José Andrés is working to redefine the way Angelenos view restaurant dining. At SLS Hotel, The Bazaar is a multifaceted gastronomic pleasure palace that’s pretty much unrivaled in terms of variety, theater and innovation. The brunch menu featured several seemingly familiar options. Thankfully, nothing it as it seems at The Bazaar.
It was a sunny day, so we sat on the covered patio, overlooking jam-packed La Cienega Boulevard. Sitting on the patio is kind of like dining inside a cabinet of curiosities. There’s so much eye candy, and not just at other tables. Orange walls host decorative masks and framed art. Shelves hold colorful baubles, books and pottery. The overall effect nearly led to my brain short-circuiting.
The brunch menu implores diners to “Viva Los Huevos” – Live The Eggs. Five of the six menu items involve eggs. More specifically, dishes incorporate eggs that are cooked precisely at 63 degrees Celsius until the proteins bind. This method leads to perfectly “poached” eggs every time.
We each started with a Tortilla de Patatas “New Way” ($5 per person), a molecular send-up of a Spanish tortilla. Dig down into the shell with your spoon and dig out distinct layers of gooey egg, airy potato foam, caramelized diced potatoes and chives.
12 Tiny Eggs Sunny Side Up ($12), a.k.a. Huevos a la Cubana, were dedicated to native Cuban Andy Garcia. He should feel honored. A crispy jasmine rice cake was topped with a crisp-edged disc made with 12 visually stunning quail eggs, crispy shavings of jamon Serrano, dabs of intensely flavorful tomato puree and a drizzle of diced chives.
In Spain, torrijas is similar to French toast, but in José Andrés’ mind, Savory Spanish Torrijas ($18) involve silky folds of well-marbled Iberico ham, moist griddle cakes, egg 63, crispy sage leaves and Idiazabal, a creamy Basque sheep’s milk cheese. Get a taste of each component on your fork and it’s hard to imagine a better brunch option.
Warm Salmon “Smoked at the Moment” ($14) featured a rosy fillet of perfectly moist sous vide salmon set atop firm chickpea pancakes (socca cakes). The plate also showcased deconstructed “tzatziki” with dabs and dices of yogurt, olive oil, dill, cucumber and fava beans. This was a summery but still satisfying dish.
SLS beverage director Lucas Paya and lead bartender Ben Browning collaborated on six dazzling Brunch Specialty Drinks, and Paya served us four of them.