Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Event Fit For Wonderland: The Bazaar's High Tea!

Cucumber Bites & Beet-Goat Cheese Macaroons

It's good to take a trip down the proverbial rabbit hole every now and again, and I'm sure Jose Andres would agree with me given the very Wonderland-like vibe of his Los Angeles eatery, The Bazaar.  I've written up the main restaurant on a few occasions (click here and here and here for those posts), and I love their tasting menu in particular, but I'd never ventured to their "high tea" until I went with a group of girls from my book club (yes, Oprah would approve!).

The restaurant serves high tea from 3PM - 5PM on Saturday and Sunday in the patisserie, a lovely area stuffed full of sweet goodies that I'm sure even Willy Wonka would find irresistible. The cost for the tea is $25, and that includes a pot of "specialty" tea or coffee and all the coursed out goodies.

The Book Club Gals At The Patisserie

Once our full party had arrived, we were seated right in front of the patisserie, making me feel like a kid in a candy story (literally!).  We selected our teas (I went for a bright, grassy green dragon tea) and waited with anticipation for the goods to roll on in.  First up?  Cinnamon scones with fresh raspberries and mint speared on a pipette loaded with raspberry sauce.  Now anyone who knows me knows that I place all things berrylicious on a high pedestal, so in a sense, it almost felt like this dish was crafted just for me.  The way to eat the raspberries is to place them in your mouth and then squirt the Kool-Aid like sauce, and then let the deliciousness begin!  Wow, what a fabulous way to begin, the sweet tart raspberries almost acted like the perfect amuse bouche, and when chased by the buttery, cinnamon-laden scone, it was pure heaven.   

Cinnamon Scones with Raspberry Pipettes

My only worry?  Had they blown their load too soon?  How on earth were they going to follow that up? With foie gras, of course!  Duh!  Foie gras on brioche with quince paste, to be specific.  Umm... do I even have to say anything else?  Here's a simple formula: foie gras + brioche + quince paste = yum to the ninth degree.  This was sweet and buttery and melty and, if I had to pick a word, exquisite.

Foie Gras Brioche Sandwiches

Then, came sticky buns with creme fraiche and caviar (it certainly felt like we were getting bang for our buck) served in delicate wood baskets, followed by a course of cucumber bites loaded with yogurt and topped with tomato "caviar" (I'd sampled this at the main restaurant before and it's one of my favorites) paired with beet-goat cheese macaroons that in a neat trick, instantly dissolve in your mouth.

Sticky Buns With Caviar and Creme Fraiche

To finish the wonderful tea, we had the caviar cones filled with dill creme fraiche and topped with salmon roe, delicate capsules bursting with amazing salty ocean flavor (I'd also had these before at the main restaurant), and a huge platter of delicate candies, including saffron gum drops in clear edible paper (yes, you eat the paper!), Earl Gray-flavored chocolate ganaches, super thin dark chocolate disks with a mint leaf in the middle and crunchy hazelnut chocolate cookies (the clear favorite of the candies).

Caviar Cones With Salmon Roe

As I sipped my last drops of tea which I'd nursed to the end, I was not only intellectually stimulated by the offerings, but also pleasantly satiated by the rainbow-like array of flavors that had slid over my tongue that afternoon.  This was a tea that even the Mad Hatter would love!  We finished our tea with a stroll through The Bazaar's museum, taking in all the strange artwork and displays, and then we left Wonderland to return to our normal lives. But I have a feeling, that just like Alice, I may yearn to journey through the looking glass again.  If only for those raspberry pipettes. 

Photo Gallery:


Restaurant Information:
The Bazaar by Jose Andres
465 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA
(310) 246-5555
Click here for their website!


  1. You lucky girl! I was going to head here this weekend for tea but when I called to make a rez, they told me that tea had been canceled.

    I'm going to do an 8-course dessert tasting at Providence instead ;-)

  2. Oh wow, is it a permanent cancellation? The food was so lovely, but they weren't super busy. That's a real shame if it is shut down permanently.

    But let me know how the 8 course dessert tasting goes! Kuzak and I just did a 4 course dessert tasting at Sona on Friday night - and it was divine!


  3. I called as well and the Bazaar is no longer doing tea (or brunch for that matter)! They
    are open only for dinner now.

    BUT I was informed the same menu will now be served at the sister restaurant Tres also in the SLS hotel.

    Annoying, but at least it's the same food. I'm going to check it out this weekend I think, so I'll let you know if it is the same as promised!