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“A Lot of Eye Candy, a Bit Too Bizarre”

The Bazaar by Jose Andres
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Ranked #17 of 10,800 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Price range: $50 - $100
Cuisines: Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Central L.A
Cross street: San Vicente Blvd.
Description: Deemed "Four Stars" from the Los Angeles Time, finalist for the James Beard Awards' "Best New Restaurant," named Esquire Magazine's "Restaurant of the Year" and Zagat's "Top Newcomer," The Bazaar by José Andrés is a vibrant mix of sophisticated cuisine and playful lounge spaces where dining transcends into fete extraordinaire. Experience a collection of magical dining experiences, entwined in a modern-day, European-inspired "indoor piazza" -- savor pioneering culinary creations, delicacies from roving carts and delicious libations by James Beard Award-Winning Chef José Andrés. The Bazaar also boasts a Wine Spectator 'Award of Excellence' winning wine list featuring extensive selections from Spain and California as well as all the classic wine regions of the old world and new. Visit our website to learn more about our ongoing programming, including Cigar Night on Blanca Terrace (every 3rd Wednesday of the month) and decadent wine pairing dinners.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

When back in LA, a biochemist friend of mine invited me to dinner, and I figured what more interestingly appropriate thing for us to try than the molecular cuisine of a student of Ferran Adria, the mad scientist himself. So shortly after the opening of the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, my friend and I took our seats at the Bazaar,… and what a bizarre experience it was.

We started with the El Bulli-influenced spherical olives, which was essentially olive juice encapsulated in a thin gelatinous coating. When you take them, the sensation is a burst of flavor in your mouth. For us though, we found them overly salty, despite our love of olives. And although we thought it was an unarguably interesting idea, we found the sensation of biting into the gelatinous coating with the burst of olive flavor reminiscent of accidentally biting into a vitamin E capsule, not something we’d really want to do again.

We ordered some liquid nitrogen cocktails and my companion was particularly interested in seeing the preparation process, but the final product was no different than any other frozen drinks found elsewhere.

Although I am not a fan of foie gras, out of curiosity, we decided to try the decidedly different foie gras “lollipops”. They arrived as chunks of foie gras wrapped in cotton candy and served upright on skewers. The foie was cold and dense, the candy floss cloyingly sweet, and there was nothing to counterbalance the heavy richness or one-dimensionality of the dish. In my book, although odd and attention-getting on the menu, in reality, it was a failure in terms of taste and presentation- a disaster of a dish.

We also tried their molecular interpretation of a philadelphia cheesesteak- “air bread, cheese, and wagyu”, which brought to our minds freeze-dried astronaut fare which initially seemed intriguing, but the result tasted like overpriced, highly stylized “Cheetos”, a childhood cheese-flavored puffed corn treat.

The most successful dish for us, was surprisingly the most conventional- a well-cooked flank steak that was juicy and flavorful, and much appreciated. It was disappointing however, that this was the best tasting dish in a place that was expected to excel at the avant-garde and experimental.

We were excited by, and appreciative of, the ideas and the intentions, the techniques and the processes behind the food; but many of the “experiments” simply fell flat, and ultimately, the food was simply not very good.

At the end of the day, I am not sure who had higher expectations or who had been more disappointed, my biochemist friend or I.

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1  Thank globalgastronomist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 12, 2013

We just enjoyed our second visit to Saam, Jose Andres' special tasting menu room at The Bazaar in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. We enjoyed our first visit there so much that we went an extra day early on our recent visit to LA so that we could return to Saam on Saturday night. Sometimes we look forward to something so much and build it up to such a high expectation that we feel we are almost bound to be disappointed. This is NOT the case at Saam!! While the menu does change, and a couple of items we loved the first time were not on the new menu, it did not matter because what was offered this time was still amazing. Not only that, but the "guide" who took care of us at our first dinner there over a year and a half ago remembered us and brought out a couple of extra dishes that had been among our favorites on our first visit!! Where else can you find that kind of service? The food at Bazaar is incredible, and the food in Saam is some of the same items you can order in Bazaar, but it is also some special non-menu items that the chef is offering only to guests in this special part of the restaurant. It is also a completely different atmosphere from Bazaar, which tends to be very loud and "happening". Saam, by contrast, is a very nice isolated and separate room with comfortable seating and uncrowded. It makes for a wonderful "date night" with your special someone. Quiet enough to visit intimately with service that is excellent yet unintrusive. 22 courses sounds overwhelming, but the portion sizes and the pacing of the service makes it so totally enjoyable you really don't notice the numbers. I am a big eater, and I have left completely satisfied after both visits. Some of the plates are literally small bites, but the flavors contained in those bites makes you feel as if you just enjoyed a big helping of amazing flavors. At the end of it all, you are begging them to stop bringing more sweet endings as you are so totally satisfied, but they gladly box up and send you away with additional sweet "gifts". I can testify that the little cupcakes are totally delicious the next day!! There is no way to adequately describe the quality and flavors of the food and the unbelievable processes undertaken to prepare some of the plates. I have said before, and I continue to believe that the dinner is underpriced for the quality of the food and the technique and skill it takes to prepare it. Combined with truly exceptional service and the experience overall, one would expect it to cost much more than it does. Thank you Saam for yet another priceless dining experience, and I assure you that we will again go out of our way to get back there and enjoy again!!

Thank JEB-PK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Bazaar it is a wonderful Restaurant food is exquisite It takes me back to my own roots as Spaniard I am !!! I went with friends and colleagues from France & Spain came to visit LA for business they enjoyed it very much !! Of course having this wonderful Chef Josê Andrês leading and bringing this great cuisine to LA!!!! Service was polite and efficient our server did a great job!! Cocktails Wondeful too!! Icongratulate Chef Josê Andrês for his great vision !! Bazaar is my favourite place and always be!!!

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Thank Marta D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

My husband and I travel quite a bit and frequent many restaurants, clubs,etc. I would probably rank The Bazaar the worst service I have ever experienced. We sat at a table and wanted to order appetizers and drinks-we sat for 15 minutes before we finally asked the hostess if anyone waits on the tables-and it was early@10 so it was not even crowded--many empty tables available. The manager finally came over and took our drink order-20 minutes later our bottle of wine arrived. I had to ask for a wine chiller- again a wait to get this for a very expensive bottle of wine-no one asked how our wine was and/ our appetizers. We then had to wait to find someone to bring us our check---again-we waited for our check for another at least 20 minutes to get our check. Awful service-would never go back!

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4  Thank welovetotravel40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

Celebrated an anniversary and had a great time. Got there early so sat in the bar area first for drinks. Great atmosphere and good service. Taken to main part of restau for dinner. Delicious food, fun decor (Why is table designed so it has to be so far away from the couch? Made it necessary to sit up stiffly which is SO not the point of a long, relaxing dinner experience like this place is meant to be!)

However, as nice as the server and his assistant were, the actual service was bad. Just bad. Missing a fork for one person at the table. Later needed knives for one if the dishes- those we're absent as well. Both times it was ages (maybe 10 mins) before anyone even looked over at us, much less came by to see how we were! For these prices, someone should be looking over every 5-10 mins and making it a point to come by every 15 to check on things. And it seemed as if there were plenty of staff on hand (and they didn't all look super rushed either). So- not sure what was up with that! Very disappointing.

Went to the Patisserie for dessert, and there, as with the Bar, the service was much better, more attentive (both the waitress and the busboys/assistants). More fun decor and great (rather $$) food.

We'll go back at least once more at some point to try other dishes, and hope this time the bad service in the dining room was just a fluke, but for that setting, excellent service should've been an important part of the evening!

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Thank zdoctorsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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