A Taste Of LA: The Bazaar by José Andrés
So it’s one of our favorite times of year here at A La Main….Dine LA! Dine LA happens twice a year and is the equivalent of Restaurant Week in NYC. It’s where all the participating top restaurants offer 3 course menus and slash their prices. Pure perfection. It’s a great time to try the restaurants you’ve been dying to try but just haven’t found the opportunity to splurge. The timing worked out great for me as I am in the process of saying goodbye to all of my dear friends here in LA (more to come on that later). It’s been a week of dinner upon dinner, and although I feel a little gross after all this eating, it’s been really nice spending time with different friends and making sure I get my LA bucket list covered before I make the cross-country move!
Now here is my only warning about Dine LA…it’s very much hit or miss. I’ve had incredible experiences in the past, and some not-so-great ones. In my opinion restaurants should absolutely keep the quality of food and service the same during Dine LA to give customers a taste of what they can do and lure people back for more. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Some restaurants will offer lower quality menu items on their Dine LA prix-fixes, making you never want to come back (ahem Blue Plate Taco…). However, at the Bazaar this was not the case. I’ve eaten at the Bazaar several times before, and it’s one of my favorite restaurants in LA. I can say whole-heartedly that the Bazaar was up to the usual standard during our visit. In fact, the Dine LA menu options were all tapas offered on the regular menu, and the quantity was huge, especially for the price. It was $45 per person, where each person could order 4 tapas to share and a dessert. Delicious, as always, with impeccable service.
What I like about the Bazaar is the molecular gastronomical approach. Almost every dish is something what would be nearly impossible to make at home, so it’s well-worth the splurge. I love how creative the dishes are, and the new twist they put on traditional Spanish tapas. It’s also great going with several people because everything is small and shareable, so it’s a great way to try a variety of different things. The decor is also crazy with odd shaped chairs, crazy monkey portraits…it’s almost like a circus. If you live in LA or are ever visiting, this spot is certainly a MUST.
The SLS Hotel, 465 La Cienega Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90048
What to Order:
Drink: Passion Fruit Martini, Magic Mojito, Dirty Martini
Tapas: Philly Cheesesteak, Croquetas de Pollo, Wild Mushroom Rice, Sautéed Shrimp, Not Your Everyday Caprese, Ottoman Carrot Fritters
Dessert: Pane con Chocolate (*I’ve only had dessert during Dine LA, so I can’t attest to other desserts on the menu)
The passion fruit martini is unbelievable. Your sip begins with the frothy top and finishes with the sweet and tangy passion fruit flavor that is out of this world. Also not pictured is the Magic Mojito, in which they literally pour the liquid over a heap of cotton candy that melts immediately into the drink. The drinks are expensive, but SO worth it because they are such a fun experience.
This is probably my favorite menu item. With a Dad from Philly, I’m quite familiar with the authentic South Philly cheesesteak. But man, these will blow the real deal out of the water. You bite into the air-filled bread and aged white cheddar explodes into your mouth. The thinly sliced waygu beef on top really finishes off the experience. Unbelievable. The “Hilly” cheesesteak on the right has mushrooms as well inside, instead of beef. Think of it as the vegetarian version.