Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dinner at Jose Andres' Bazaar in Beverly Hills

This last weekend we ventured to Los Angeles with great friends and had our sights set on Bazaar in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. This is Alice in Wonderland meets el Bulli, what a place! We had reservations for the private dining room called SAAM, and were in store for a 23 course extravaganza plus cocktails and wine. The meal lasted 4 1/2 hours and never once did we think that we had been there to long! This easily falls into one of the top meals I have ever had. I had the huge honor of working with David Bouley and Julian Serrano in a James Beard event in 2003 to honor the Culinary Stars of Spain, where I was honored not only to meet Jose Andres, but Ferran Adria and Juan-Marie Arzak. This is the first time that I have been able to get to one of his restaurants! Kind of a tune up for our Spain trip in 2011

The Golden Boy This was a mix of Cava, simple syrup, sherry and gold leaf and a squeeze of lime. Very unique started with a huge flavor wave over the palate. The sherry carried the flavor profile

Lotus Root Chip Loved this little chip, perfectly fried and seasoned.

Olive Oil Bonbon Consensus, one of the best flavors on the table, very high quality olive oil encased in a sugar membrane.

Bagel and Lox Steam Bun One of my favorites, the Salmon Roe and the steamed bun worked perfectly.

Tuna Handroll 2009 An old trick with still great results, the flavor of the tuna, nori puree and avocado worked great!

Black Olives Ferran Adria This is just a flavor burst of olive! As a side, I did this dish with bacon and pea puree for LPB#2

Jose's Combination Mix of jamon and caviar, in my opinion, probably towards the bottom of the list of dishes, seemed to need a little more salt, either from the caviar or the jamon.

Boneless Coconut Thai Chicken Wing Nice flavors and melt in your mouth chicken wings helped this dish rock.

Crispy Nigiri Very fresh Hamachi made this dish sing, the perfectly cooked and peeled baby turnip worked awesome. Gotta love peeling baby vegetables!

Chipirones en su Tinta This squid was probably the most tender, I have ever had. Amazing how in the hands of a trained chef a simple ingredient can be lifted. To many times I have had this at restaurants and had to chew till my mouth was sore. The Nori/rice chips were fantastic.

Linguini and Clams Perfectly cooked noodles and barely cooked clams. I love the fact that these clams had little to no heat on them, maybe 15 seconds, the flavors are so much more intense!

Magic Mojito So the simple syrup in the drink was in the form of cotton candy, then they poured the rum that had been infused with mint over it and it all melted together. Great drink!

Magic Mojito

Japanese Baby Peaches one of my top dishes. The flavors here were amazing, the hazelnut, peach, burrata and the brioche crouton. This worked and rocked.

Hot and Cold Foie Soup with Corn Another top dish, foie infused broth on the bottom with a cold corn emulsion on top, topped with some crispy corn flakes. Unbeleivable! Very similar to a dish I did when we opened the Andrae's in 2004, Foie Gras Creme Brulee with a Chantrelle Corn Goulash.

Norwegian Cigalas This dish had my favorite component to the meal, the Langoustine Broth..WOW! We did a style of this dish at Andrae's with lobster instead of Langoustine and added cauliflower to it. Both these dishes rocked. But that broth..WOW!!

Not Your Everyday Caprese Fun little dish, the mozzarella was done in the spherical form and just bursted with flavor.

Kurobuta Pork Belly My only other quibble with the dinner, we all thought that the pork belly was undercooked. Not the melt in your mouth texture you expect. As I have always said, if you are cooking it 8 hours what is 9. The rest of this dish rocked!!The pickled baby vegetables were so good.

Wagyu Beef Cheeks Braised meat at its peak! the meat was amazing, the cippolini onions had just tons of flavor! Just the right amount of citrus, helped cut the fat and made this dish near the top of the list.

Truffle Rice WOW, this was done with White Summer Truffles and just had tons of flavor! the rice perfectly al dente!

Philly Cheesesteak This dish, was out of control! The "bread" was hollow, but filled with a cheese espuma, then the thinly sliced Wagyu tenderloin on top, huge bursts of flavors when you bit into this! Consesus table favorite.

Dragons Breath Popcorn So here they cooked the popcorn in liquid nitrogen then you eat it and breath out your nose. All the "steam comes through your nostrils, more of a fun dish, then anything.

Dragons Breath Popcorn

Rose and Clementine The rose petal espuma and clementine sorbet worked well. The citrus was a nice complement to the rose flavor.

Lychee and Coffee loved this dessert. The coffee crumbs were delicious and the Lychee sorbet was very fresh and flavorable. Just a great pairing of the two flavors!

Sexy Little Sweets Nice little selection of chocolates for us at the end of the meal.

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