I heard about The Bazaar by José Andrés at Hotel SLS for a while, a trendy and upscale Spanish tapas restaurant. I checked their website but I got a bit confused; Rojo y Blanca, Saam, Patisserie and so on, more than one restaurant? Fine, I used Open Table to make a reservation for two and they called me for confirmation, still nobody mentioned which restaurant. I knew it’s expensive and I’d pick up the bill for my bff VL’s birthday.We were escorted to a dining room (now I know it’s Rojo). Hosts and hostesses had a nice and trendy appearance; they’re very friendly too. There’s an open kitchen at one end of the room, and a butcher table at the other end. It didn’t have a luxury décor; wooden tables were not covered with tablecloth and matched with some comfy country-look chairs. It had a relaxing, causal, trendy and European-like ambiance.
Our waiter who looked like an aspiring actor explained the menu to us; from traditional to modern, single serving and sharable tapas. He advised us to have a few rounds, started from light and refreshing, to meat and fulfilling.
We took his advice and ordered three cold tapas as starters. Jacama Wrapped Guacamole came with thin-sliced jacama filled with guacamole in a cup shape. Crispy jacama mixed with light guacamole was refreshing. Not Your Everyday Caprese had peeled cherry tomatoes, liquid mozzarella balls, pesto, mint leaves and balsamic vinegar. I finally understood why there’re two spoons after I poked one liquid mozzarella balls. I then put one cherry tomato, one liquid mozzarella ball and some juice on the spoon; and ate it at one shot. Mozzarella melted and mixed with tomato and sauce, all I could say was wonderful. I guessed we shouldn’t have ordered Tuna Avocado after we had guacamole. Avocado was too strong and other ingredients were being ignored.
|Jacama Wrapped Guacamole|
|Not Your Everyday Caprese|
|Cheers! HBD to VL!!|
We moved to our second round. Jamón Serrano Fermin was nicely served on a stone plate. Jamón was tasty but not salty, and it went so well with the toasted bread covered with fine-diced tomato. I didn’t like American Caviar Cone, lack of flavor and kind of fishy. Be honest, I never cared for caviar anyway; but VL said she liked it. Cotton Candy Foie Gras caught us with a surprise; a small bite of foie gras was covered with cotton candy on a stick, very cute. Foie gras was very delicious with some sweet taste.
|Jamon Serrano Fermin|
|American Caviar Cone|
|Cotton Candy Foie Gras|
We felt we still needed to have something fulfilling. Rossejat Paella-style Pasta with Shrimp didn’t make to my expectation. When it said paella, I expected something moist and soft. Pasta was dry and cut to small threads; it reminded me of shrimp fried rice noodles. Last but not least, three little Foie Gras Sandwiches were really incredibly delicious. Warm honey-glazed small buns and creamy foie gras were perfectly made for each other. It only took two bites to finish one. Yummy!
|Rossejat Paella-style Pasta with Shrimp|
|Foie Gras Sandwishes|
Ok, it’s time for dessert. I now saw the layout of the whole restaurant while being escorted to Patisserie; Blanca was next to Rojo, then Bar Centro and Patisserie. The Patisserie was completely different then the Rojo room, it had a soft and pinkish tone, also an appearance of an English tea room. We were seated at a nice antique looking couch. We visited the open kitchen and found many kinds of charming sweet goodies. We settled with decaf coffee and a dessert, Nitro Coconut Floating Island. It had banana, passion fruit cream and top with a scoop of coconut foam which was frozen by liquid nitrogen. Coconut foam was light and foamy; passion fruit cream was not too sweet. I’d think banana was not the best fruit to pair with because banana’s strong taste was overpowering at times.
|Cheers! HBD to VL again!|
It was an extraordinary dining experience, as the setup and ambiance played a major role. Food had high score partly for its creativity. We had a good time!!
0-5 Star Rating:
Parking: *** (valet parking for $12)
Bang for the Bucks: ****
Average Price/Person: $100 - $120
Types: Tapas, Fusion, Dessert