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7.16.2010

Friday Faves: New Favorite LA Restaurant - The Bazaar

As you may know, the hubs and I do a trip every year for our anniversary instead of gifts. Since we were headed to Spain a few weeks after our 2nd wedding anniversary this year, we thought it would be fitting for dinner on our actual anniversary to go to a restaurant we had been dying to try out: The Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS Hotel. I can tell you that we didn't even make it through the entire dining experience before we had already declared it our new favorite LA restaurant, edging out our previous favorite, Yamashiro.

The Bazaar, located at the SLS Hotel on La Cienega on Restaurant Row, was a place we had been eagerly waiting to try. We first heard of Chef Jose Andres by catching his TV cooking show, Made in Spain. For the last year and a half we had started an obsession with Spanish food, Spanish cooking, and just Spain in general as I grew more interested in learning about my ancestry, and as we geared up for our big anniversary trip. So you can imagine our excitement when we found out that Jose Andres was actually opening up a restaurant in our city! Now after visting the restaurant, we can't believe we took so long to go.

From the moment we walked in we were captivated. The decor is very modern but eclectic... more bizarre then bazaar to be truthful. You feel as though you are at a MOCA exhibit rather than a restaurant lounge. The gorgeous and model-tall cocktail waitresses are there to start you off with unique martinis while you wait for your table. I must also add that the service is incredible in every part of the restaurant.

The restaurant is a tapas-style restaurant. This refers to small, individual or pair sized samplings. You order several tapas dishes to share, and they are served when they are ready. The menu includes a combination of traditional Spanish tapas (i.e. Ensaladilla Rusa, jamon, canned meats and vegetables), as well as many amazing fusion items and gastro-chemistry creations from the brilliant Chef. We were amazed that every item that we ordered was just as good if not better than the previous. Our mouths and tummies were in food heaven during this meal that we did not want to end.

Here are some of our favorite items that we are all too happy to recommend:

"Philly cheesesteak" - you MUST get this if you go. You will have dreams about it afterwards. Puffed air bread filled with a puree of cheese and onion, and topped with thinnly sliced Wagyy beef (with edges seared and seasoned to perfection)
Beef hanger steak - tender, juicy, and seasoned to perfection
Cotton candy foie gras - cube of foie gras served on a skewer with a "cotton candy" cage of some ingredient I can't describe
Tuna ceviche and avocado roll - buttery tuna and jicama wrapped in a delicate avocado slices and drizzled with coconut dressing

They also have a dessert section that is a treat to the eyes as well as the palate. So if you manage to save room after all the tapas, you can sit there and order gourmet cookies or bon bons as if you are at a candy store, and sit and enjoy them with some cafe.

Jose, we applaud you, and we will be back!

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