Another Night at The Bazaar: review with pics
465 S. La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
One of the first items we had fun trying was a nitro caipirinha. A caipirinha is the national cocktail of Brasil, made from cachaca, sugar and lime. At The Bazaar, they serve them frozen. By using nitrogen to freeze them instead of ice cubes, the drinks don't get watered down. They are an intensely flavorful and boozey frozen beverage. I want to try this at home, but I probably won't. If you see above, the nitrogen evaporates as it freezes the liquid. Wiki tells me that caipirinha is the diminutive of the word caipira, which in Brasil is synonymous with the United States term, "hill-billy". So this drink in Brasil means, literally, "little hill-billy". We shared the first one between the four of us. Later on the meal, I admit I egged everyone on into another one. This time each couple had their own. Next time, I am not sharing with anyone. These were the kind of cold that makes your tongue stick to the spoon for just an instant. Licking the nitrogen flag pole is not advised.
Like on New Year's, the first item on the agenda were the caviar creme cones. Just as lovely as the first time. I gobbled mine right down, barely tasting it. Next time I need to eat this in slower bites, savoring the creme and the caviar, the crunch of the cone.
We all knew we wanted the Philly Cheese Steak. An even more intriguing pic of this can be found here. The rare Wagyu beef sits atop a pillow of "air" bread that hollows out when it bakes and is filled with melted lite creamy cheese. It is delicious. The bread is crisp and almost cracker like, just a little moist. The beef is sliced thin, but not too thin and is still warm. The cheese is beautiful.
We were all intrigued to try the caprese with spherified mozzarella cheese. Now, why it is necessary to spherify a cheese that is sold already in a sphere I do not know. I assume it is simply for the joy of play. The tomatoes were thoughtfully skinned and easy to eat in one gulp. I think it was at this moment that Mr. Andres came out and chided me for not eating the cherry tomato and cheese sphere in one bite.
Next was the Tortilla de Patates "new way", on the menu It is potato foam, with egg, caramelized onion, chives and bacon bits on top served warm and liquid in an egg shell. This was crazy delicious. The presentation didn't hurt either. I had to really explore the presentation. I ate my tortilla patates then turned the slate base upside down so I could look at how the egg shell was affixed to the slate. It looked like someone had spray painted the egg shells metallic silver, then hot glued them to the slate. I picked at my egg shell a little. The shell was quite breakable, as real egg shells are. I am glad this was a disposable container, because I purposefully broke it. I am assuming the metallic paint is lead-free.
At neither of our previous visits to The Bazaar have we ordered the scallops for D, which is bizarre. Lovely sea scallops seared and sitting on a lovely bed of Romesco sauce and olive oil. Very nice.
Last time they were here, Y & D definitely ordered the foie gras cotton candy, and this time they wanted to try the foie gras sliders on brioche with quince. I thought they were good, but I didn't flip for them. The foie was cool, and I think the flavor of the foie would have been better presented (it is the key ingredient) had it been served warm. It just fell flat for me, which is a shame when treating yourself to foie gras.
I have to admit that by this point I was full. It would have been the perfect place to stop eating. Did we stop eating? Hay-yell no! Y ordered the pisto, a warm vegetable stew with tomatoes and an egg. I tasted and saw eggplant (my fave) tomatoes, red bell peppers, most likely pasilla peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and flower petals. The stew was served warm with a raw egg on top and the server stirred the stew at the table to cook the egg. It was delicious. This is brunch fodder I could get on board with. (The fact that I am not a breakfast fan being common knowledge, to me anyway.)
Out marches the salmon. This must be a new dish because it is not on the menu. It came out under a dish, still smoking. As our server lifted the dish the beautiful smoke wafted around the table. It was a beautiful piece of translucent smoked salmon with deconstructed tatziki...small puddles of yogurt and cubes of cucumber. The taste was nowhere near as dramatic as the presentation, but it was good.
Because we had eaten here a couple times, we let Y & D take lead in the ordering, but at the end D and I decided to add a few items we always want when we dine at The Bazaar. I wanted the miso fettuccine with salmon roe. I am not sure this was to everyone's taste. No one else exclaimed over its amazingness. Nevertheless, my mouth was happy. I love the miso-eyness of this, the light coolness of the fettuccine and the salty roe popping in the corner of my mouth.
Naturally D wanted the tomato and watermelon skewers. Last time we were here he ate two plates of these on his own. The little brown spots are a Pedro Ximinez (a sherry) reduction. Y exclaimed at the tomato on top of the watermelon. She was watching another table eat these earlier in the evening and couldn't believe the tomatoes weren't some kind of caviar. Andres really takes just the juicy soft slippery heart of the tomato and skewers it to those seedless watermelon squares. So refreshing.
The above really disappointed me. It is called Rossejat, or paella style pasta. It is a little like a fideo in the sense that the pasta is cooked til it is crunchy. There were a few shrimp across the top, as you can see. Neither the flavor not the texture thrilled me. Meh.
Because we were with guests, I allowed myself to be swayed by dessert and coffee. The coffee was fantastic and brewed in your individual cup. Y and I were a little miffed that we only got one small cup of coffee for $4. And although pinching pennies over coffee at the end of such an amazing meal might seem strange, let me explain. First off: the meal was not as expensive as you think it might have been, and second: well, so what?
Y ordered the bread pudding for D. It is his favorite. I had a nibble and liked the nutty and rich flavor of this, but it was too heavy for me to taste it properly. I would have burst. My D wanted the Hot Chocolate Mousse, natch. It was served with some delicious sweet pear sorbet. Strangely, this is not served hot. So clearly they are referencing hot chocolate the drink rather than selling chocolate mousse served hot. It was good enough.
I ordered the Greek yogurt panna cotta with apricots and muscat gelatin. All these layers! All these textures. In a little insulated glass. With pistachio dust on top. A beautiful dessert, with some clinging sweetness but light textures...each layer a little different but also kind of the same. Mmm.
formatted with pics: http://foodshethought.blogspot.com/20...
We were there Friday night. Just some thoughts. The food is fun and delicious but I'll echo previous sentiments that I don't think it's a 4-star restaurant. I much prefer Bazaar over XIV for the small plates concept.
The wine list is outrageously short. On the other hand, corkage is only $20. Quite reasonable for a high end dining establishment. The sommelier who was previously at Daniel in NYC and then Daniel Boulud Brasserie in Las Vegas walked by and took it upon himself to decant the wine. Luckily, he stopped the waiter in time who was about to serve it without decanting.
-"Canned" Kumamoto oysters
-"Canned" uni. Both very good but I prefer the kumamotos at Anisette on the half shell and the uni at Mori.
-Not your Every Day Caprese. Very good.
-American Caviar cones. Also very good but the fried cones tasted oily. Not nearly as delicate as the ones at French Laundry.
-jamon iberico. Served with bruschetta, topped with a tomato puree and drizzled with excellent oilve oil. This dish lives up to the hype
-Foie gras in cotton candy. Another amusing dish and better yet, it also lives up to the hype
-Philly cheesesteak. Stellar. As good as everyone says it is.
-Hilly cheesesteak. Topped with matsutake. The matsutake was flavorless which isn't surprising since it's not in season.
-Salt cod fritters. No spin on this as far as I can tell but light, flavorful, and absolutely delicious.
-braised veal cheeks. Good but no different from every other veal cheek prep out there.
Overall a great restuarant which makes dining fun. I'll definitely be back and it's a welcome addition to LA. In my opinion, Bazaar lives up to the hype much more than XIV. However, I wouldn't go as far to say that the finess and level of creativity is on the level of say, L'Atelier Joel Robuchon.
Going tonight fo a private Alsatian Wine dinner. I cannot wait. Here's a preview of our menu:
Jamon Iberico Bellota
Savory Little Snacks
Caviar Steamed Bun
Olive oil bonbon
Bagels and Lox Cone
Some Luxurious Satisfaction
Olives Ferran Adria
Ajo Blanco Gelatin
Tomato Granite, Marcona Almond
Saul’s Pastrami on Rye
Marinated salmon roe, tofu-miso
Cotton candy foie gras
Bluefin tuna toro
Seared Watermelon, Greek yogurt, Soy Caramel
Dragon Fruit Salad
Finger Lime Caviar, Lime Air
Boneless chicken wing, green olive sauce
“Smoked Salmon “
Chickpea Pan Cake, Tzatziki
Not your everyday Caprese
Cherry tomatoes, liquid mozzarella
Tornedos Rossini 2009
Kobe beef, truffle, foie gras
Dragon breath caramel popcorn
Sweet Little Surprises
Coconut in a Half Shell
Caramelized Banana, Passionfruit
Chocolate biscuit coulant Michael Bras
The original liquid center chocolate cake
i've been to the bazaar twice in one week and i can't wait to go back again.
first time, went with a big group, so got to try most everything. for me, the only real miss was the pistachio sponge cake served with the delicious beet meringues. it tasted like sawdust and was a putrid shade of green. however, the meringues were so delicious, i just scraped the moldy looking green stuff off to the side and pretended it wasn't there.
last night, after eating at the korean taco truck for dinner (yum) we stopped in for a drink and a few bites. the fois gras lolli was as delicious as i remembered. this time, i tried some candies from the sweets list. what was called a marshmallow was actually a french fruit square, similar to the ones sold at maison du chocolat. it was tiny, but flavor packed and delicious. i also had a paper wrapped saffron jelly. it was also full of flavor and fantastic. i think a bargain at $2.
after we ate, and tired of watching injection lipped bleached blondes, i headed off to the moss store to have a look around. as usual, murray moss has done a fantastic job--the place is incredibly well curated and has items at all price points. i'm in the biz, so didn't splurge, but did meet a couple of men who pretended to be in the film business, but are not listed on the imdb. me thinks porn, probably. yuck.
so, for me, food: A, cocktails: A, people watching 100 out of 100, fun: most i've had in a long time.
can't wait to go back again