Caloric Tension Reliever

April 2, 2009

O Best Beloveds, I have neglected the food porn around these here parts. Oh, sure, biopsies and tumor markers are fun, but let’s face it; one cannot live on those alone. Nor would one want to. Indeed, the whole point of going through all this medical hoohah stuff is so that one can continue to eat and eat grandly, as we did the other night at Bazaar.

This concept restaurant is possibly the best in Los Angeles right now. It even received a four out of four stars review in the LA Times–only the third restaurant to have done so, and the first since 2005. (And that restaurant is in Vegas!) It’s tapas, both classic and modern, so one orders many little small plates and has at it. The whole place is playful, from decor to dining. You get the idea with our first dish; cotton candy covered foie gras. Served on a stick, a little square of creamy foie gras pate is dipped in a proper cotton candy whirlie machine and covered with the fluffy sweet stuff. It’s a marvelous combo of flavors; the only bummer is that one is supposed to eat the whole thing in one mouthful, to ensure said proper combo of flavors, which means, as with ordinary cotton candy, the thing melts away quite quickly. More, please!

And there was. Long thin sweet potato chips come with a nearly foamy yogurt, tamarind and anise dip. Jamon Iberico, thinly sliced ham made from pigs who dine only upon acorns, has a strong smoky flavor enhanced by slices of bread rubbed with tomato. Olives come two ways; traditional, and “liquid”: imagine a white ceramic spoon holding a green oval blob. Take it all into your mouth and let dissolve. Whammo! Olive! So very very olive! Wow! “Philly cheesesteak” is hollow thin bread filled with oozy cheese and topped with thin slices of beef. There is a heavenly caprese-style salad of “liquid” mozzerella (it dissolves as soon as you touch it) with ultra-sweet cherry tomatoes; again, you lift the whole thing into your mouth at once, and the flavors just explode. Caviar cones are borrowed from the French Laundry; thin wafers turned into cones, filled with creme fraiche and topped with either salmon roe or black California caviar, another feast of salty and sweet. Japanese tacos were made of cucumber and stuffed with eel. Little tiny wrinkled potatoes were coated with fine salt and came with an olive tapanade–talk about a salt fest. They were irresistible, like taking the french fry concept to an otherworldly level. And there were veal cheeks which I didn’t eat because I don’t eat veal, but looked rich and wonderful, and paella made with thin pasta and little shrimps, and hearty shrimps in a garlic butter sauce, a classic tapas that Steve and I loved when in Spain, and then the desserts, oh, the desserts.

Best restaurant in LA? Who cares! Another round of the liquid olives and the cotton candy foie gras and the Caprese, please.

Eat, drink and be,