The Bazaar by Jose Andres
465 S. La Cienega Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Jose Andres is one of most eccentric, cutting edge chefs of today. He developed an unparalleled style of cooking after working under one of the most influential chefs in the world Ferran Adria. With five restaurants in D.C., two cookbooks and numerous awards, I’ve been anticipating dining at one of his restaurants. I couldn’t have been more happy when I found out about Bazaar.
My overall experience at Bazaar varied slightly between my first and second visit. I had a choice between the rojo room, which is a dark room, more traditional with a showcase kitchen to watch the chefs perform their craft. Then there is blanca, which is a more modern room, light colors, a little more intimate. I chose to sit in the Rojo room. I love watching the action of the kitchen as I dine. Service on both nights was good. The servers were attentive, accommodating, and knowledgeable. The food is where the variance occurred.
The first time I ordered the “Jose’s way” tasting and I received 29 different courses. The food was exceptional except for only a few plates such as the Caesar salad. On the second night I ordered the same tasting and received only 24 courses. It actually would have been 21 but I spoke with the manger and he had the kitchen send out three additional savory courses. On top of having fewer courses we also had many more disappointments (lamb, eggplant, uni sandwich, Japanese taco, king crab, apple carlota,) such as the paella dish, which I didn’t get to take a picture of before the server presented it tableside. This dish had nothing to do with paella besides the pan it was presented in. e.g. slimy noodles with tiny shrimp and mayo? On the other hand the remainder of the dishes were outstanding. It’s a disappointment to see such obvious catastrophes amongst some of the more superior dishes I’ve had in Southern California.
side note: hold mouse over picture for name and click for larger images.
The caviar cones were delicate and the caviar really shined through. The cotton candy melted in your mouth leaving you with a silky piece of foie in the center.
The oyster, mussel, and uni all stayed true to the Spanish canning products by preserving the freshness of the main ingredient. However the king crab was completely over powered by bitter raspberry vinegar. Which defeated the whole purpose of the canning because the main ingredient was masked.
The foie gras sandwiches were definitely the best out of the four. The velvety foie and sweet marmalade worked perfectly together. The crab sandwich and caviar bun were equally good. They showcased the freshness of the main ingredient well and had good texture. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the uni sandwiches they were in edible. The uni did not taste fresh and was completely over powered by the gummy steamed bun.
The Caesar salad was by far one of the worst dishes on the menu. It would have been better if there were a quail egg on each piece. The abundance of Parmesan fooled me on thinking that there was a quail egg underneath it. To my disappointment I was left with dry romaine lettuce. The tuna and jicama were both great dishes. Clean familiar flavors. Not a fan of the Japanese taco. The shiso leaf was a little too strong for my taste and overwhelmed my palate.
Both of the tomato dishes were excellent but very similar in taste to one another. If I had my choice I would go with the caprese salad for the texture elements of the spherical mozzarella. The tomatoes were sweet and popped in your mouth. The olives you have to try at least once.
All three of these were good in their own ways. The jamon and bread were rustic, with the distinct rich flavor that you only get from that type of ham. The sweet potato chips were sweet and crisp and the yogurt was light and fluffy, looks a lot heavier than it really is. The wrinkled potatoes are amazing. This is a must get every time. The potatoes are cooked in heavily salted water to perfect tenderness throughout and paired with a mojo verde that brings a nice clean fresh flavor to them.
Gazpacho was good but nothing special. The watermelon and toro had amazing flavor and texture. The watermelon skewers as well had a fresh clean flavor. It was nice to see the tomato caviar being used, as I think that is the best part of the tomato. The egg was spectacular! It was so creamy and rich it had me wishing for more. The two watermelon dishes along with the egg were definitely the highlights of the menu.
At first bite of the onion dish you taste the nutty pumpkin seed oil and then the sweetness of the cippolini onion takes over your palate. An enjoyable dish. Lobster was cooked well but overall lacked flavor. Chicken wings had a perfectly crisp skin and were very moist. It was nice not to have to worry about the bones.
All of these were exceptionally good, especially the carrot fritters. The addition of the pine nuts inside the fritter along with the sauce really made this dish shine.
The eggplant dish was absolutely disgusting. I’m not one for slimy, cold eggplant with tons of seeds still in it. The other three dishes were solid. Especially the poached egg dish.
The Philly was better than the hilly. Although the wagyu tasted more of deli meat it was still very good. I enjoyed the fact that the bread was light and airy and the cheese wasn’t over powering. You really got the flavors of a Philly cheese steak.
The sous vide veal cheeks were so flavor and tender that all you needed was a fork to cut through them. The steak and pork sausage were both hearty rustic dishes. The beans on the pork dish had a crispiness and smoky bacon flavor to them. Both were very good. However, the lamb dish was inedible. The lamb was over cooked and dry, covered by a “truffle gelee” that didn’t have any truffle flavor what so ever. It had the taste and texture of veal stock that’s been refrigerated. Disgusting.
All the dessert were exceptional and innovative. The only one I didn’t enjoy was the apple carlota. It had too much saffron for my taste.
My overall experience at bazaar was unique and fun. The menu offers a lot of diversity and innovatiness using traditional and modern techniques