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Dining details: The Bazaar by Jose Andres
The Bazaar by José Andrés ****
LOCATION SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 246-5555, www.thebazaar.com.
AMBIENCE Two tapas bars -- Blanca and Rojo, one contemporary, one traditional, from Spanish chef José Andrés. The spirit is effervescent and fun-loving. But the food -- all small plates -- is seriously good. Add in the sexy Bar Centro and Patisserie where you can repair for dessert and coffee, or come specially for high tea, and the Bazaar is utterly unique in L.A., a dizzy and wonderful newcomer from Spain via Washington, D.C.
SERVICE Some of the best in L.A. under the direction of Felix Meana, an El Bulli alum. The question is, where did he find these people?
PRICE Artisanal ham and sausages, $8 to $40; cheese plates, $15 to $25; traditional tapas, $7 to $16; contemporary tapas, $7 to $15; desserts, $10 to $12. Chef's tapas selections, $45, $65 and $95 per person.
BEST DISHES Jamón platter, pa amb tomaquet, wild mushroom soup with Idiazabal cheese, Catalan spinach, papas Islas Canarias, cigalas with seaweed, king crab with raspberry vinegar, artichoke and citrus salad, tempura avocado, "Philly cheesesteak," traditional flan, coconut floating island, candies and bonbons.
WINE LIST Excellent selection of Spanish wines by the glass and bottle. Corkage fee, $20.
BEST TABLE One in Rojo with a view of the kitchen action.
SPECIAL FEATURES Complimentary tarot readings and caricature drawings on weekends. Also, vitrines curated by Murray Moss of Moss design shop.
DETAILS Open from 6 to 11 p.m. daily. High tea is served from 3 to 5 p.m. daily. Full bar. Valet parking, $10.
Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.