Friday, March 30, 2012

The Bazaar Revisited: 21 Course Extravaganza

I've been curious to try the Bazaar again after my memorable meal at Albert Adria's Tickets in Barcelona last year, just to see how it matches up. A. was in town and invited me along to a firm dinner; of course I couldn't pass up a free meal at the Bazaar. With 8 people, we had "Jose's Favorites Tasting Menu, with 21 courses. Definitely my most extravagant meal at Bazaar, between this meal and my previous meals, I think I've tried pretty much the entire menu. While fun and tasty, it is still hard to put the Bazaar in the same league as Tickets. Part of it has to do with the ingredients; there's just something special about the local silky rich Spanish olive oil, plump and sweet tomatoes, and fresh seafood. I think the other part is just the care and attention that goes into each dish; I feel like the dishes at Tickets were much more concise, carefully thought out and assembled, making for a more memorable and powerful bite. As an example, the spherical olives at the Bazaar just didn't have that magical indulgent pop and ooze of the similar spherical olives at Tickets. There were also several dishes on the tasting menu that just lacked that "wow" factor. Reflecting back on it and looking at the menu, I'm not sure I can really pinpoint any standout dishes, although I think part of it is that I've been a few times and the novelty has worn off a bit. Still, there's nothing like the scene at SLS / the Bazaar, the place was packed and hopping on a Thursday night, and it's easier than a trip to Spain. Apologies for the quality of the pictures; I didn't bring my DSLR as I was a guest, but I took a couple of quick iPhone shots of about half of the dishes.
Olives: Modern and Traditional
Top to bottom: Mussel Can En Escabeche, King Crab Can: Raspberries, Raspberry Vinegar
Jamon Iberico
Market Fish Ceviche and Avocado Roll: Jicama Micro Cilantro, Coconut Dressing
Not Your Everyday Caprese: Cherry Tomatoes, Liquid Mozzarella. Sadly my mozzarella sphere went splat on the table before I could eat it
"The Ultimate Spanish Tapa!" Ensaladilla Rusa: Potatoes, Carrots, Mayo, Tuna Belly. Least favorite dish of the night
Papas Canarias: Salty Wrinkled Potatoes, Mojo Verde
Seared Squid: Artichokes, Chicken Escabeche
Bunuelos: Codfish fritters, honey aioli
Seared Mary's Farm Chicken: Honey dates, mustard caviar, spicy mustard greens
Sauteed Wild Mushrooms: Hazelnut praline
Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks: California Citrus
Philly Cheesesteak: Air bread, cheddar, Wagyu beef
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta: Apricots and Muscat gelatin
Creamy Chocolate Heart: coffee and cardamom. I'm not a fan of the cardamom, just throws the dish off for me.
Tableside caipairinha preparation
The frozen caipairinha. Sadly, I did not get the chance to try this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...