Four-star review

The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel in Bev Hills gets the sort of accolades that any restaurant owner would kill for (I hope they have extra people to answer the phones today). LAT restaurant critic Irene Virbila says "Los Angeles has never seen anything remotely like this exciting restaurant from Spanish chef José Andrés." The name might ring a bell - he's the star of the public television series "Made in Spain." Among the dishes mentioned: foie gras lollipops.

It’s a fluffy wad of vanilla-scented cotton candy on a stick. Eat it all in one bite, she tells me. What? But I somehow manage to fit it all in my mouth: The cotton candy melts into a veil of sugar, sensational with the slightly chilled cube of foie gras at the heart of the "lollipop." Traditional olives stuffed with anchovy (great anchovy) and a sliver of roasted piquillo pepper come threaded on a bamboo pick. They're briny, salty, sweet all at once. And then a server is scooping plain green olives from a canning jar, placing each on a porcelain Chinese soup spoon. I know what it is, so I watch my friend's reaction. Her eyebrows shoot up, her eyes widen. What? What? She bursts out, laughing wildly. What is that? That is Ferran Adrià's famous spherical olive, which tastes like some kind of magic trick that concentrates the essence of olive and olive oil enclosed in the thinnest gelatinous shell. Magic. What did I tell you?

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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