the bizarre bazaar part of the restaurant. More on that later.
Apples "Carlota" bread pudding with saffron sauce ($10). Warm sweetness in the shape of a Twinkie.
Greek yogurt panna cotta with apricots and muscat gelatin ($10). I am a panna cotta fiend these days. Be still, my beating heart!
Chocolate stick with orange gelatin, fresh citrus segments, chocolate snap, and freeze-dried raspberries ($10). Oh, snap! Yum.
The area adjoining the patisserie is like Alice in Wonderland meets Dadaism.
We were really full.
More pics here, if you're interested.