Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#22: Molecular Gastronomy at The Bazaar

"Philly Cheese Steak" with air bread and Wagyu beef

Olives that pop in your mouth. A bite sized "Philly cheese steak" with Wagyu beef and air bread. A dessert made with liquid nitrogen...

If you're a fan of the show Top Chef, then you know what molecular gastronomy is. For those of you who aren't familiar with this way of cooking, here's a quote from wikipedia:

Molecular Gastronomy is a scientific discipline involving the study of physical and chemical processes that occur in cooking. It pertains to the mechanisms behind the transformation of ingredients in cooking and the social, artistic and technical components of culinary andgastronomic phenomena in general (from a scientific point of view).

When The Bazaar opened at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills not long ago, it became the hottest thing in town since David Beckham. Brad and I were so eager to dine here and secured a reservation the next week.

Stepping into The Bazaar for the first time, I felt like I was in Vegas. The electricity in the air, the eclectic over-the-top decor, and the bustle of servers coming out of every corner like ants in an ant hill all added to the Sin City vibe. And then the girl with the bright neon leotard walked past my table... This is L.A. aiiight.

We ordered:

Philly Cheese Steak: This made me smile. They are absolutely tiny, but worth the three bites. That's like $2.50 a bite!

Modern and Traditional Olives: This was an unusual dish that I'm glad we tried. The modern olives pop in your mouth immediately, and fill your mouth with a briny liquid.

Chicken bechamel fritters: These fritters were anything but greasy, and were small but filling. They tasted like a delicious chicken pot pie.

Cod fritters: I really loved the sweet aioli sauce that came with the fritters. Like the chicken ones, they weren't greasy, and quite mild in taste.

Not Your Everyday Caprese: I loved this dish! The server instructed us to put a tomato, mozzarella ball, and pesto all on the spoon and to eat it all in one bite. It was like a roller coaster in my mouth. Things were popping, salty, sweet, crunchy... MMMM... The ride was over quickly, but I felt like I'd just gotten off of Space Mountain.

Jamon Platter, Flight of all 3: Eating the Jamon Iberico de bellota was like eating Ham Toro. I almost wish I paid $4 more to get the full Jamon de bellota platter, but I then realized that I wouldn't have been able to fully appreciate the bellota as much if I had not tasted the cheaper versions first. The Serrano was ok--I could have gotten something like that at Whole Foods. The regular Iberico was fatty like the bellota, but chewier. And the Jamon Iberico de bellota? Melt in your mouth fatty hamminess. I will be dreaming about this.

We were then escorted to the
Patisserie, which made the night even better. It was like being escorted to a whole other restaurant! Sitting on a cozy couch for two, served by a super friendly waiter, we ordered the coffee (free refills, and really really good!). Perusing the cute pink dessert menu, and laughing at the page with 8 types of $10 waters, we decided on the Apple Carlota. This was not a sweet dessert at all. The ice cream was barely sweetened cream, and the saffron sauce was amazing.

After dinner, we hung out in the "gift shop" for a while and gawked at the
$120 plastic cutlery and the $950 photo of Justin Timberlake sunbathing. Only in Beverly Hills...

Not your everyday caprese.. Mozzarella balls that pop in your mouth!
Tortilla de patatas, new way with Egg 63 and Potato Foam
(The egg is slowly cooked at exactly 63 degrees)

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