Bazaar Meat by José Andrés
Gopalito – Ford’s Gin, Amontillado Sherry, Honey, Ginger, Sudachi, Lemon Juice, Sesame Oil
Magic Mojito – Bacardi Superior Rum, Mint, Lime Juice, Bitters, Strained over Cotton Candy
Super-Giant Pork Skin Chicharron – Greek Yogurt, Za’atar Spices
Cotton Candy Foie Gras – Crispy Amaranth
Croquetas de Pollo – Chicken-Bechamel Fritters / Croquettas de Jamon – Creamy Bechamel, Jamon de Bellota
Bagel & Lox Cone – Cream Cheese, Salmon Roe
Smoke & Ice Shigoku Oysters – Applewood Smoke, Apple Mignonette
Ferran Adria Olives, Modern & Traditional – Liquid Green Olive, Gordal Olives stuffed with Piquillo Pepper and Anchovy
The Classic Tartare – Parker House Rolls, Mindful Meats Sirloin, Savora Mustard, Egg Yolk, HP Sauce, Anchovy
Beefsteak Tomato Tartare – Gem Lettuce Leaves, Tomato, Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Black Olive, Cucumber
Beef & Parmesan Grissini – Washugyu Beef, Espuma, Caramelized Onions
Charcuterie – House Mortadella, N’duja Sausage, Wild Boar Sausage, Salchichon, Curemaster’s Reserve Mangalitsa Ham, Jamon Iberico de Bellota, Pa Amb Tomaquet
Bison Buffalo Style – Pickled Celery, Blue Cheese, Wing sauce
Patatas Bravas – Aioli, Spicy Tomato Sauce, Paprika
Pepino Sonado – Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka, St. Germaine, Lemon Juice, Egg Whites, Muddled Cucumber
Sangria Roja – Red Wine, Beefeater Gin, Spanish Brandy, Cloves, Cinnamon, Mint, Raspberry, Lemon
Josper-Roasted Whole Turbot – La Coruna Spain
Butifarra Catalana – Pa Amb Tomaquet, Honey Aioli
New Zealand Merino Lamb Rack – Mint, Rare
Chatfield Texas Rosewood Ribeye – Wagyu/Angus Hybrid, Rare
Josper-Grilled Pulpo a la Gallega – Galician-style Octopus, Potato, Pimenton
Robuchon Potatoes – Butter, Butter, More Butter
Setas Ajilio – Button Mushrooms, Garlic, Nasturtium
Grilled Baby Corn – Chile Piquin, Popcorn Powder
Blurred Borders – Don Julio Reporado Tequila, Serrano, Peychaud’s Bitters, Absinthe Rinse, Cedar, Smoke
Double Espresso – Ice
S’mores – Foie Gras, Chocolate, Marshmallow, Graham Cracker
Sweet Little Selections – Raspberry Ginger Cardamom Éclair / Black Forrest Puff Pastry / S’mores / Hazelnut Poprock Bonbon / Raspberry Olive Oil Lips / Coconut Mango Cake / Chocolate Cream Puff / White Chocolate Raspberry Chambord Cake / Yuzu Milk Chocolate Bonbon / Golden Ingot Cookie Butter Bonbon / Milk Chocolate Coconut Tart / Salted Caramel Bonbon / Pineapple Jasmine Cheesecake
Sweet Little Selections – Dark Chocolate Almond Éclair / Praline Inspired by Pierre Herme Puff Pastry / Chantilly Cream Puff / Cherry Sherry Pate de Fruit / Hazelnut Financier / Milk Chocolate Banana Lime Cake / Bacon Strawberries Cream Puff Pastry / Dark Chocolate Aged Rum Cake / Salted Caramel Candy / Pecan Pie Cookie/ Dulcey Pecan Tart / Key Lime Tart / Milk Chocolate Peanut Caramel Tart
Not entirely sold on Jose Andrés, a significant slight at minibar and several previous visits to both his Las Vegas and Washington DC Restaurants presenting a mixed bag in terms of Food and service, it was along with one other that a third visit was paid to Bazaar Meat by José Andrés on Saturday evening, the sizable restaurant truly pulling out all the stops with service directed by Pano Argyriades exemplary while the menu crafted by Andrés and Executive Chef Alex Pitts weaves a wide path while still executing at an extremely high level.
Making no secrets about the uncertain future of the SLS, a languishing property currently in a state of transition that was far less filled than one would expect on the night of a blockbuster fight that had nearly every hotel in town booked to capacity, it was with the car parked in a free garage that guests weaved their way across the gaming floor past an empty Katsuya, Clio and 800° en route to the Steakhouse, Mr. Argyriades and another familiar face from Jean Georges Steakhouse offering greetings and a lengthy tour of the restaurant’s several hot and cold stations.
Still featuring the same unique design flourishes as when it opened, a combination of Bulls and Alligators decorating the walls with mismatched chairs and chandeliers making sure no line of sight is ever boring, it was on one side of a four-top that diners were sat in order to be given a full view of the room, a prix-fixe tasting arranged in advance showing off the full breadth of what the space is capable of over the course of the evening.
Always a showman, the influence of Adria and modernism still ubiquitous in Andrés Think Food Group restaurants even as many guides and ‘best of’ lists have refocused on terroir-driven concepts like those throughout Copenhagen or Peru, it was not long after settling in that a Cocktail list was presented and starting with Bazaar’s signature ‘Magic’ Mojito with a smoking Cotton Candy melt as well as an herbal Bee’s Knees riff entitled Gopalito the night was underway, a grocery store-sized Pork Skin shattered tableside with a mallet and matched to aerated Greek Yogurt while gimmicky Cotton Candy Foie Gras was outshined by a classic duo of Croquettas, the Chicken a bit larger and delicious in their own right but the duo stuffed with creamy Cheese and Pork from Spain’s famous Acorn-fed Pig truly divine.
Offering a quartet of briny bites to refresh the palate, a cone of Cream Cheese and Salmon Roe deemed too fishy by one at the table while the smoke-filled dome of Oysters and famous duo of Olives from El Bulli were both as impressive in terms of display as they were in flavor, those looking for Las Vegas’ best Tartare would be hard-pressed to nominate a better candidate than Bazaar’s tableside “Classic” made with trimmed elder-Sirloin that offers good texture and great depth of flavor, the vegan-friendly Beefsteak version equally impressive as a result of the quality of the Tomato and vibrant notes added by old Balsamic and dehydrated Black Olive.
Finishing off the last of the buttery Parker House Rolls as a makeshift Tartare Sandwich, the exemplary Washugyu Beef-wrapped Grissini arriving next with bold Onion Cream, Andrés fanaticism for ingredients was again put on display with several imported Meats alongside housemade Mortadella and Wild Boar Sausage, the Jamon Iberico de Bellota as good as one will find in Spain, though certainly not without a cost as each leg reportedly costs the restaurant a shade under $3500 to import.
Going so far as to source the Bread for their Pa Amb Tomaquet straight from Spain for the sake of authenticity, the rest of the Breads and Pastries made on-site, those looking for another tasty raw bite should consider the Hot Sauce glazed Bison Carpaccio that pairs brilliantly with Chef’s Paprika dusted Potato-sticks, these two snacks offered as a conclusion to a bakers-dozen ‘appetizers’ before two more Cocktails were presented, the Pepino Sonado smooth and refreshing with a great mouthfeel while the sweet and juicy Sangria Roja expectedly paired well with the grilled Meats to come.
Not expecting whole-plates, the point being to see as much variety as possible from a menu that is broad but at the same time focused, it was nonetheless that several large cuts were presented in a grand display of entrees and sides, the Turbot and Octopus straight from Spanish waters to the Josper Grill both impeccably charred and tender with the Fish still out-ranking any other in Sin City and a close rival to the famous version of Elkano while the Pulpo was a classic preparation served atop boiled Potatoes dusted with Paprika.
Deferring temperature to the kitchen, both the New Zealand Lamb Rack and Texas-based hybrid Cattle cooked Rare at low temperatures on the top rack of the grill, those who enjoy actually tasting the Animal as opposed to a bunch of Salt and seasoning will be duly impressed by the quality of either cut, Chef Pitts housemade Catalan Sausage also a remarkable dish that is currently available in a much smaller portion size than prior thanks to the Summer tasting menu.
Never one to refuse Joel Robuchon’s classic 50/50 Butter and Potato Puree, Andrés again paying homage to a contemporary by name on his menu, additional sides included roasted Mushroom Caps filled with Garlic, Butter and bitter Nasturtium as well as spicy little ears of Corn with ‘powdered’ Popcorn, the Foie Gras ‘S’mores’ an excellent way to bridge savory to sweet, as was the first of two double Espressos on Ice and a stiff and smoky Cocktail constructed tableside entitled “Blurred Borders.”
Previously underwhelmed by Bazaar’s Pastry department, the idea of a bunch of petit fours sold sight-unseen at $2-8 seeming a bit disingenuous and unimaginative, recent times have seen the Restaurant usher in an immense Dessert Cart laden with over two-dozen choices, a ‘one of each, please’ strategy seeing two slates laid out with several clever creations, the Caramelized Pastry crediting Pierre Herme as well as the ones with Brandied Cherries or Bacon and Strawberries all quite memorable as were the Pecan Pie Cookie, Dark Chocolate Almond Éclair, White Chocolate Raspberry Chambord Cake and Tarts of Pineapple and Jasmine as well as Dulcey Pecan and Key Lime.
FIVE STARS: Although José Andrés seems to make the news more often these days as an outspoken advocate for political causes than he does as a Chef, 2017 finds Bazaar Meat amongst not only the upper echelon of Las Vegas Steakhouses but Restaurants in general, Chef Pitts and GM Argyriades running a tight ship even as the rest of the SLS stands in limbo with the sort of ingredients, cooking and diversity that sees one already planning a return visit mere moments after they’ve left.
RECOMMENDED: Gopalito, Sangria Roja, Croquettas de Jamon, The Classic Tartare, Beef & Parmesan Grissini, Housemade Mortadella, Jamon Iberico de Bellota, Josper-Roasted Whole Turbot, Butifarra Catalana, Robuchon Potatoes, Pecan Pie Cookie, Dulcey Pecan Tart, Black Forrest Puff Pastry, Pineapple Jasmine Cheesecake
AVOID: Cotton Candy Foie Gras is a pricey gimmick and those averse to fishy flavors should definitely avoid the Bagel & Lox Cone
TIP: Currently offering Summer, Classic and Jose’s Way Tasting menus at $75, $125 and $185 respectively. See the website for details.