Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy Birthday: The Bazaar

Back from LA after some MAJOR food adventures. Took tons of pictures, so bear with me here...

For my birthday dinner in LA with two of my closest girlfriends, we went to The Bazaar, in the SLS Hotel. It's apparently the only 4 star rated restaurant in the LA Times. A Spanish tapas place that does some really cool and inventive stuff. The restaurant lobby itself is a fun vibe, very circusy and eclectic. We had a really late dinner reservation (10 pm) so the bar was hopping by the time we got there. The table was still being set (ie: we waited 40 minutes before being seated!) so we grabbed a couple of drinks at the bar first. I ordered a passion fruit martini (so good) and my friend ordered a "jale berry" which was made with blackberries, gin, cointreau and jalepeno. Spicy and sweet, very nice.

Once we were seated, they gave us a complimentary order of sweet potato chips with yogurt dipping sauce (laced with star anise and tamarind) to start, and then told us our first round of drinks would be free! So we ordered two of the tableside nitro capirnhas and one magic mojito. Watching the capirinha being made was awesome -- it ended up being this sorbet type thing in a glass, and was VERY strong. The mojito was cool too -- they poured the mojito over cotton candy. Surprisingly very not sweet.

From there on, it was rounds of food after rounds of food.

First up, kumamoto oysters in olive oil and lemon, served in a tin in homage of the Spanish canning tradition. Really sweet and tasty.

Next, a miso "linguine" with smoked salmon roe and tomato. At first bite it wasn't that flavorful, but once you got the salmon roe, that's where the flavor popped.

The "not your everyday" caprese was one of my favorites. Tomatoes, small bread bites (puffy and airy), and these liquid mozzarella balls (when you bit into the membrane, liquified mozzarella burst into your mouth. Sounds gross but really good), with pesto and olive oil/balsamic.

Two types of olives. A traditional green with anchovies, and a liquid olive, similar to the mozzarella in which it was a membrane and inside was liquid olive. Very tasty.

Oven roasted Cippolini onions with clementines on top with passion fruit and pumpkin seed oil. So good. I love onions.

Codfish fritters with a honey dipping sauce. Simple but so good.

Foie gras cotton candy! I love foie gras, so this was just such a wonderful little sweet bite. So delicious. I could have popped these all night.

Cauliflower cous cous with pomegranate and raisins. The cous cous was so small! This was really flavorful and paired well with the lamb we had below.

The lamb looked kinda gross when it came out because it was just a blob. The sauce on top was some kind of mushroom sauce surrounded by potato foam. The lamb was underneath and was actually quite tender and good.

We also got a "smoked" salmon -- it was served with a lid on top and when he pulled off the lid, all this smoke escaped. The salmon retained a very nice smokey flavor. It was set atop a chickpea cake surrounded by lightly cooked cucumbers and edamame beans. Not our favorite of the night but still good.

For dessert, we ordered two things. One was a nitro coconut floating island with passion fruit sauce. Couldn't tell you exactly what it was but it was good! The second was a greek yogurt panna cotta with apricot foam and surprise apricot/muscat puree at the bottom! I love panna cotta so that was good.

All in all a FABULOUS meal. Really fun and worth going to! It's worth it just to even go to the bar and have a couple of drinks and small plates to share alone. Yum....

Thanks to Minky and JML for a wonderful dinner!

The Bazaar
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles
, CA
(310) 247-0400


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