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Fodor's Southern California 2014
The Bazaar by José Andrés Review
Celebrity Spanish chef José Andrés conquers L.A. with a multifaceted concept that includes two dining rooms (one classic, one modern, each with a tapas bar), a cocktail bar stocked with liquid nitrogen, and a flashy pâtisserie. There are even roaming pushcarts dispensing foie gras wrapped in cotton candy. Half of the menu is dedicated to traditional Spanish tapas: creamy chicken croquetas, bacalao (salt cod) fritters with honey aïoli, and plates of chorizo or prized jamón Ibérico. The other half involves some wild inventions of molecular gastronomy inspired by Andrés' mentor Ferran Adrià of world-famous El Bulli restaurant in Spain. Among the latter are "liquid" olives (created through a technique called spherification), and an ethereal version of the traditional tortilla Española in which an egg is cooked slowly at 63 degrees, just short of coagulation. A splendid list of Spanish wines is offered. For dessert, items like beet meringue with pistachios and chocolate lollipops await.
Acclaimed chef José Andrés is known for his inventive take on Spanish cuisine, which he brings to the SLS Hotel's signature restaurant. Here Andrés presents a menu consisting entirely of tapas, divided into traditional flavors (Catalan-style toasted bread with tomato and Jamón Ibérico, or sauteed shrimp with garlic and Basque green peppers) and modern innovations (seared persimmon with Jamón Ibérico, or a Japanese taco with grilled eel, shiso leaf, cucumber, wasabi, and fried pork rinds).
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