Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres is one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas. Thus, I thought the The Bazaar in South Beach would provide a similar culinary experience. Unfortunately, this is no Bazaar Meat.
However, I still had a very enjoyable dinner. What the restaurant lacks in the food, it makes up for in service, a great atmosphere and a beautiful dining room.
Anyway, according to the server, the menu is organized into more modern type dishes and traditional Spanish dishes.
As I am not a big fan of Spanish cuisine, we decided to focus more on the modern side of the menu, starting with the caviar cone. It was delicious but not sure worth the $19 per piece.
Next the “Jose Taco”. This was basically caviar on Iberico ham. Again, very delicious, but not sure it was worth the $17 per piece cost, especially since it is easy to replicate.
Endive. These were just ok.
The menu has a whole section with takes on Asian (specifically Singaporean) dishes. I avoided this section because I feel like Asian food done in a fancy environment by non-Asian chefs would a disappointing, but I was surprised! The server brought out complimentary “Kueh Pai Ti” – “Singapore’s favorite street food” according to the menu – and it was one of the best dishes all night. It consisted of shrimp, peanuts and chili sauce. A perfect bite of sweet, savory, sour, a little heat and crunchy. Very delicious. The shrimp was fresh. There was a little too much garlic but that’s splitting hairs.
The next round of dishes was disappointing. First, dragon fruit ceviche. According to the menu, it had tuna, pecans, lemon and hibiscus. It was beautifully presented, but that is about all it had going for it. First, very little tuna in the dish despite being in the seafood section. To me this was more of a avocado/dragon fruit salad than a ceviche. It was also pretty tasteless.
The next seafood dish was the King Crab with raspberries. I was very excited for this dish, but it fell short. There was nothing technically exciting about this dish. It was some balled up crab, with a boring raspberry sauce. Very little thought went into this dish.
After these came the meat courses starting with the bone marrow. This had, according to the menu “Caribbean white truffle”, Florida citrus, and capers. The white truffle turned out to be flavorless heart of palm which they shaved on top table side. The dish was just average with too much acidity.
The last savory dish was a foie gras PB&J. This WAS delicious. The classic pairing of foie gras with something sweet was excellent. I only wish there was more jam.
For dessert we had the “deconstructed” key lime pie. While it tasted like key lime pie, I think the dish was brilliant, but from a restaurant business point of view. The amount of prep and labor that goes into this is probably a fraction of the effort of baking an actual key lime pie. Plus it looks nicer and you can use less ingredients, and charge more. Its genius (actually, many of the dishes above fell into this category).
The last dessert was a cafe con leche popsicle. This was decent though I thought that the shell should be thicker.
Overall, as mentioned above, it was still an enjoyable dinner. The service was good. We mentioned to our server that we wanted to go to Joe’s Stone Crab but hesitated due to the lines, and he introduced us to someone who worked there. More on that in another post. Other than that, the dining room is beautiful as is the ambiance. Also, after dinner, there is an outdoor bar and pool area. Its worth checking out and having a drink.
The brilliant thing about this restaurant is that if you look at the dishes, the amount of prep and labor going into them does not seem high. However, the way they are presented, and the ingredients listed, allows the restaurant to charge a lot. Maybe its the way we ordered. There are items that require some technical skill, but I would bet that the profit margins at this place are very high. I would not return for food but I would go for drinks and maybe, invest! 6/10