The Bazaar by José Andrés
The restaurant—a $12 million collaboration at the SLS Hotel between the madcap Spanish chef José Andrés, designer Philippe Starck, and hotelier Sam Nazarian—is a restaurant in the way that Avatar is a movie: every element is engineered to dazzle and disorient, for better or for worse, starting with the wacky, 12,500-square-foot interior (which combines a patisserie, a bar, two dining rooms, a Moss design shop, and an itinerant palm reader). Then there’s the menu itself—half devoted to traditional tapas, the other to metaphysical riffs on same. Sure, some of it reads like molecular gastronomy’s greatest hits: the foie gras cotton candy, the dainty ice cream cones of caviar, the requisite spherified olives (which taste like salty tears). Yet only the jaded could deny the joy here. Behold the seared arctic char, delivered under a silver dome, which the server lifts to unleash a swirl of applewood-scented “smoke.” Or the conserva—canned daily in sardine tins, in the Spanish manner—of king crab with pungent tarragon, edible flowers, and a bracingly tart raspberry vinaigrette.