the bazaar by jose andresOn my recent trip to Los Angeles to visit my family for the holidays I had the opportunity of dining at one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants in one of L.A.’s most unusual and unknown hotels. This was an 180 degree difference from where I stayed at the Four Seasons Los Angeles on Doheny. [read that blog post here]
I didn’t see the rooms so I won’t comment there, but if the lobby and restaurant are any indication (and they actually are from the photos I’ve seen) be prepared for a very sexy modernist experience.
The Bazaar is bizarre to a degree. Visually, operationally and gastronimcally it’s different from anything I’ve experienced before. The space, in LA style, is huge with many rooms with divergent styles creating the whole. We sat in kind of a library setting, while other areas were more steak house, bar or wine cellar. Everybody then moves to a Las Vegas style fantasy patisserie for dessert.
Operationally the food is prepared in 5 kitchens and is delivered to your table by a host of servers, each one describing in detail what they are delivering. This was quite handy since it was pretty unclear from the menu exactly what we were ordering. In one quite amusing mistake, the server told me that my gazpacho’s garnish (somewhat traditional but super intense tomato flavor and spicy) was a watermelon ball. Not being a fan of watermelon and since one of my dining companions was my 13 year old nephew who loves the stuff, I gave it to him. His expression was priceless.  Just imagine a big yuck!  About 30 minutes later we found out from another server that that was actually a cherry tomato, skin peeled, and soaked in some type of vinagrette.
The food style was tapas, about half traditional Spanish and half modern, not necessarily Spanish.  Like phily cheesesteak vs jamon iberico or “Butifarra” pork sausage with white beans and ceps Senator Moynihan.  I’m not a restaurant critic so I won’t go into details. My partner John thought the meal was reminiscent of Comerc 24 in Barcelona, which he loved. I’d describe it as nouvelle tapas – each dish loaded with contrasting intense and delicate flavors. And portions were small (typical tapas) so I tended to eat slowly to savor each morsel. I will admit that the couple next to us was thinking of going to In-N-Out Burger for dessert. Oh well.
Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys.  Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA and abroad, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler and management of study abroad groups. Business services include high-touch reservations, exclusive hotel and airline offers.  His relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful business or leisure trip.
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