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Oct 31, 2010 04:27 PM

Bazaar -- wait until Saam or go anyway?

I'll be in Los Angeles for only one night. I get back once or twice a year.

I'd like to try Saam at Bazaar.
I love molecular gastronomy and long tasting menus.

Saam may be closed for a private party that night.
Should I go anyway and cobble together my own meal from the a la carte menu at Rojo/Blanca?
I've never been to either.

Or should I iinvestigate other options (longtime matsuhisa fan) and save the experience for Saam?


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  1. I might be tempted to hold off until Saam. Going a la carte in Rojo/Blanca, I'm guessing you'd have 5, maybe 6 dishes before heading for dessert. Not sure if they might do smaller portions upon request. Saam, as I'm sure you know, is 20+. Also, just a note, both of the times I went to Saam/Bazaar there were private parties and the ruckus was a real sour point (although it's had me suspecting... do they ever NOT have a private party (or several) going on?)

    2 Replies
    1. re: ramenbound

      I couldn't figure out from the website, what is the difference between Saam and Bazaar? If you are saying you are eating at Bazaar, are you really eating at Saam?


      1. re: janeyoc

        Saam is an exclusive tasting room with about 40 seats offering a set menu of ~20 courses for 120. You need to call in advance for a reservation. Other rooms in The Bazaar offer a la carte.

        So with regards you're statement, its kind of the other way around - eating at Saam is eating within The Bazaar, in a private setting; eating at The Bazaar implies you are in one of the spaces in the main dining area.

    2. Providence and AOC also have long tasting menus... excellent food!

      8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

      1. when i was at the bazaar last month our waiter mentioned that they no longer offer the saam tasting menu. perhaps he was on crack?

        1. Thanks for your help folks.

          We went to Saams Friday and it was a fantastic experience.

          There were no private parties that night. I think we lucked out, because they had the whole room on hold for a private party until up to just a week before.
          So they only took reservations for a few days beforehand, and the room was very quiet even with a few open tables.

          We could not have enjoyed it more. Everybody at the place was terrific with a great attitude. From the bartenders in the front, to Jonathan who saw us strolling around and gave us a tour of the place, to Robin (our server) and Carolina (sp?) (overseeing the show) in the Saams room proper. And they took us for a peek in the kitchen after as well.

          The whole Bazaar overall is hip and happening and I loved the design of the place.

          Of course none of this would have mattered if the food wasn't so fun, creative, tasty, playful and surprising as it turned out to be.

          This is the kind of experience you want when you are expecting a creative 20 course menu.
          I would say there were no real clinkers, although the desserts need work if you ask me.
          And there were lots of bites that were really terrific.

          The wine pairings are not as I'd previously read. They paired about 6 different glasses over the meal. Really fun stuff, champagne, amontillado, sake , beer , riesling, tokai.
          What they served was enjoyable, and brilliant in spots; however, there were some holes in the meal where they just didn't serve anything and I think they missed some opportunities there. I'd have been okay with smaller glasses of more things.

          Anyhow, I've got a friend who's having a big birthday this year and I'm even thinking of engineering a trip back down for it.

          To be honest, with all the hubbub about the SF food scene (where I live), there's nothing quite like this up there.

          7 Replies
          1. re: pauliface

            I've never been but my friend suggests Coi comes close to Saam.

            1. re: fdb

              NO NO NO NO NO.

              I have been to Coi.
              Not worth the money.
              Totally overhyped.

              Several plain duds among the dishes, many just fair, a couple of them really good.
              Uncreative wine pairings.

              If you come to SF and want a great meal, go to La Folie, Fleurs de Lys, or (I hear but have not been) the Ritz Dining Room.

              1. re: pauliface

                Yes to La Folie but the Ritz Dining Room was very disappointing

                1. re: honkman

                  Our tastes must be aligned honkman. Ritz Dining Room was very disappointing indeed.

                    1. re: uhockey

                      Interesting and good to know. As I mentioned, I have not tried the Ritz yet.
                      But I will stand by my rec for La Folie!
                      And by my anti-recommendation for Coi.

                      Anyhow, Angelinos, thanks for Saams. It was splendid.

                      1. re: pauliface

                        Thanks. I'll cross off Coi and try La Folie next time I'm in SF.