An Incredible 18-Course Meal – The Bazaar by Jose Andres

Sweet Potato Chips with a Yoghurt, tamarind and star anise dip served at The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Beverly Hills, CA
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A few years ago, I had the best meal of my life in Washington DC at José Andrés’ Mini Bar. It was really more of an experience than a meal. You can be sure you’re going to experience culinary greatness when you’re in the hands of José Andrés and his team of talented chefs. Needless to say, I seek out the opportuntity to dine at José Andrés restaurants when we’re traveling, and last month we had the pleasure of dining at The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Beverly Hills, California.

Andres has long been on the forefront of avant-garde cooking techniques and he likes to display his team’s dynamic creations on his chef’s tasting menu. Many of his restaurants, including Mini Bar, é in Las Vegas and The Bazaar, are not your typical restaurant. Mini Bar requires securing reservations through a rigorous system of dialing and redialing exactly 2 months prior to your desired date.  é reservations are equally difficult to come by and are available only through email resulting in only 16 lucky diners per night who each receive a golden ticket to one of two nightly seatings. The experience is exclusive, yes. But diners are rewarded with a gastronomic feast of the seneses, using molecular gastronomy and other avant-garde techniques. Each bite is an experience in itself.

A fun and cozy corner of The Bazaar
A fun and cozy corner of The Bazaar

My mind was already prepared for the culinary fun we knew we had before us when we stepped into The Bazaar, but I was also really excited by the atmosphere and the quirky and fun design of the restaurant, which was sectioned off into rooms and areas that each served a different function. The Bazaar is located in the fancy SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and the entire ground floor has been dedicated to the restaurant. This place puts new meaning to the concept of hotel restaurants.

The interesting artwork at The Bazaar
The interesting artwork at The Bazaar

The dining space has been split up into two tapas bars – the contemporary Blanca and the more traditional Rojo. The colors for each are as expected. In the Rojo dining room, red lights illuminated the tables which all have a pretty great view of the kitchen where the dishes are prepared. There is also a bar in the center of the restaurant that beckons with alluring sofas and modern communal tables.

The Dessert Bar at The Bazaar
The Dessert Bar at The Bazaar

If you come in just for dessert, you can sit at the dessert bar, or cozy up at a couch with your friends and have your dessert served to you on a slab of glass placed over the table-top. Nothing is ordinary at The Bazaar.

Our meal started in the Rojo tapas bar. We did peruse the menu before deciding on the tasting menu, and there were a lot of great-looking tapas and small dishes, but our server assured us that many of those dishes were represented in the tasting menu, which consisted of 18 small plates and bites. We also requested wine pairings from the sommelier to go with our food.

I’m not going to comment on each dish, I’ll just give you photos to drool over with a short description so you can see for yourself the incredible array of tastes we had.

Not Your Everyday Caprésé
Not Your Everyday Caprésé
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Foie Gras Buns - Preserves, toasted brioche sandwiches
Foie Gras Buns –
Preserves, toasted brioche sandwiches
Tortilla De Patatas "New Way"
Tortilla De Patatas “New Way” –
Potato foam, egg 63, caramelized onions
Jamon Iberico with caviar
Jamon Iberico with caviar
"Philly Cheesesteak" - Air bread, cheddar, wagyu beef
“Philly Cheesesteak” –
Air bread, cheddar, wagyu beef
Sweet Potato Chips - Yoghurt, tamarind, star anise
Sweet Potato Chips – Yoghurt, tamarind, star anise
Japanese Taco - Bbq eel, shiso, cucumber, wasabi, chicharron
Japanese Taco – Bbq eel, shiso, cucumber, wasabi, chicharron
Market Fish Ceviche & Avocado Roll - Jicama, micro cilantro, coconut
Market Fish Ceviche & Avocado Roll –
Jicama, micro cilantro, coconut
Modern & Traditional Olives
Modern & Traditional Olives

You can imagine after all of this delicious food (and I even left a few dishes out), it was difficult to consider dessert. We were excited, though, that they offered us a table in the dessert bar to finish up our meal. Since there were 15 savory courses, moving to a new setting for the final 3 was a perfect change of pace.

Nitro Coconut Floating Island with passion fruit and vanilla
Nitro Coconut Floating Island with passion fruit and vanilla

We’re not much for the sweets, so the desserts weren’t our favorite part, but they were quite unique. The most interesting one was the Nitro Coconut Floating Island with passion fruit and vanilla. On the dessert menu, we noticed a couple of other fun things to order if you were going a la carte. The first is a ‘Gin and Tonic’, which is José’s Favorite Cocktail, made with gin and tonic sorbet, fizzy tonic espuma, lemon and aromatics. The second is something we watched unfold at a table nearby. It’s called the Chefs’ Candy Selection. You can order 10 pieces or 25 pieces and they are laid out before you on the tabletop.

For all of these inventive and delicious courses, the price is pretty hard to beat. The 18-course tasting menu is $99. We’ve been to a lot pricier dinners that weren’t even half as exciting or as tasty. I highly recommend The Bazaar and we’ll definitely go back whenever we’re in Beverly Hills.

 

Laura in the vineyards of New Zealand

Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.

An Incredible 18-Course Meal – The Bazaar by Jose Andres

27 thoughts on “An Incredible 18-Course Meal – The Bazaar by Jose Andres

  1. Marta says:

    This sounds (and looks!) like an incredible meal. I love the idea that they have a dessert bar: especially after many courses a change of scenery is definitely nice and with such a peculiar decor, it’s a great to have more than one observation point!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Very true, Marta. It’s really a great concept on their part to have different sections to move to.

  2. Inma says:

    This is just nuts! 18 courses, I would be full by the third one 😀
    Glad you had an amazing time at The Bazaar!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I know it seems crazy, but each course is just a bite or two, so it’s equal to a typical 3-course meal.

  3. Stephen says:

    So, one, those dishes look and sound absolutely fantastic. But also, that whole meal was only $100 per person? In LA?! That’s astonishingly low. Seems like you stumbled across a cool experience!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Right? We’ve never paid so little for such an incredible and extensive meal. It’s a really great value.

  4. Sue @NoFixedAbodeForSue says:

    This sounds like something I would love to do and I was waiting to hear what the price was, $99 is far far better than I was expecting. I heard of a similar thing in London recently where the cost was nearer 10 times that! Seems to take a bit of organizing to ensure you get a table, but I love the concept of so many tiny bites and the thought that you move to a dessert bar to finish off the meal.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      We are used to much higher prices too, so it was a pleasant surprise that it was only $99. They also do smaller sets (less than 18 courses and for $49 and $69). It’s so much fun to try the unique dishes.

  5. Stefan says:

    Wow wow – that caprese looks delicious! Which was your favourite? Not bad value for an 18 course meal.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      It was an incredible value. We added the wine pairings and that, too, was a great deal. My favorite was probably the foie gras slider. I’m a sucker for foie gras.

  6. LeAnna says:

    What a strange (but unique!) idea! Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the micro-food/tapas way of doing food. Sure, if you order enough (and surely 18 courses is probably enough) then it fills you up, but so many times these fancy places are so expensive and I leave still hungry!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I agree, LeAnna, a lot of times the portions aren’t set right and you leave still hungry. I think it’s more about the experience here – and the chance to try a way of cooking and presentation of food that you probably can’t find elsewhere, and less about the actual eating.

  7. Carol Colborn says:

    Sounds like a great value experience. 18 courses for $99 pp. Some of those dishes are to die for. Wish I live in a place where there is one. Is there one in Phoenix, Arizona area?

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Carol, not in Phoenix, but if you ever get over to Vegas, he’s got a couple there and they are very much worth it!

  8. Dave from Daves Travel Pages says:

    I think you summed it up 100% when you described this as an experience rather than a meal! I can imagine you weren’t the only one taking photos! And for an ‘experience’ $99 really isn’t bad. I would love to try something like this!

  9. Jackie says:

    What an experience! The decor, food, and its selection all seem to fit so nicely together. The tortilla de patatas “new way” grabbed my attention because I am a big fan of the “old way!” I can’t believe it was only $99! I wonder if this chef has a similarly priced experience in NYC. Do you know?

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I know, Jackie. We were very surprised that it was such a good deal. Jose Andres doesn’t currently have any restaurants in NYC, sadly. DC, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills.

  10. mar says:

    Ah how I love fine dining experiences 🙂 This looks like one of those culinary journeys at the best restaurants, lucky you got the reservation! I had never heard of Andres but now I definitively will want to go. I bet the tortilla de patatas was delicious!

  11. RaW | Ramble and Wander says:

    I’d love to try Market Fish Ceviche & Avocado Roll. Which one(s) would you go for seconds if you’re having an a la carte meal, by the way?

    • Laura Lynch says:

      We would definitely reorder the ceviche, the foie gras sliders, the jamon, the risotto, the… okay, we’d probably reorder all of them, but those were definitely favorites.

  12. Helena says:

    This sounds like a great experience and I love experiences when it comes to food. So much better than just eating. I’m definitely gonna try to remember this place for when I visit LA next year.

  13. Le Vian Chocolate Diamonds says:

    Great information. Lucky me I came across your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book marked it for later!

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