I love food. I’ll drive 45 minutes out of my way for a cup of great coffee, or a cupcake. I also like new things. I tend to pick different routes to drive every day just so I’ll see the world from different angles. So the combination of the two with my recent visit to The Bazaar in LA made an evening of supreme awesomeness! I normally wouldn’t blog about something so mundane as a meal, but this place does stuff with food that is so different that I had to share. And overshare. Let’s go!
First off, you walk in and I admit it’s ridiculously hip. Reminded me of a Eurotrash Vampire Cirque-de-Soleil movie, but hey, over the top isn’t awful if it delivers, right? And oh it delivers. The drink in the picture above was their “magic mojito” where they bring you the glass filled with cotton candy and pour the drink over, making it melt before your eyes. A gimmick but a good mojito! Onto the food!
There are about five-million things on the menu, it’s an all tapas restaurant so they recommend 4 dishes per person, but that still leaves a lot of yummy choices unchosen. (for next visit perhaps? 😉 ) This was the first dish we got. On the top is the traditional olive stuffed with red pepper and anchovy, very good olives, but something you’d expect from Spanish cuisine. To the bottom is where stuff gets weird: Those ARE NOT solid spheres. No. It’s olive JUICE, submerged and somehow membraned with CO2 to contain the olive juice in a semi-solid dollop?! WHAT?!
Basically you pop it whole in your mouth and then bite down, and it explodes into liquid on your tongue. Who thought this up? Some mad scientist chef?! Great intro to the meal.
Again, weird and wonderful. The caprese salad had beautiful little cherry tomatoes, pesto sauce and, instead of the traditional buffela mozzarella, membranes containing mozzarella cheese liquid. Getting to love these membranes, haha. There are also little air bread croutons included in the salad, so the whole experience was strange but the perfect summary of a very traditional dish.
They tried to describe the process by which the whirled microscopic salt onto these potatoes, it kinda blew past me (think the mojito set in by then). All I know is that I’ve never eaten a more perfectly cooked potato with the perfect amount of powdered salt on the outside. The pesto dip was amazing as well. The taste of the potatoes was just…pure potato. And it was exquisite!
Chicken Croquettes with Bechamel sauce. Like the best pot pie in a fried nugget form you’ll ever have. Think this is definitely one I’d get next time around. I mean, it’s DEEP FRIED, DUDES!!
They have some kind of “Canning” thing they do here that they bragged about, it’s the first list of tapas on the menu. Still not sure what the deal with it is (I guess because it’s served to you in a can?) this had raspberry vinaigrette and raspberries over pieces of king crab. I loved the flavor and glad I didn’t have to wrestle animal legs to get the yummy crab meat out. Something I would have probably overlooked but was glad it got recommended by the waiter.
I love eel at sushi restaurants, and this was a simple presentation of perfectly cooked eel with the traditional sweet sauce, wrapped in a lettuce piece. Called it “Eel Tacos” I believe. So good. They accidentally brought us two orders and told me to eat the extra no charge. BOOYA! Love this place EVEN MORE!
Philly Cheese Steak on the menu? Really? They have this thing called “air bread” there, which is basically a hollow crispy piece of bread puffed up into a hollow cracker-type oval. This dish filled the air bread with creamy cheese, topped with the cured beef slices. Fancy twist. Holy moly yum!
Ok, that’s enough with the food pictures, let’s go onto what I REALLY got excited about. I mean, sure the food was great, but here’s the true piece de resistance, something I spied from afar and HAD to order. “Oh sir, could you please send over the…LIQUID NITROGEN CAPRAHUENA CART!?!”
Yum, evil science meets drunkenness! The cart gets wheeled over, and the woman uses the canister on the right to mix liquid nitrogen into the caprahuena drink, freezing it into a slushie! There’s smoke pouring everywhere, it’s insane looking! Highly theatrical, entertainment value at its best! On top of that OMG SO GOOD! Like the best drunken slushie ever made!
At this point we were totally stuffed, but of course dessert HAD to be ordered. I mean, for research purposes, right? 😉 A cool feature of this place is that there’s a separate patisserie where you can walk over to and separately eat dessert. (Or just go FOR dessert, which I plan on doing one day.) There’s also a gift shop with freaky weird and overpriced items you can giggle at while your tummy makes room for sugar. ($2900 hand made child’s chairs, for real?! Ooooh, wait. That was ART. Doh.).
Here’s The Floating Island: Big meringue oval dipped in CO, artfully placed over bananas and 4 kinds of sauce that blew my mind. It looks like a Sci-Fi jellyfish spaceship. Also to the left, 3 candies they make: Chocolate dried rasberries, lime fizzies and a passionfruit marshmallow. All superb. I also had a cup of decaf coffee which I believe they said they grind and brew per cup (If they had told me they cryogenically grew the beans on order too I would have believed them at this point.) I want to go back and try the lollipops, but I was so full at this point I didn’t want to risk feeling awful after such a great meal.
So, that was the trip! I can’t remember when I’ve been more interested in the food I was eating, the meal was truly an event. Didn’t even notice over 2 hours went by! I couldn’t eat like this every day (and DEFINITELY couldn’t afford to, haha) but for a really special evening I would definitely recommend this most most highly! Every detail was just so enjoyable.
Even the bathroom was different! There were mirrors in the stalls so you had to watch yourself pee (NOT A FAN) and the sinks were weird, the water flowed over this flat thing into the sides. I thought it was worth a pic. Ok, I’m done now.