Los Angeles

Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

Tripe alla Parmigiana with ceci

Stewed beef , in a very thick tomato, chickpea sauce. This is the cheapest thing on the menu but it was pretty damn good. The tripe was cooked down to the point where it still retained that chewiness tripe is usually associated with, but it was so soft it broke apart in your mouth almost immediately. The tomatoes in the sauce provided very rich, savoury taste, while the chickpea helped to thicken the sauce up, as well as balance the richness with some underlying sweetness and a delicate nutty flavor. A very heavy dish for a starter. Good

Crispy Pigs Trotter with cicoria and mustard

The exterior of the Pigs trotter was fried to perfection, not too much oil, crisp, but yielded once you bit into it, the interior was a little disappointing, not as soft and melt in your mouth as I would have expected. The mustard was delicious and went well with the trotters, okay.

Burricotta cheese with radicchio, spiced candied walnuts, honey & fried rosemary

Osteria Mozza has their own mozzarella bar headed by Nancy Silverton so naturally we had to order something with cheese in it. The Burricotta was beautifully soft but managed to maintain its structural integrity when eaten together with the toast and condiments, the spiced candied walnuts were an explosion of flavours, and the fried rosemary gave the dish a burst of aromatics. Good

Raviolo with ricotta, egg, in browned butter

The Raviolo was about the size watermelon, once broken, creamy, golden yolk flows out to mix in with the beurre noisette, creating rich, nutty, creamy, thick sauce for the pasta and ricotta. The pasta was good in the sense that it wasn’t rubbery, which can sometimes be hard to achieve when you have a thick pasta, but considering the size of the raviolo, it was pretty good. The dish was outrageous in proportion and intensity of flavor, and dare I say it, it was a little too rich for a pre-main course. Good

Tagliatelle Verde with oxtail ragu’

The green tagliatelle was good choice to carry the rich, meaty, oxtail ragu, but the dish never really wow-ed me. Okay

Crisp Duck al Mattone with pear mustard and Brussels sprouts

Probably the best duck confit I’ve ever had. Crisped up nicely on the outside, the meat was falling off the bone. The duck was cured long enough and had a very concentrated flavour, with strong hints of garlic and thyme, but it still maintained a good amount of moisture(Don’t really want to know how much duck fat was used to cook this), the pear mustard was the perfect balance to the richness of the duck, the brussel sprouts didn’t do anything for me but the dish was already a winner for me. Very Good

Rabbit con Salsiccia, roasted garlic, lemon & rosemary

I don’t remember much about this apart from it being fairly tough and overseasoned. Bad

Torta della Nonna

The Torta Della Nonna(essentially a dense cheesecake) was surprisingly not as heavy as I thought it would be, served with 3 different types of honey. The component that really stood out for me were the pinenuts though, there were only a few but the aroma they brought to the dish was amazing. Okay

Piccolo Budino Caldo di Cioccolato candied almonds & bourbon gelato

This turned out to be a molten chocolate cake, the bourbon gelato was very good but the rest of the plate was pedestrian. Bad

I was fairly skeptical when coming to Osteria Mozza, knowing that it was headed by celebrity chefs, Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton. But the truth is, Osteria Mozza does serve up pretty damn good Italian food, which I guess would be what you’d expect from an Italian Iron chef. Flavours are always strong, and dishes are often rich, so you do need some background information about the dishes to plan a meal that is well balanced. The place is always packed and reservations are a must, but it is definitely worth a visit when you are in the area.

Los Angeles

The Bazaar at SLS by Jose Andres, Los Angeles

Philly Cheese Steak

Air bread, cheddar, Wagyubeef

Jose Andres apparently angered many people with his over the top rendition of a traditional Philly Cheese steak. Its a piece of lightly seared beef topped with chives, served atop a dubious looking ‘Air bread’- shaped like a football, crisp on the outside but completely hollow on the inside, and liquid cheddar cheese pumped in to fill the hollow center of the ‘Air bread’, this was a 2-bite, maximum impact dish that gave you mouth-gasms, and sent your tastebuds into a fit with a sudden jolt of incredibly strong flavours and contrasting textures. Why o why wasn’t there more on the plate, I could have had 10 of these as a starter. Very Good

California Cone

Guacamole with tomato hearts

I dont really have a thing for tomatoes, and the part of the tomato I hate the most is probably the seeds, so I was prepared to hate this dish before I even put it into my mouth, but boy was I surprised. The tomato hearts were surprisingly refreshing and, wait for it….. DIDNT SUCK. In fact, they were pretty good, the seeds had a gelatinous cool gelatinous coating, and the seeds had a nice crunch to them, the softness of the guac and the crispness of the cone played really well together. This doesn’t have anything on Keller’s coronets, but it was good.

Foie Gras Sandwich

Quince, Brioche

A nice block of creamy, melt in your mouth foie, a quick burst of sweet quince jam, stuck between two perfect, PERFECT broiche buns, and everyone knows broiche is king of the breads, RIGHT? It worked on paper and it was executed perfectly. Very Good

Sea Urchin buns

Avocado, Steamed buns

I love Uni, its one of my favourite ingredients and it isn’t nearly used as much as I would like, so I try to order it as often as I can if its on the menu. The uni used for the bun was very fresh, thats the good. The bad was that the type of bun used was the wrong choice. It was far too chewy to support delicate ingredients like avocado and uni, by the time you were actually done chewing, the uni and avocado was long gone. Okay

Croquetasde Pollo
Chicken and béchamel fritters

This was one of the more famous dishes at the bazaar. Its simple- shredded chicken, bechamel sauce, made into a croquete. The result? A crisp exterior, and a creamy, rich interior. The contrasts of textures was amazing, but I felt that the bechamel completely overpowered any chicken shreds, and there was barely a hint of chicken flavour at the end. Good

Sauteed Shrimp

Garlic, guindilla pepper

I didnt have much of this, but I felt that the shrimp was a little overcooked for my liking. Seasoning was on point though. Okay

Eggs Benedict ‘New Way’

Iberico Ham

Sous Vide egg, regular Iberico jamon, crisped Iberico jamon, hollandaise foam, and broiche. Holy cow, this was my dream come true on a plate. Sous vide egg was good, creamy(though its kinda hard to screw up a sous vide egg), jamon was very very good, and I loved the dehydrated version as well, just as flavourful in a crisp form. The only problem I had with the dish was, there was not enough hollandaise foam on the plate, and whatever was on the plate, wasn’t intensely flavoured enough. Every component worked on its own, but when you ate it together, the dish relyed heavily on the iberico jamon for flavour, theres nothing wrong with that, but that isn’t what an eggs benedict should be. Good

Rossejat

Paella-style pasta, shrimp

Almost everyone at the table shrieked:  FRIED BEE HOON the moment this arrived at our table. As far as I know, this is more commonly known in Spain as Fideua. “Noodles are fried in oil before adding fish broth – a very special technique that may only be found in Italy or China; noodles get a tan golden color or even dark, since they are fine noodles (hair of angel), when coming off dry, they get erected (they “have” an erection).” This is a whole new meaning to food porn. Whats amazing about this dish is the amount of flavour that was incorporated into the noodles, its deceptively simple yet it tasted divine. I cannot imagine how good the seafood broth used in the dish must have been. Very Good

Chocolate Mousse and Apple sorbet

The chocolate mousse was actually very very light and easy to eat, chocolate used was also bitter enough to balance the sweetness of the sorbet. Good

Watermelon Tomato Skewers

Pedro Ximénez reduction, cherry tomatoes

I couldnt taste the wine reduction, and Im not crazy about tomatoes, especially the seeds; but when eaten together with an extremely large chuck of deliciously sweet and juicy watermelon, it was delicious. Great refreshing way to start the meal

Apples “Carlota”

Bread pudding with saffron sauce

The ice cream is milk ice cream, and this is actually supposed to be a deconstructed apple pie. “Carlota” is actually the name of Jose Andres’s daughter who loved this dish. I didn’t particularly get the ‘deconstructed’ aspect of the dish, it seemed like the sauce and the pie were separate, but was this really a ‘deconstruction’? , however, everything tasted very good, both individually, and eaten together. Good

Creamy Chocolate Heart

Coffee and cardamom

Basically a molten chocolate cake, good but not great. The white bed that the cake is sitting on is a cardamom foam that had a surprising amount of body to it(for a foam). Im pretty sure Marcel from Top chef had something to do with this because I saw him coming in and out of the kitchen, seeing as to how he loves foams and all that. Okay

Braised Veal Cheeks
California oranges

Cheeks were very tasty, and soft to the point where running your fork through them completely took it apart, meat was somewhat stringy consistency, but it also had a good amount of fat that made sure it didnt try out, very satisfying dish. And the 3 tiny slices of orange were incredibly sweet and fresh, I wish there were more.  Good

Bonus Shot of the restroom at the SLS Hotel. Redonkulous

Jose Andres worked at El Bulli and trained under Ferran Adria for many years, hes considered the main guy who brought molecular gastronomy tapas style food to America. Clearly, many of the dishes I had during my 2 visits to the Bazaar are very avant garde, but Andres has also shown that the food can be innovative and new, but at the same time, very, very delicious.

Los Angeles

Providence, Los Angeles (**)

Butter + Salt

For bread Service, I was very glad I only had one piece of bread


Amuse Bouche: Carrot juice shot, Gruyere cheese pastry, Pistachio Marshmellow, Salmon.

Okay

chowda’
smoky bacon, manila clams, creamy clam broth

This was actually one of the most intensely flavoured clam chowders I’ve ever had. The smokyness from the bacon really shone through, and the chowder was incredibly rich, but it was balanced out by the sweetness of the clams. Good


Maine lobster risotto
carnaroli rice, sea urchin, shimeji mushrooms, nori and lemon

This would have been such a good dish apart from the fact that it was overseasoned. The flavour profiles worked so well together but after a few scoops all you could taste was the saltiness of the dish. Okay


Dessert Tasting 1: Spherified Mojito

I have had a lot of “Spherified” food (sodium alginate + Calcium Chloride), from olives, to potatoes, to balsamic vinegar, to grape juice, to apple juice, and I have to say that this spherified mojito is probably the best example, or use of that technique I’ve had so far. Good


Dessert Tasting 2: Mandarin Orange Ice

This was a medley of orange ice, cabbage, and spice. The Orange ice was delicious, the cabbage had a tinge of vinegar, which I felt brought too much acidity to the dish, and the spice threw everything off; It got to the point where I was eating everything seperately, obviously leaving the spice alone. Bad


Dessert Tasting 3: Kalamansi Gelee
white chocolate coconut soy milk soup, litchi-shiso sorbet

One of my favourite desserts of the night. The kalamansi gelee was very intensely flavoured and really brought the dish to life, when eaten to the subtle flavours of the sorbet and the soup. The almonds brought a nice texture to the dish. Very refreshing, clean flavours. Very Good


Dessert Tasting 4: Deconstructed Pumpkin “Pie”
curry ice cream, pecan streusel

Why was there a curry element in a dish called “Deconstructed Pumpkin ‘Pie'”? Nonetheless, I was happy to try curry ice cream for the first time, and it was actually fairly pleasant- it was sweet when it hit your tongue, but the aftertaste left a lingering taste of the familiar spices. The pecan streusel, when eaten with the pumpkin ganache, was actually a pretty good rendition of a pumpkin pie. Good


Dessert Tasting 5: Banana

Banana nut bread, caramelized banana, Cream cheese Ice cream

Oh boy, the cream cheese ice cream is probably one of the nicest ice creams I’ve ever had. When you first taste the ice cream, all you get is the slight sweetness of it, then all of a sudden the chees-y flavours burst through when you’re not expecting it, and it wasn’t overpowering, it was actually fairly subtle. Balance that with a delicious banana nut bread, and caramelized bananas cooked to perfection. Good


Dessert Tasting 6: milk chocolate-whisky panna cotta, bailey‟s ice cream, coconut raviolo

The bailey’s ice cream was very good, but the panna cotta was fairly mediocre. And as a side note, at this point of the meal, everyone at the table was quite close to dying because the desserts were starting to get very heavy and the conversations taking place at the table were beginning to sound very strange, possibly due to the amount of sugar present in what we were eating. Okay

Trying to remain calm as my body takes in even more sugar.


Dessert Tasting 7: Beer Ice cream and Chocolate Ganache

Beer ice cream was intense, very very good. The chocolate ganache, I dont remember eating, but I did eat it, because my plate was empty when the server took it. I might have passed out or something. Okay


Dessert Tasting 8: Lollipop

Milk Chocolate,  Berry Tea

I was very glad that the last course of the tasting menu was something I could finish in one mouthful, and required no chewing whatsoever. Pop the thing in your mouth, and slowly let the milk chocolate outer coating melt away, sweet, creamy; and all of a sudden you’re hit by a wave of refreshing, cold berry tea, encapsulated in the milk chocolate sphere. Very good