Step into the doors of the SLS hotel and enter an alluring modern space where every square inch is infected with a touch of Phillip Stark, you will arrive at their hip and happening restaurant, The Bazaar. The Bazaar is an assortment of dining rooms that include a cocktail bar, a tapas dining room, a patisserie, and of course, the main dining room filled with an eclectic array of seats and couches.
Acclaimed US chef and TV personality José Andrés presents us with a truly unique experience on Spanish cuisine by merging the very best of classical Spanish dishes with nouveau culinary techniques. The liquid nitrogen, the spherication, the foams and gels are echoed from the ooh’s and aah’s of the intrigued (and gorgeously fashionable) diners from the LA scene.
I’ve visited the Bazaar on two very different occasions and I’ve always enjoyed every moment, whether it is a romantic dinner for two or a group celebration with twelve.
There are moments when you’re watching Ramsay’s kitchen nightmares on TV and a foul mouthed English chef is screaming at an American chef about a common error most restaurants make, which is having a menu that’s laden with a smorgasbord of choices rather than a short and simple offering. In this case, Gordon’s rule need not apply. With José being a master of his trade, he bends all the rules and he bends them like Beckham (sorry- bad joke). His menu basically gives Gordon’s whole ’simple menu’ concept the big rude finger, which is a draw card for me. José knows the dining experience at the Bazaar is tenfold better than a Ramsay establishment, and not many restaurants can pull off such a long and extensive menu.
The menu consists of two main sections – “traditional tapas” and “modern tapas”, there are pages and pages of options, most of them only satiating one mouthful. You can order everything imaginable, from a rustic Jamon Serrano w/ Pan con Tamateto to a futuristic cotton candy foie gras. Accompany it with a glass of syrah from Napa or serve it with a liquid nitrogen caipirinha. Have a 3 course meal, or put together your own degustation. Even the vegetarians are happy here. What’s not to love? Esquire magazine named The Bazaar their No.1 restaurant last year, so it’s not just popular with the ladies either.
The sheer amount of aesthetically beautiful dishes on our table is for food bloggers what celebrities at The Oscars are for the papparazzi – after all, this is Hollywood! So here, with little words, I bring you the red carpet gallery of Jose’s menu for your visual enjoyment:
Magic Mojito, served in a shaker and strained over cotton candy
Liquid nitrogen Caipirinha, prepared at the table
Sweet potato chips, Yogurt, tamarind, star anise
American caviar cone
Sea urchin, Avocado, steamed buns – our favorite, always! Comparable to Momofuku’s steamed pork belly buns
“Grn Asp Can” – a whimsical play on the canning culture of Spanish food along with Croquetas
Pisto manchego (Capsicum and zucchini stew with coddled egg)
Shrimp cocktail on pipette, where you squeeze the sauce in your mouth as you eat the shrimp
Jamon Serrano w/ Pan con Tamate
The “Not Your Everyday Caprese” salad with sphericated liquid mozzarella balls that explode in the mouth
Philly cheesesteak, Air bread, cheddar, Wagyu beef
Boneless chicken wings green olive purée
Beef Hanger Steak
And moving onto the Patisserie for their vast selection of sweet treats:
White chocolate lollipop with black olive
Traditional Spanish Flan, Vanilla and fruit
Coconut and Berries
SLS Tres Chocolate Mousse
As much as I take pride in the amount of food I can order in one night, all of the above photos were actually taken on three separate visits to this favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. Without any hesitation I return for more things I have yet to try on the menu!
The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048