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*Bazaar* - Impressive? Would I go back?

Dined at Bazaar last night

Food: B/B+ (girlfriend rates a tad higher B+)
Decor: A
Service: B (nice but a bit robotic)
Drinks / Bar: B (Cotton Candy Mojto A-)
Pastry / Candy Area: B-
Overall Value: B+
But Would I Go Back???: Probably not (if I was paying)
Total for 2: $160 (I was not full, girlfriend was)

Prediction: This place will be hot for awhile, but cool off tremendously and Bazaar will have a lot of furniture but not so many people.

More specifics at Bazaar:

Thanks to reading pasts posts I was armed with a list but made some last minute decisions based on my girlfriend seeing things she liked on the menu - so let's get right to the food:

Soy marinated salmon roe cone ($4) / American Caviar Cone ($8)-
Let's start with one of the biggest disappointments of the night. The smallest item ever served on a plate – ah make that cone holder- Spagos and even French Laundry's salmon caviar cones were 20x better...and bigger.

Sweet potato chips ($10) Yogurt, tamarind, star anise-
Very good as the chips were decent but the yogurt was light, airy and unique

Tortilla de Atun, tuna belly omelet, dry bonito flakes ($10)-
Unimpressive dish—the egg didn’t know if it wanted to be - scrambled, an omelet or a poached egg – imagine all three with canned tuna mixed topped in and bonito flakes on top. Not good.

Not your everyday Caprese ($12) Cherry tomatoes, liquid mozzarella –
I was going to pass on this dish as I “got” the gimmick by researching so had no real desire to try it. But girlfriend wanted it and she enjoyed it very much.

Tortilla de patatas “new way” (Per Person $3) Warm potato foam, egg 63, caramelized onions-
Impressive dish – even though I am still not quite sure what I ate. Girlfriend, who I thought would not like it because she hates runny eggs – thought it was great. Great value.

Japanese taco ($10) Grilled eel, shiso leaf, cucumber, wasabi, chicharron
If going I would skip this. Nothing special and I think I still have a mini eel bone in my tooth.

Croquetas de pollo, chicken and béchamel fritters - Delicious item but not terribly original. both my girlfriend and I were fans of this and I would recommend.

Miso “linguini” $10 (Tomato, lemon, salmon roe)
An original dish, but I did have much better (and bigger portion) at little yakitori shops in Vancouver. When we ordered, the server wanted to make it real clear that this wasn’t “Italian linguini” – I just ordered foie gras on a stick, an eel taco, and caviar cones – thanks but I get it.

“Philly cheesesteak” Per Person ($8) Air bread, cheddar cheese, Wagyu beef-
Exceeded expectations – my only complaint was that the cheese inside could have been a tad warmer.

Beef hanger steak, piquillo pepper confit ($10)
Loved this dish – perfectly seasoned and I dislike red peppers but they were sweet and a great compliment to steak.

And I guess the more bazaar (play on words) a dish, the more bazaar the effort is to get it:

Foie Gras Cotton Candy ($5)
- I ordered with waitress
- Caviar / Cotton Candy Lady comes around and I said “yes I would like all three- I just let our waitress know as well”
- I get the caviar cones no sign of cotton candy
- 15 minutes go by so I ask the waitress – “oh it’s coming”
- 15 minutes go by – I ask again – “oh let me check on that”
- We are escorted to Pasterrie area – I ask matrie’d wtf?– “sorry about that”
- Finally 2 arrive – it was good – and removed from bill.

Recap of Patisserie Section
Take a regular sized higher end Hershey bar – cut it in 18 pieces and charge yourself a $1 per piece

Then take a chocolate chip cookie – cut it 4 pieces and charge yourself a $1 per piece

Pop Rock Chocolate was different but gets old after awhile

I believe when you walk out of a restaurant you should full, not stuffed, satisfied and be thinking in your head when will I be back next. Unfortunately, these criteria's were not sufficiently met.

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  1. Idea -- Do you think you could set up a real Philly cheesesteak cart outside of Bazaar? Imagine how much you could charge for them!

    1. "Spagos and even French Laundry's salmon caviar cones were 20x better...and bigger." -- And free too. ;)

      With all the ebullient praise Bazaar has been getting as of late, I'm glad to see that at least someone's not completely enamored with the place. I happen to think that it's a good restaurant, but not THAT good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kevin h

        It's funny Kevin -- before i went I thought you were tough on the place based on your review (compared to others more positive) -- usually it's the opposite with you -- but i have to say your experience was a pretty fair assessment and similiar to mine.

        1. re: radman123

          Indeed, I was tough on The Bazaar (because it deserved it), but I do think the place has improved since I've been there. I'll probably make my way back eventually.

      2. Absolutely agree re caviar cone.

        1. Good review - as I detailed in my review it has hits and misses, but I quite liked it. The Tortilla de patatas is unreal for the price.

          1 Reply
          1. re: uhockey

            unhockey- yeah your review made me order the Tortilla de patatas - good call

            I also was looking for the Apples “Carlota” Bread pudding you recommended but I did not see it on the menu

          2. honestly, i feel bad that your service was not great. both times i have been the service has been above or equal to anything i have had in los angeles. and while i have loved both meals, i haven't adored everything that has come across my plate. however, as an experience, i loved it both times. i am going 2x in april (one 40th bday and one dinner with friends, their choice) and I am looking forward immensely to going back and not regretting at all that I am doing the same place 2 more times when there are places that are new that I have not been to.

            1. Given all the hype and the expansive menu, was ready to be disappointed. But I'm sold. Bazaar is the real deal and the playful menu works for a few small plates with drinks or full a full meal. Jose's take on Philly Cheesteak in sinful. Crab and ceviche avocado roll with corn flake crust really nice. Modern take on Caprese is not to be missed. Tempura avocado a waste of your time.

              Would take at least 3 more trips to really put a dent in the menu.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ElJeffe

                I thought Bazaar was excellent and am looking forward to my next dinner there. I thought prices were good as well. My gf and I got the 10 course tasting(95pp) which ended up being 29 different plates. I have pictures of each course here http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index...
                It was definitely the most fun dinning experience I've had in a while.

                1. re: SDGourmand

                  Wow..the tasting course seems like the way to go. I'll try that next time. Btw, your pictures turn out so nicely. What camera did you use to take these pictures?

                  1. re: fdb

                    Thank you!! I really try to focus my site on great pictures. I find that no matter how well you can describe food, pictures will always be better. I mean you do eat with you eyes first. Anyway, I use a cannon powershot G10.

              2. I went there and thought it was not phenomenal, but extremely good. I think it really depends on how you think of the place and what you order. I like to think of the place as a really upscale bar with creative drinks and good side dishes (albeit expensive). I spent $140 per person with drinks, tax, and tip and left very satisfied. What will kill you in terms of price are the drinks! Those nitrogen caipirihnas are $20 each!