Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Bazaar for Dummies

So let's say you want to eat at Bazaar South Beach, but you don't have the patience to wade through 4,000 words and 19 footnotes to figure out what to order. Here's my version of "The Bazaar for Dummies" - a simplified (and opinionated) guide to the 60+ item menu. For more details, consult the long-playing version.

Must Have:[1]

Papas a la Huancaina - Peruvian potatoes, sea urchin
Baby Japanese Peaches - fresh burrata, hazelnuts, arugula
Black Rossejat - paella-style pasta, squid ink, shrimp, aioli

Really, Really Good:

Kueh Pai Ti - Singapore's favorite street food - shrimp, peanuts, chili sauce
"Colada Cubana" Yogurt - coffee with foie gras
Almond Yogurt - tomato granite, fresh almonds
Smoked Oysters - ice and smoke, apple mignonette
Jamon de Toro - salt-cured fatty tuna like Spanish jamón with picas
Yuca "Churros" - with peanut butter and honey
Ajo Blanco - mango, sherry ravioli, king crab, fresh almonds
Butifarra Flauta - piquillo peppers, aioli, piparra
Frozen Blue Cheese Sandwich - lemon marmalade, walnut bread
Mediterranean Mussels - olive oil, sherry vinegar, pimentón
Sautéed Catalan Spinach - apples, pine nuts, raisins
Pa amb Tomaquet - Catalan-style toasted bread, tomato
Patatas Bravas - fried potatoes, spicy tomato sauce, aioli
Escalivada with Blue Cheese - Asturias meets Catalonia, José's two loves!
Sea Urchin - butter, black pepper, toasted bread
José's Taco - caviar, jamón Ibérico
Banana Mojito - mojito sorbet, mint and caramelized bananas
Key Lime Pie - José's way

(continued ...)

Worth a Try:

Bao con Lechon - Chinese bun, pork belly
"Bagels and Lox" - salmon roe, dill cream cheese
Japanese Taco - grilled eel, shiso, cucumber, wasabi, pork chicharrones
Cuban Escabeche "Estefan's Way" - hamachi, pickled onions, sour orange
Liquid Mango Nigiri - sea urchin, shiso, pickled sansho pepper
Brussels Sprouts - lemon purée, apricots, grapes, lemon air, banana
Bone Marrow - Hamakua Farms hearts of palm, Florida citrus, capers
"Cubano" - secreto de Ibérico, Ibérico ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles
Aceitunas Rellenas - piquillo pepper, anchovy, olive oil
Papas Canarias - salty wrinkled potatoes, mojo verde, mojo rojo
"The Ultimate Spanish Tapa!" Ensaladilla Rusa - potatoes, carros, mayo, tuna
Sautéed Shrimp - garlic, parsley, lemon, guindilla pepper
Chistorra - patatas fritas, quince aioli
Traditional Spanish Flan
Pastel Chocolate "Café con Leche" - Cuban coffee ice cream, dark chocolate mousse cake

Needs Improvement:

Dragon Fruit Ceviche - tuna, pecans, lime, hibiscus
Pimientos del Piquillo con Platano - Iberico chicharrones
Cuban Coffee Rubbed Churrasco - passion fruit

[1] I'm trying to be conservative here and not put too many items in the "Must Have" category. I could easily put the "Jose's Taco" there but for the price tag; I could just as easily put the escalivada there, except that I could see some people wondering what's to get so excited over some roasted vegetables (I thought they were fantastic). There's also plenty of room to argue over whether some dishes belong in the "Really, Really Good" category or the "Worth a Try" category (which is not intended as a slight, I'd happily eat 90% of those dishes many times over). And some in the "Worth a Try" category might "Need Improvement" to get to the next level. But if you've already given it that much thought, you're probably not a dummy after all.


  1. I love a good list! This is an interesting approach to Bazaar. Very happy to see Baby Japanese Peaches on your "Must Try" list as it is by far the best dish I've had there. Also, happy to see the Yuca Churros on your "Really, Really Good" list. For me, it was one of those dishes that completely exceeded my expectations and showed great creativity in a minimalist manner.

    Jamon de Toro is the only dish on your "really really good" list that I tried and didn't like. Ours was salty almost to the point of inedible, but I tried. It was the only dish that went back to the kitchen unfinished. Maybe I'll give it another go next time. I could've just had some that cured a little longer than it should have.

  2. I went on a preview night and definitely loved those churros. I wasn't impressed as much with the peaches... perhaps there has been improvement to the dish in the last month, especially with the hefty price tag for it compared to other veggie centered plates.

  3. The churros are awesome,we stop by 2 weeks ago an our way back from key West and let me tell you their was the best churros I ever had.

  4. I felt the same as red pepper about the peaches but also tried them on a preview night -- same with the jamon toro. Since then these dishes seem to be getting high marks by almost everyone who posts about them now, I am willing to take another shot as well.

  5. Great list! I'm not one to make decisions quickly, but I must say you've simplified the list.

  6. The list will be very useful to me in the coming weeks. It is great to have such a helper. I must try the churros.