July 2009

Tastemakers 2009 José Andrés

by Lora Zarubin / produced by Mayer Rus / portrait by Brian Leatart

José Andrés The last time a restaurant and chef got the kind of buzz Andrés is getting for the Bazaar was when Wolfgang Puck opened Spago on Sunset, and people were eating duck pizza in droves. Times—and palates—may have become more sophisticated, but a culinary star of Andrés’ wattage still draws a lot of attention.

The Bazaar is pure theater, unlike anything Los Angeles has ever seen. A student of famed chef Ferran Adrià of El Bulli, Andrés has not just brought the experience of eating tapas to a new level—he has distilled all his experiences of traditional and modern Spanish food into an unexpected juxtaposition of tastes. You can order a plate of thinly sliced jamón ibérico de bellota, the prized cured ham of Spain, alongside a contemporary dish like a foie gras lollipop—a piece of foie gras wrapped in delicate cotton candy on a stick, which you eat in one bite. And there is a choice of rooms designed by Philippe Starck in which to dine—you can even move from room to room between courses—successfully turning Bazaar into an aesthetic adventure as well as a culinary one.

Right: The ultimate gin and tonic; left: Andrés unique take on olives.