Bazaar - a brunch quickie
Sunday brunch at Bazaar, pretty empty – 2 parties when we arrived at 11, 5-6 as we were leaving noonish. Loved the eclectic Starck interior and overall chill vibe.
A sparkling lemonade with rosemary syrup – nice and refreshing but really strong and sweet. 20% more sparking water would have been great.
Kumamoto Oysters w/ lemon, black pepper – raw, not canned. Found it misleading to list this under the “latas y conservas” part of the menu. I like Kumamotos for their small size, fresh, slightly crunchy texture and lack of milkiness. These were quite plump & large, and very creamy. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in fact, these were not Kumamotos. They were flavorful and I enjoyed them just fine, but I found them salty. No need to salt oysters, imo, but maybe that’s what makes them “conserva.”
Plate of 3 cheeses - Valdeón, a pungent and pleasantly creamy blue; La Serena, a creamy sheep’s milk with an odd greasy texture; Idiazábal, a firm, sheep’s milk cheese, nutty and smoky
Buñuelos Codfish fritters, honey aioli – my favorite dish, lightly crisp on the outside, piping hot and soft inside, full of cod meat, nice flavor. Didn’t care much for the greasy feeling aioli so I sauced lightly.
Beef Hanger Steak Piquillo pepper confit – good and cooked perfectly medium rare but again, too salty
Japanese Tacos – tasty little eel tacos in cucumber shells, 3 to an order – at $10, a bit steep
Mozzarella-tomato pipettes w/ micro basil, instructions – peeled cherry tomatoes on liquid mozzarella filled pipette “skewers.” Though the menu said it came with instructions, we didn’t get any from the server. Not a problem since it was quite obvious to us what to do – eat the tomato and squeeze the liquid mozzarella. Nice flavor and fun.
Olives, traditional and modern – traditional olives were stuffed with anchovy and something else. Very very salty – spose that’s expected… loved the olive spheres – pure olive essence and luscious texture - but found it odd that that they brought out a set of 4 spoons but spooned out only 2 – why not just bring out 2 spoons on a plate instead of leaving us wondering if we got shorted 2 olives?!
Service was a bit stiff and borderline amateurish. Also, a minor gripe, but with the exception of the olives, everything came in odd numbers: 5 oysters, 5 fritters, 5 slices of steak, 3 tacos, etc. which was kind of annoying for sharing between 2 people.
Wouldn’t mind going again for dinner if someone else were paying, but everything seemed to be about 20% overpriced, even after factoring in the abundant hipness.
re: Bob Brooks
Were they made with bacalao (dried salted cod)? If so - the restaurant probably didn't rehydrate/soak the fish properly to get rid of the excess salt. Was the food in general too salty (I don't much like overly salty food - and will have to govern myself accordingly when we dine there on Wednesday)?
It was really soft inside so I think it was made from fresh cod but I could be wrong.
Some things were salted appropriately, others oversalted. Nothing was undersalted. I do think they have a heavy hand with salt but seemed to me consistency was more of an issue since even in a single "can" of oysters, there were varying degrees of salt. I suppose if they were sprinking salt over the food (as opposed to salting, then mixing it in), some parts could receive more salt than others. My husband didn't really notice the salt level but I always pay particular attention to salt because i think it's one of the most basic skills in cooking. I've complained of food being undersalted in the past so it's not a matter of being overly sensitive to salt, just being keenly aware of it.