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Jun 28, 2012 12:03 AM

sls hotel south beach

has anybody been to el bazar from jose andres at SLS? how was it ?
are they open yet ? and anybody knows if they have something like saam or E?

thanks again

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  1. It's open, I was there weekend before last. You can see some pictures here ->

    Menu is extremely lengthy, pretty much all small plates, divided between a "Miami Meets the World" theme and "Spain Yesterday and Today." The Spanish stuff is pretty similar to what's on the menu at Jaleo. The other stuff is a grab bag of more contemporary dishes, several with a Latin American twist, and a small section that looks to Singapore (the connection being they have similar Art Deco architecture ?).

    I had about 10 dishes and I thought a couple were excellent, several very good, a couple only OK, and a couple missed. With the small plates format and pretty much everything priced over $10 (and several in the $20s) it will almost invariably be a very expensive meal. And then there's the $25 valet. Pretty much anything with uni or foie is going to be good (and there are several menu items with each).

    The space itself is not quite as dramatic as I expected.

    There are no current plans to do anything like minibar / ê / saam.

    1. I went twice for during the pre opening and tried most their food and it is very good for the most part with some dishes that did not work. It is expensive, especially to park. If you are driving, i recommend going to the parking place on 16th and drexel and walking to SLS.

      I particularly liked (in no particular order)
      Frozen Caipirinhas
      Smoked oysters
      Mussles conserva style
      Papas Huancaina
      Cuban sandwich
      mini empanadas
      frozen blue cheese sandwich
      sausage sandwich
      Cuban Escabeche
      Epanada Gallega
      Noodle Paella dish
      Shrimp Tapa
      Japanese Taco

      I forgot the name of a bunch of them and I cant find a menu to remind me. The restaurant is still new and it improved the 2nd time I went over the first.

      I have not been to saam or E so cannot compare. Perhaps Frod will chime in. I can list more dishes if I could find a menu.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tpigeon

        There's a menu online here (not the restaurant website) ->

        The é / minibar experience (and, I assume Saam) is unique - very small and intimate (6 seats at a bar in minibar, 8 in a private room at é), prepared right in front of you, with a fixed menu of 25-35 dishes, many just a bite or two. From that perspective, this is really nothing like it (though you do get tableside service of the liquid nitrogen frozen caipirinhas).

        As for the food, there are some dishes on the Bazaar menu that probably originated at minibar (the conch fritters w liquid center, the Cubano sandwich is a variation on a steak & cheese Andres did at minibar, the bagels & lox "cone") and several others that have the same creative contemporary style. If anything, it strikes me as comparable to Café Atlantico in DC (now closed and converted to America Eats Tavern) where he had a long list of tapas type items with a Latin American slant, many with some of the contemporary flourishes of the minibar / é / saam type stuff.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          thanks frod. Think I may have missed the cod tapa but that's about it from what I really liked there.

          I also liked the jamon iberico but this is not the place to get that.

          I do need to try the other sea urchin and foie preps though. I think this place is expensive but the potential is there. The stuff that worked really worked well.

          1. re: tpigeon

            Update. This place is fantastic and may be the best restaurant in miami. I was blown away. Everything I had before was either better or much better (particularly the burrata with peaches which I did not like the first time, was excellent) this time and it seems that the portion size for the rossejat got larger.

            I would not say at this point the right side of the menu (classic) dominates the left (inventive) for good eats. There is lots of good stuff to be had.

      2. For me the more classic tapas worked much better than the "meet the world" side of the menu. Chicken croquettes and galician oysters (a play on galacian octopus with potatoes and pimenton on a poached oyster) were my favorites. The cuban sandwich was a waste of jamon (and like Frod said was a take on a Philly cheesteak we had at minibar back in 2008) and the "Singapore meets Miami" idea just seems absurd. You won't find many people criticizing the place because of Andres' stature, but it was pretty poor on our first visit. Or maybe we're just jaded with this type of food. Where it's supposed to be whimsical and fun it turns out being precious and a little pompous.

        4 Replies
        1. re: lax2mia

          E and saam are small "hiden" rooms within the same restaurant, the diference is the food, they take more care and it is little bit more modern.....
          he almost always makes something similar,
          also in LA the crowd is useally "hip&nice" and the place is very nice........

          1. re: lax2mia

            I actually liked the cuban a lot, especially the cream filling but thought it was overpriced. However if they did use Jamon Iberico, it was indeed a waste because the other elements overpowered the Jamon. It did not taste like Iberico ham to me - just good ham.

            I also never did any of his restaurants before so I am not jaded I suppose.

            1. re: tpigeon

              It's the waste of ham plus the "cream" inside was supposed to be a cheese (either swiss or gruyere) but wasn't strong enough. It didn't really work. The prep I had at minibar and Bazaar LA was a philly cheesesteak which was the same prep as the cuban but rare wagyu instead of iberico and cheddar. The beef made it easier to eat as it gave when you bit through as opposed to the ham which is much tougher and you basically have to tear through.

              After having been to many Andres restaurants multiple times I've gotten to the point where the preparations of traditional tapas are my favorites. Again, the croquettes are among the best you'll ever have and the Canarian potatoes are spot on. My wish would be for J.A. to open a Jaleo somewhere/anywhere in Miami (and preferably somewhere with <$25 parking).

              1. re: lax2mia

                I thought the cheese was great inside of mine but you can get the empanadillas for a lot less and they are just as good.

                Overall, I did like the traditional tapas the best as well. I am going to wait for a bit before I go back to give them time to get into rhythm.

          2. Menu is now available on the SLS / Bazaar website ->

            1. Reading the different reviews of this place in the different food blogs circulating, and comparing it with my own experience, I have to conclude with an interesting, yet personal feeling. The perfect analogy for Bazaar is the fable about the emperor clothes. Fill the place with beautiful people, bulld a glitzy hype, and overcharge big time for every dish. People will have to say they had a great time, or else feel we were ripped off. I feel it was a ripoff and the emperor was naked.

              4 Replies
              1. re: mrotmd

                Completely disagree. People like yourself go in looking to bash a place of this stature instead of sitting back and enjoying the food. I've been four times now and they are cranking out some great food. Go back.

                1. re: mrotmd

                  Completely disagree as well.

                  I've had 3 meals at Bazaar and all were phenomenal. The flavors and textures of nearly every dish I've tried (about 41 so far) have been very impressive. Yes, my bills were higher than the average restaurant but for what I ate/drank I thought they were reasonable. If you want a Jose Taco with Iberico & Caviar then expect to pay $50 for it (not something I'd call a "taco" nor would order frequently but you get 5 pieces and it's worth it if you're in the mood and like those ingredients).

                  There is a perception in this country that if you don't leave a restaurant with your pants bursting open after you finish a meal then you got ripped off. I'm not one to follow that philosophy. I can tell you this, my 2 meals at different restaurants the following 2 nights after the first 2 nights I had at Bazaar were more expensive, very filling, and not as good. Don't get me wrong, each of those meals were phenomenal, but I couldn't help feeling that spending the same $ at Bazaar would've been better (well, maybe only in one of the two cases). I also think the key to Bazaar is going with 2 other people. My first visit we were a 2-top and the bill was more expensive as a result of trying more items. I also was very full that visit. Next 2 visits were a 3-top and we tried just as many if not a few more items and the bill was lighter because it was split 3 ways. Also left satiated rather than over full.

                  When it comes to GOOD food (ie executed properly), taste is subjective so there is no right vs wrong.

                  To imply that Bazaar is a ripoff or all flash and no substance, however, is incorrect.

                  1. re: Blind Mind

                    I could have sworn I read this somewhere before...Must be a glitch in the Matrix...

                    Btw. I did not really love Jose's taco. It was good but I did not think combining the ingredients brought synergy to them.

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      so i went just a couple of nghts ago and wanted to share my experience.....(will try to make it short)
                      places is nice, not as amazing as the one in LA, but nice enogh,
                      we had a very good meal, i like it my wife did not, but we both agree that it is a good place.
                      we tried a lot of dishes, probably around 20, some where very very good some where some hit and miss, but again that is subjective, the important part is that food is well though and excelent executed,
                      service was very good with some misses as well, but not a big deal and more for a place with a couple of weeks open, so besides a couple of problems (that they resolve perfect) it was very good,
                      going back to the food, my wife did not like said that the combinations fo flavors very too experimental, plus she compare it to bazzar LA and E, where she though food was better and more balance.
                      for my it was ok better than what i expected, we both thought is a good adition to miami, where it is the only restaurant that serves "modern or molecular" food.
                      and when you go to a place with the reputation of jose andres, you must at least have hear what it is about....... so you know you are going to have some strange and different plates, if you like it or not is up to each and everyone, but in anyway you can say it is a rip of, it just cant be...... because the great thing in food is as long at it is done with heart and well and services is profesional and clean, if you like what you are beeing serve is completly different if it is a rip of or no, just like it or dont , the important part, at least for my is to enjoy the experience of new and different food even if i like it or not, good eating to all :)

                      ps sorry for my awful spelling