Last night, my girlfriend Michelle and I had the opportunity to have a fantastic meal. See, I am in this kind of “wine fraternity” and members are responsible throughout the year for chairing dinners. I am co-chairing one in January, the theme is Spanish (dinners often follow a theme, be-it tastes such as “Spanish” or a wine maker is brought in, blah blah blah….) so we have been having meals at Spanish themed/style restaurants as we narrow down our choices and work with the chef on a menu and wine pairings. Last night’s meal was at Bazaar, the restaurant by Jose Andreas in Los Angeles.
First let me say that it’s a great space. Large, lots of tables and activity with dining areas off from the central bar. It has some noise, but isn’t that the case with all trendy restaurants these days, yet here you can still here your date talk :-). We also got to take a look at the SAAM room, which they have for private parties. That was the opposite of the main areas, being quiet and subdued with natural tones and wood paneling, etc.
Before I get to the menu, I should say it’s the folks made last nights meal. By that I mean that the food was great, but the staff made it phenomenal. Their attention to detail in every aspect was nothing if not superb. The sommeliers helped us with our wines and gave us some suggestions for our dinner (and I look forward to more help… I need a white to start with), the chef paid a visit and discussed the menu… even Jose Andreas was in the house and cooking too, wearing his whites. Everyone spent a considerable amount of time wanting to know more of what we wanted/needed/were interested in for our wine group dinner, all the while making sure that this experience was fantastic….
Well they did their jobs :-)!! I haven’t taken the time to see what of this is actually on the menu and what was done for us and the tasting menu, here it is in all it’s glory, but please understand that these short descriptions just don’t do the items justice, I was trying to write and not be rude at the table…
- Artichoke chips
- White asparagus with yogurt and olive
- Lox and cream cheese – a small cone with herb cream cheese in the bottom with salmon roe on top
- Watermelon with tomato caviar (the heart of the tomato)
- Bun with caviar and lemon foam
- Philly cheesesteak
- Brussel sprouts
- Caprese – the mozzarella was liquid and sphere-ized. think a balloon of mozzarella filled with liquid mozz. :-)… and even the tiny little tomatoes had been blanched and skinned so that they melted in your mouth for this great burst of flavor. Yum!
- Shrimp cocktail – I am not a big fan of seafood, but I’d order this again in heartbeat. This would make me eat shrimp regularly… It had just a hint of heat with some garlic and a pepper on top.
- Calamari – in ink…
- Tuna civiche
- Roasted red pepper
- Chicken with dates and mustard
- Steak with pepper confit
- Wild mushrooms and rice
- Lamb with mushrooms and potato
- Cauliflower couscous
- Pork Sausage with white beans
- Nitro coconut
- Hot chocolate mouse
- Chocolate chip cookies
And that was the food…. We had to wash it all down, so this is what we drank.
- 2007 Bodegas Los Bermejos Lanzarote Diego Sec
- 2006 Mas Doix Priorat Salanques
- 2004 Bodegas y Viñedos Alión Ribera del Duero
- 2005 Bodegas Pintia (Vega-Sicilia) Toro Pintia
- 2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto
- One more for desert, but i can’t find it anywhere… a sweet white desert wine from Bodegas Los Bermejos as well.
This was a really fabulous meal, I can’t express that enough. Folks should make this a regular stop for a quick nosh or the extravaganza that was our meal. We sat down at 6:30 and left at almost midnight, and it was worth every minute!