THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE BAZAAR BY JOSE ANDRES
My spouse and I dined at The Bazaar by Jose Andres on a Sunday evening in early July 2016. The restaurant accepts reservations using the Open Table system. The Bazaar is open daily for dinner only.
The Bazaar by Jose Andres is located at the hotel SLS South Beach on busy Collins Avenue. The SLS has occupied the site the previously housed the Ritz Plaza since 2012. The hotel and restaurant offers valet
parking, although many guests seem to arrive on foot, by taxi, or using Uber. We stayed nearby at the Shore Club, so it was a quick walk to the SLS. The Bazaar by Jose Andres has another location at the SLS Beverly Hills.
The Bazaar is operated by the Think Food Group (TFG), which owns restaurants in Washington DC (minibar, barmini, Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, China Chilcano, Beefsteak), Virginia (America Eats, Jaleo), Maryland (Jaleo, Fish), California (The Bazaar, Tres, Saam), Las Vegas (China Poblano, Jaleo, e), Miami (The Bazaar, Hyde Beach), Puerto Rico (Mi Casa), and Mexico City (J). Its creator, Jose Andres, is a Spanish-American chef who is often credited with bringing the small plate (tapas) idea to the United States. Andres attended culinary school in Barcelona and later trained under Ferran Adria at the famed restaurant El Bulli. Andres has received many awards, including James Beard Outstanding Chef, Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic, Chef of the Year, and World’s 100 Most Influential People). He has appeared on the TV shows “Iron Chef”, Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”, and “Top Chef”, as well as some Spanish shows, and he served as the culinary consultant on the TV show “Hannibal”, which prominently featured food in a unique way. He has also written several cookbooks.
The Bazaar features both indoor and outdoor dining spaces designed by Phillipe Stark. The restaurant offers three areas for dining: the main dining room (with chandeliers and retro wallpaper) is the most formal, followed by the lobby, and finally, the more casual outdoor terrace. Because the original part of the Art Deco hotel dates back to 1939, upon entering the front door, you are immediately inside one of the two indoor dining rooms for The Bazaar. The “Rojo” room features splashes of red décor for a casual, contemporary feel. Smaller square tables surround two long rectangular communal tables. All tables are regular height (there are no high-top tables). The drinks bar (without any seats, however) and a semi-open kitchen are located in the Rojo room. On the walls are a bull’s head and a mural. The “Blanca” room is a more formal and sophisticated space. Leather chairs as well as sofas provide seating, while photos and decorative objects line the shelves on the walls. Warm lighting from table lamps and candles creates a cozy vibe in the large room. The chandelier made from seashells is a focal point. The terrace offers al fresco dining beneath a canopy, and another bar is available outdoors as well.
The Bazaar serves both Spanish and international food. The menu is extensive, and because the dishes sounded so interesting, we had a difficult time narrowing down our selections to the two or three dishes per person that our server recommended. We decided on the kueh pai ti (Singapore street food that consists of tiny pastry cups filled with shrimp, veggies, and peanuts coated in a chili sauce), dragon fruit ceviche (raw tuna with pecans, topped with lemon foam and piled inside a dragonfruit shell), bao con lechon (steamed buns filled with pork belly), embutidos charcuterie plate (three kinds of meat like ham, pork loin, and chorizo served along with delicious pan con tomate), frozen blue cheese sandwich (frozen cheese and lemon marmalade tucked inside thin and crispy walnut bread/crackers), foie gras PB & J (Wonder bread circles with peanut butter, raspberry jam, and foie gras inside to form a tiny sandwich), and (deconstructed) key lime pie. Our server was very knowledgeable, taking time to explain components, ingredients, and preparation, and offering suggestions.
We had a fantastic meal at The Bazaar by Jose Andres! Chef/owner Jose Andres is a skilled and innovative chef, as we already knew from dining previously at his Washington DC restaurants minibar, barmini, and Jaleo.