Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dinner at The Bazaar by Jose Andres at SLS Hotel, Beverley Hills

This was our second visit to this Spanish/Latin Tapas Restaurant at the SLS Hotel in Beverley Hills - the last being two years ago. 

Most amazing decor.  You enter directly into the bar which is cleverly curtained off from the restaurant areas - designed by Phillipe Starck of course!  I could just live in the bar area.

Chef Jose Andres is a true genius.

Named “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, passionate advocate for food and hunger issues, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. TFG is the team responsible for Washington, DC’s renowned dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Café Atlántico and minibar by josé andrés, as well as Los Angeles’ celebrated destinations, The Bazaar by José Andrés and Saam at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. His latest project at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas features three new restaurants—Jaleo, China Poblano and é by José Andrés. Jose’s ThinkFoodGroup also oversees his creative and cultural endeavors such as cookbooks, television programming, project development, education and philanthropy.
Conde Nast Traveler’s “Hot Restaurateur” in 2011, José is credited with introducing Americans to both avant-garde and traditional Spanish cooking. Born in the northern region of Asturias and raised outside of Barcelona, José chose cooking as his life’s work at the age of 15. He attended the School of Restaurants and Hotels of Barcelona and trained in Michelin-starred restaurants including elBulli with world-renowned Master Chef and friend Ferran Adrià. He made his way to the U.S. and then to DC to work with Rob Wilder and Roberto Alvarez’s Proximo restaurants. Heading up the kitchen at Jaleo, he helped create one of the first critically and commercially successful tapas restaurants in the country, setting the standard for other Spanish and small plate restaurants to follow. Food & Wine hailed José as the “hero of the Spanish revolution,” who “helped create the Spanish food boom in America.” And the New York Times called him “the boy wonder of culinary Washington.” 
With a four-star review from the Los Angeles Times, José made his mark on Los Angeles with the creation of SLS Hotels. ThinkFoodGroup partnered with SBE Hotel Group and designer Philippe Starck to create a new luxury hotel experience. The first property, SLS at Beverly Hills, opened its doors in fall 2008. José and the TFG team oversee the food & beverage program for the hotel, including the signature destination restaurant The Bazaar by José Andrés, named Best New Restaurant of 2009 by Esquire magazine. Zagat gave The Bazaar Top Newcomer in 2009 and honored it as one of the Top Ten Best New Restaurants of the Decade.

Had to have a Fabulous Dirty Martini, and of course an obligatory Magic Mojito with Cotton Candy which tasted great - the Mojito is poured on to the Cotton Candy which melts into the drink.
We then moved to our table with a lovely rounded banquette and proceeded to order way too much.

It is all Tapas, so designed for lots of tastes.  The standouts were:

Philly Cheesesteak (Airbread, cheddar, Wagyu Beef)
and the Hilly Cheesesteak (Air bread, Cheddar, Mushrooms)
It really is Air Bread - completely hollow in the middle.  Delicious.
The Your Life Will Change Dashi Linguini (Parmesan, Quail Egg, Basil) was fabulous. 
 As was the Tortilla de patatas “new way” (Potato foam, Egg 63, Caramelized Onions)
and the Jamones Y Embutidos with Catalan style Toasted Bread and Tomato.
Another standout was the Brussels Sprouts (Lemon purée, Apricots, Grapes, Lemon Air) - truly amazing.
We adjourned to the bar for desert, and shared the Nitro Coconut Floating Island with Passionfruit and Vanilla.
The Patisserie is half the size it was two years ago, but we heard that the pastry chef has since left.

Then had a look around the Regalo - Shop Without Walls which is stocked by Moss
 Nothing there I really wanted to buy this time, except maybe the black round tray with a skull embossed in the middle - surprise surprise!

A fabulous experience and fabulous food - very unusual combination.


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