Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NYE 2009 at The Bazaar

The Bazaar
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

We were so happy with our initial experience at Jose Andres' The Bazaar that we decided to take little C there for her birthday, coincidentally, on NYE. When I made reservations I was told there was nothing special going on that night, and was very excited to have the regular menu.

Unfortunately, no one called me on December 30th to confirm, which gave me pause.

I rang them on the 31st, and sure enough, they had given me a reservation for the 1st. P'shaw. Who eats out on the 1st? This distressed me greatly, as we now had no reservation and they were planning for pomp and circumstance a'plenty on NYE.

Fortunately, they told us we could still have our table with the regular menu as long as we vacated by 9:45. Well, this was no problem, as we had a party to go to elsewhere. The Bazaar, bring it on!

The infamous Brine Air Dirty Martini, garnished with the spherical olive. This time, I had the full dirty martini treatment, with the brine flash frozen and laid atop my martini like a dirty little cloud of acid rain.

The spherical olive. If you are interested in this fascinating bit of culinary history, please read this entry. I go into the spherical olive in great detail, complete with a video on the production.

It's really an explosion of olive essence in your mouth, a little.

On the menu, they have a category called something like "cart dishes" or some such thing. You order, and the server goes over to a little cart and throws this together for you.

We found the description of these little cones to be irresistible. Mini cones filled with a very light creamy cheese something, then topped liberally with caviar. A perfect little hors d'oeuvres.

Above and below is something C read about as one of Jose's passions. Our beautiful server informed us that it is the flavor more than the work that goes into these that excites Andres. Each one is a cube of the sweetest watermelon, topped with the juiciest interior of a small tomato. A bamboo pick stabs the whole thing together with a tiny nasturtium blossom, then drizzled with a little olive oil.

These look nowhere near as beautiful as they taste. I think that is saying something.

We were starving when we got there, and knew it would be a long night. So we ordered again the amazing bread. This is so simple. Just a sourdough-esque type of bread, toasted with a tomato garlic puree on top, then the entire plate liberally doused with olive oil. I could eat an entire plate of this for dinner several nights a week.

The Brussels sprouts were different this time, just as nice but a little less hearty. The preparation was more or less the same, slightly warm and shredded with warm olive oil, yuzu and dried apricots. However this time, there were less sprouts and we were treated to a lemon foam accessorizing the sprouts.

The lemon foam looks as light as it tastes. The texture was ever so curious, however. It was somehow firm, but as soon as it hit the tongue it dissipated. Just a trace of citrus-y goodness.

I had to take a stab at the artichoke salad with pomegranates and orange blossom dressing. I cannot ever resist an artichoke. Ever.

Yanno, the above dish was a seared fish, but I cannot remember what kind nor the preparation, and the only seared fish on the online menu is a trout and this does not look trout-like. I am in the dark. Looks good.

Our server raved about this and actually treated us to an order. This is Japanese baby peaches (very rare, short season) with persimmon towers served atop yogurt and olive oil. It also looks like a few saffron threads laying across the persimmon cubes.


The peaches are so young, the pits have just started to form with a slightly thickened skin in the middle of the fruit.

I wanted to try the "Organized Caesar" again, however I went for the "Organized Arugula" salad instead. Served with raspberries atop grilled corn with bleu cheese crumbles. This was rolled like maki, light and fun to eat.

And fun to photograph.

This was my favorite dish of the evening. These are seared piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese. I am definitely going to try these at home for an appetizer sometime when I have guests. I might search for a recipe, or I might go into Bazaar sometime between now and then and have another go at them.

Again, we ordered the lobster dish with smoked paprika, and again, by the time it came I was too full to eat. D gobbled it down. It's a very simple and hearty dish.

To round out all the light veggies, we ordered this simple cous cous with pomegranates, pine nuts and raisins. Perfect.

I love The Bazaar.


kevinEats said...

I'm glad to see that they've continued to refine the menu over at Bazaar.

Your photos turned out quite well. I assume they no longer have a problem with photography.

Food, she thought. said...


Not a peep out of anyone despite my prolific photog throughout the meal. Again, everything was delicious and I am still somewhat taken aback by the reasonableness of their prices.