I traipse over the hill to meet friends at The Bazaar, a dark bar/restaurant/hip spot in the SLS Hotel on La Cienega. The bar looked cool - all dark with its tall glass-topped tables and cushy bar stools. That's really all I saw as we were immediately whisked off to our table.
We were seated in the dark dining room with a view of the bright white, well-lit kitchen. The room was bustling, movement of all sorts going on; mainly waiters dashing about carrying plates of delicious looking food. Our waiter - young and adorable - greeted us and recited his spiel like a seasoned server should. He explained the tapas menu then took our drink order. "Three 'Winter Wonderland' drinks please."
Winter Wonderland is one hell of a drink. I could write an entire post about this drink alone. An entire post! But, I won't.
So, over to our table comes young and adorable waiter #2 pushing a cart. For a minute there I thought were were getting table-side guacamole service. Nope. It's table-side drink service - even better!
This is what I remember of the Winter Wonderland - delicious, crushed nuts, liquid nitrogen and a lot of alcohol. Oh, yes, the drink is made with liquid nitrogen. It's scooped into a glass and served with a spoon. I know! Ohh, it's so yummy.
Then, there's the food. Oh, the food! Here's what we had:
- Sweet potato chips with yogurt sauce - not sure who started the whole sweet potato chips/fries thing, but, thank you whoever you are.
- Green asparagus tempura - these things were huge. Huge! I can't even...I mean...they're like...like...Oh! They are the size of those jumbo pencils at Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm. You know what I'm talking about. THAT was the size of the asparagus. Fact.
- Endive with goat cheese - for me, if the description reads "...with goat cheese..." I'm IN. The goat cheese had a light and lovely citrusy flavor to it; perfect pairing with the endive.
- Beef hanger steak - much too rare for me, though I'm sure it was tasty.
- Tortilla de patatas "new way" - this was very interesting...potato foam/soup + egg 63 *in an egg shell*! Clever. Yummy.
- Jicama-wrapped guacamole - Oh. My! Tissue paper-thin jicama slices filled with guacamole. Ohh, yes. Simple. Very very good. I would eat that plus the little sandwiches and be perfectly happy.
- Philly cheesesteak - these little air pockets of bread filled with beef and melted cheddar. It's no Geno's or Jim's or Pat's. These little sandwiches stand on their own as far as cheesesteaks go. The vegetarian version (Hilly cheesesteak) has mushrooms instead of beef. These are ordered per person. Do yourself a favor and order at least two. You're welcome.
Somewhere in between I ordered my second drink - Hendrick's gin and tonic. Not too exciting except for the ice ball. The perfectly shaped ice ball kept my drink cold through the rest of dinner and into dessert and it kept me fascinated.
After dinner, we were escorted to the Patisserie for dessert. The dessert bar had a fantastic selection of bons bons, cookies, candy (chocolate covered Pop Rocks anyone?), cakes and assorted pastries. I had a lovely, light green tea cookie and an absolutely delicious eyes rolled into the back of my head chocolate coffee bon bon.
The Bazaar is a wonderful food and drink experience. The sights, the sounds, the tastes all add up to something good. Bring friends and plenty of cash.
at SLS Hotel