e

emile's Profile

Title Last Reply

Bazaar is Wack

Agreed. We probably did not try everything on the menu but I did feel like we tried enough items to get a good understanding of the food. Unfortunately, after eating, we left not really knowing much about the chef and his style because the food didn't really represent much of anything. One point that I forgot to mention in my original post, that I felt was quite important, was the fact that most of the seating throughout the restaurant is incredibly uncomfortable. For dinner we sat on a deep couch that made reaching the table quite difficult. For desert we sat on marble stools about 12 inches tall so that my knees were in my face. The desert table was also about 12 inches tall and my entire group felt ridiculous. I'm all for aesthetics but not when functionality must be sacrificed.

Jun 15, 2009
emile in Los Angeles Area

Where to get gift certificate?

try www.restaurant.com

they have a lot of places offering gift certificates and, currently, are at 60% off

otherwise, may think about getting them a mastercard gift card or amex gift card that can be used at any restaurant of their choosing

Jun 12, 2009
emile in Los Angeles Area

Bazaar is Wack

Last night I had the opportunity to check out Bazaar restaurant at the SLS hotel. All in all the night was rather entertaining but fell quite short of all the hype and PR that has been circulating for months on this place.

We began our night checking in with the hostess. A little unattentive to say the least. Three women stood behind the podium yet none of them was able to look up, ackowledge our arrival or offer any sort of warm welcome or smile. Not sure if this is the desired effect as I know that some places claim to treat people like this purposely but I, for one, am not a big fan of this type of "service". There are just too many great restaurants in this city that I refuse to deal with impolite staff just so that I can try the food. Unfortunately, the service problems continued throughout the night with a waiter that literally could not be found for over 45 minutes (even after I asked another waiter to send him over).

Regardless, I realize that service is just one peice of the restaurant pie so I will try to focus more on the food. It should be noted that prior to last night, I had heard many great things about Bazaar from people far and near. My particular interest was in the molecular gastronomy aspect but I had also heard that the food was authentic Spanish tapas and spectacular.

The menu: The menu is broken into two distinct sections (1) Traditional Tapas and (2) Modern Tapas. The Traditional Tapas included such classics as canned seafood, jamon, cheeses and all of the traditional tapas one could find in Spain.

Traditional Tapas: Regretfully we did not try any of the jamons but we did try the canned kumomoto oysters as well as other traditional plates.

- Kumomoto Oysters: Fresh, clean and sweet. These are typically my favorite oysters and the chef kept it simple and clean. It should be noted however that these oysters are only served in a can and not taken from a can. They are NOT canned and, for the first time that I can recall, I was upset to see fresh oysters rather than canned as Spain is famous for its canned seafood and the canning process actually adds a consistency and flavor unattainable elsewhere. Either way, these were tasty.
- Sauteed Mushrooms: A nice dish packed with earthy flavors of wild mushrooms and garlic. Nice and simple but not amazing.
- Sauteed Shrimp in Garlc: Again, nice, well cooked shrimp with nice flavors. Solid but not amazing. Its garlic shrimp for heavens sake, this is not rocket science.

Modern Tapas:
- Organized Ceaser salad: An interesting take on the classic. This was a ceaser salad wrapped in Jicama and topped with a quail egg, presented similar to a sushi roll. Unfortunately I did not try this but it looked cool. The comments seemed to be, "yep, that's a ceaser salad, nothing special."
- Avocado Tempura: A strange dish. I love avocados and anything tempura and so this was a nice dish but it felt greasy and heavy. The avocado peices tasted a little like deep fried potatoe squares. Nothing great here and left a greasy after taste.
- Tuna ceviche and avocado roll: The was the best dish of the night. A fairly basic tuna roll. Tuna sashimi wrapped in avocado with some type of corn nuts sprinkled on top. A great combination of flavors and textures that create a real party in your mouth. Well seasoned and very tasty and, if I hadn't heard so much hype, I would stop there but since this place is a walking advertisement I'd be remissed if I didn't point out that this was, all in all, a tuna roll and, again, not rocket science. Still, it was the best plate of the night.
- Sea Urchin & Avocado Steamed Buns: I LOVE Uni and, typically, can eat Uni all day long. This dish was different than anything I've ever had. Although the bun was bigger than I would have liked and tended to over power the uni, this was tasty and different. Not great but interesting.

Overall, I would say that the food and service are truley nothing to write home about. I would take a night at Providence, Sona, Il Pastaio or In N Out over this. In fact, I ended up going by In N Out on the way home to eat a real dinner. Interestingly though, I would recommend people to go at least once to check out the place. The eye candy walking around is typical of most trendy Beverly Hills/LA scenes. Beautiful people abundent throughout. It is a kwirky, strange and unorthodox design inside but it is a scene worthy of Los Angelinos and Hollywood types. Worth grabbing a drink and a snack but bring your checkbook. I'll never go there again for 'dinner' but I could see myself taking a date for drink and a lite snack.

Too bad this turned out to be a little disappointing. All in all, relative to the hype and write-ups I have read recently, Bazaar is wack IMO.

Jun 12, 2009
emile in Los Angeles Area

5X5 Dinner at La Terza

Ditto what carln said. The dinner was exceptional and I felt lucky to be eating the best food in LA. Service gets a 'C-' but the food gets a solid 'A'. (See my last post as to why the service received such a low score)

True respect goes out to all of the participating chefs for allowing LA to taste some truley amazing food while they learn and work with each other. It really looked like all of the chefs were having a great time and you could taste it!

Sep 23, 2008
emile in Los Angeles Area

LA TERZA

Truley sad to hear about your experience but rest assured that you were not alone. My family and I were at La Terza last night for the 5X5 as well and also felt the lag in service. I would like to say, however, that this should not be held against La Terza as this event is not your typical night at La Terza. Firstly, there are 5 of the city's best chefs all working in a TINY La Terza kitchen. Not alone is space an issue but unfamiliarity within the kitchen probably added to the lag. Also, La Terza is rarely ever as busy as it was last night (9/22). There was a table of over 20 people in one of the rooms and this must have slowed everything down as it looked like this table took priority over everyone else. Above all, despite the horrific service, this may have been the best dinner I have ever had. Again, I hope I don't come off as making excuses as the service really was poor last night but the sweet corn ravioli, scrambled eggs with summer truffles, seared scallops with pistachio emulsion and hamachi crudo were all to die for.

Bottom line for me...despite spending over 3 hours at the restaurant and dealing with shotty service, this was an amazing culinary delight. I would do it all over again even with the poor service as I am not sure one restaurant alone can serve the quintet of perfect plates that the 5 All-Stars produced last night.

Sep 23, 2008
emile in Los Angeles Area

Nozawa Sushi A Bust

A friend and I thought we would grab some sushi last night. Over the last 4 or 5 months it has been rather difficult to get us to try anything other than Sushi Zo. While fellow Hounders have mixed feelings regarding Keizo-san and his manners, I have nothing but the utmost respect for the man. Granted I tend to have some basic manners while dining and show the chef respect, but I have never experienced any attitude or arrogance rising to the levels that some Hounders describe. Further, his sushi is awesome and I would gladly, although I have never had to, endure a little attitude for such amazing sushi. Literally second only to Urasawa IMO.

With that said and the fact that we were feeling adventurous we thought we would try Nozawa Sushi in the valley on Ventura Blvd. Arriving there early, the restaurant was completely empty with the exception of 2 busboys and the chef, Nozawa I assume. Upon arrival, we were greated by a busboy who tried to quickly sweep us off to a table. Prefering the sushi bar, I made my preference known. Busboy #1 attempts to explain, "You have no choice at the sushi bar! You should sit at this table." "Omakase?" I asked. With no response provided I assumed this was the case and, typically only dining omakase, I was quite happy to sit at the bar despite busboy #1's shock. Eventually we sit at the bar. (Don't worry I will get to the food but the experience is often as important to me)

Without a hello, we begin with a plate of baby tuna. Not bad. The pre-cut pieces of fish were a nice start. Meanwhile, busboy #2 had the most attitude I have ever encountered in my life! This was like Keizo-san on steroids. Don't do this...don't do that...don't touch that. As I mentioned above, I am not completely against a little attitude, if your food backs it up. This, on the other hand, was quite different. I was getting sushi attitude from busboy #2 who was no more Japanese than Venus Williams and no more sushi chef than Bobby Flay. Having realized that the service was just notgoing to be great, I tried to focus on the food...

As I feel rice is the foundation for great sushi, I begin here. Nozawa's rice was mushy. It had no texture and felt like I was eating rice pudding.

The second plate was Toro. This is where I realize that Nozawa uses a brine to soak his fish in before service. While the toro looked no different than a regular piece of tuna you would get at Todais' all-you-can-eat sushi bar, the texture was soft (brine!). Needless to say it didn't quite bring me the joy I typically feel when I eat Toro.

Next was halibut. This may have been the best order of the night. Nothing special but it had the fresh, clean, ocean taste to it that I love.

Yellowtail. Todai style.
Skipjack followed. Again, average.
Crab Hand Roll - Good. Seaweed was stale.

Ebi - Here we go. I tend to not order Ebi very often as I go to the Boiling Crab to get cooked shrimp and its not a favorite at my sushi bar. Regardless I ate it. Awful and regretful.

This culminated the omakase circuit. Not fully satisfied, I thought I would ask for one order of uni and one order of amaebi and call it a night.

The uni was clearly not A grade. Closer to C but I'll give them the benfit of the doubt and call it B grade. It was runny and, although it tasted great, the texture and coolness that typically hits your pallette was missing.

Now for the kicker. Awaiting the amaebi, I am given Ebi. I try to explain that there may have been a problem but busboy #2 quickly explains that Ebi is "much better and has better texture" than amaebi. SAY WHAT? Maybe for you busboy #2 but not for me. Honestly, a simple, "we don't have amaebi tonight," would have sufficed but please don't try and convince me that over the last 25 years of my life I have been completely stupid in preferring the bubble-gum texture, sweet taset, and awesome fried head of amaebi over the bland, rubber texture, plain ebi.

Well, I guess, overall, that this night alone based on the food would not have had me ranting at such lengths. However, the enormous attitude and vibe that the place was giving off was toxic. It's dirty, average and over-flowing with anger. Paying MORE than Sushi ZO put the nail in the coffin for me. Not going back. There is just too much great food in LA for restaurants to have an attitude. Didn't anyone tell these people that they were in the "service" industry? Keizo-san I look forward to seeing you soon my friend!

Sep 04, 2008
emile in Los Angeles Area

Let Down By Providence (Long)

To bad about your visit. We were just there the other night and they were able to accomodate a fully vegetarian chefs tasting menu for one of our party. My problem was not so much the service, which was average, but the food, which was below average. Having been to Providence before I expected the very best but left with my expectations sadly missed. We had the 5 course tasting menu and I felt let down with the last 3 courses. It wasn't that they were bad but more that the dishes were something I would expect out of any average seafood restaurant. Nothing special. The dessert was actually inedible, a corn ice cream with blackberrys that were so under ripe the were too bitter to eat. Its really a shame as this WAS a great restaurant. After this evening I am going to eat at Sona over Providence any chance I have. There are just too many good restaurants in LA to settle for average, especially when I'm dropping over $600 to eat. I can eat at Sushi Zo three times for the same price as Providence once and Zo will not disappoint.

Jun 17, 2008
emile in Los Angeles Area

Bar Hayama

This place was complete garbage the night I went there. Nothing was done correctly. The food was bland, dry, and poorly seasoned. If not for the sashimi and sushi, I would have walked out. As for the service (if you can call it that), we were lucky to get utensils let alone the correct order of food. College waitresses have no business in a real restaurant. This was a bad night...not going back.

Apr 25, 2008
emile in Los Angeles Area

Best Pizza that will deliver in or to Pacific Beach?

Hoboken is great but delivery tends to exceed an hour. I really like La Cosa Pizza located on Garnet. Try the Milano.

Nov 09, 2006
emile in San Diego

Chinese Delivery In Mission Beach

Good info but sad to see no Chinese in Mission Beach. As far as pizza goes, I always liked La Cosa Pizza located on Garnet. The "Milano" pizza is great. Simple and authentic.

Nov 09, 2006
emile in California