I had an amazing meal at Bazaar Meat, Jose Andrés’ place at SLS hotel. I’ve been reading about Andrés for years, starting in LA with The Bazaar, then with the extremely successful é by José Andrés and I finally got to visit Bazaar Meat, his version of a steakhouse. It was my first experience with gastronomy cuisine, life changing is all I can say. The food was sublime and it opened my eyes to how food can be about an experience as well as satiation.
Being a single diner, I ate at Bar Centro, which is not as formal as their dining area. They have happy hour from 5:30 to 7:00 (5:30 on the dot) but the prices were almost the same, the only discount were the cocktails. Cocktails range $16-20, but during happy hour they are $8. I got the La Invencible (bols Genever, Amontillado sherry, PX sherry, bitters). It was dry and not very good on its own, but perfect with the tapas. Next time, I’d go with their house red, $8, which gets good reviews.
The photo below is the Cotton Candy Foie Gras with crispy amaranth ($8) with the previously mentioned La Invencible. The cotton candy has a piece of foie gras in the center.
Next I had Andre’s version of Bagels and Lox ($6), a dill cream cheese topped with salmon roe in a crispy shell. It was a delightful bit, oozing with umami. I like how his tapas are not bread centric.
Following the Lox, I ate The Reuben (corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island, Swiss crema) served on air bread. It was my favorite dish of the night. The air bread isn’t like bread, but more like a pastry shell, so your bite rewards you with a lovely cheese mixture and salty beef with tangy sauerkraut. You hardly taste the bread, which for me was a good thing. It was the perfect appetizer paired with the harsh cocktail.
Lastly I got the oysters and the Croquetas de Jamon, (creamy bechamel). Oysters were fresh and Croquetas were tasty but I wasn’t blown away by either dishes. For the croquetas, I was hoping for a more pure jamon flavor (which in hindsight was naive of me, as the dish is pretty much fried bechamel sauce). Yet, what would a Spanish-influenced restaurant be without this classic tapa?
Overall, it was a superb dining experience, one of the best meals of my life and I am now a convert to the culinary world of gastronomy. I can’t wait to come back and eat in the formal dining area and try their meat dishes.
They also have an impressive wine selection.