I walked into The Bazaar in awe of the beautiful decor thinking, “I’m going to like it here”. Unfortunately, this was not exactly the case. Yes, this is a beautiful restaurant located within a beautiful hotel. I don’t know of any other place that exudes the flair and style of The Bazaar’s interior, with it’s rich hues, dangling chandeliers and plush seats. However, once we were seated and the dishes started coming, the “wow” factor slowly started dissipating.
I think my disappointment laid mainly with the service and lack of flavors. Just by restaurant aesthetics, you would think the service would be top notch as well. Not so much. I ordered a cotton candy cocktail. No photo below– let me explain. I LOVE cotton candy. LOVE! When the server was explaining the drink to me, I was so excited and told him that was exactly what I wanted. With all the enthusiasm I was displaying, you think he could respond a bit too. Nope. He took my order calmly and left. When the drink arrived, the glass was filled with cotton candy. The liquid portion is then poured OVER the cotton candy so that the cotton candy dissolves and you have your drink! Yay! I had my camera ready and everything… Without a word, the server set my glass down and very unceremoniously poured my drink in. Cotton candy gone, and I now had a glass of boring liquid in a martini glass. I couldn’t help but notice the table next to us had ordered the same thing, and the server was very chatty, friendly, and allowed ample time for photos and “oohs” and “awws”. Needless to say, I was disappointed, but still optimistic that the food would be great.
Unfortunately, once the dishes started arriving, I realized that everything seemed to LOOK really fascinating and beautiful, but once I started chewing, a lot of the dishes were lacking flavor or pizazz. The unagi taco for example- limp, thinly sliced cucumber with a strip of unagi over it. Barely any texture and was very lacking in my opinion. The king crab steamed buns seemed like a cheap, fusion, dimsum dish to me. The brussel sprouts were my biggest disappointment. The presentation was great, like all the other dishes, but this was perhaps the most boring plate of all. The brussel sprouts tasted like something I could have sauteed at home- add some oil and lemon zest, and there you go! The lemon foam was beautiful, but once it was mixed into the veggies, you really didn’t taste (or see) it anymore.
There were parts of the meal I enjoyed. The caviar cones were very light and creative. The squid was very fresh and tasted wonderful with the corn and avocado. The scallops, though not my favorite, were also very fresh.
I can tell that The Bazaar definitely uses quality ingredients, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and ambiance of the restaurant. If the food tasted half as good as the place looked, then I would be back. It’s a wonderful place to go if you are on a first date, but if you are going solely to enjoy a good meal, I would recommend you go elsewhere.
The Bazaar By José Andrés
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048