Bazaar Meats, 6/16

July 19, 2016

In the spot where the Sahara used to be is the SLS Hotel and Casino. We had driven to a kitschy tourist spot across from the hotel to get a tee for Dave. Looking across I saw the big beautiful picture of Jose Andreas.

Later that evening drove up and parked with the valet, something I recommend you always do in Vegas (just remember to tip them a buck). The casino is nicely decorated in a modern style. The dealers all had monkeys on their backs. Literally. 

We arrived at the host stand and were shown to our table. Once I saw the layout of the restaurant I requested a table near this…

Of course I wanted to be seated near the grill I want to get as close as I could to an unimpeded view.  That last shot includes our waiter John-Paul and Pearl.  Such a gracious waiter, putting up with my antics.

Pearl here is showing us how large the menu is. It has a metal frame with glass on both sides, beautiful, unique and heavy. 

We started out with drinks. I saw my favorite drink from Oyamel on this menu and I had to have it. Andrea ordered the LN2 Don’t Be A Lemon! which was served table side. It’s a blend of  Bacardi Superior rum, elderflower liqueur, lemon and grapefruit juice, tarragon, pomegranate, orange bitters and liquid nitrogen.

We chatted a bit and discussed menu options for Andrea and I ordered something I was most curious about: the cotton candy foie gras.

I thought it might be cotton candy made from foie gras. Nope! It was a bite size morsel of foie gras hidden under a gentle sugary pillow of freshly spun candy. It made me laugh at how delicious it is. If you have ever had foie gras it can be a very dominant flavor that asserts itself over other ingredients.  This very savory and gamey meat was covered in a melt-in-your-mouth layer of spun sugar which both neutralized and enhanced the flavor. It was a delightful way to start the meal.

Bagel and Lox.  A thin crispy cone filled with a dill cream cheese and topped with salmon roe.  I like this take on the traditional dish. I almost wish they had made it a caper and red onion cream cheese with that sprig of dill on top.  A salty acidic twist to the roe, which are usually more sweet than salty.

The gazpacho shot was an emulsified soup which is why it is creamy-looking.  There’s no cream, though. Delightful and flavorful, it packs a nice punch.

Andrea had grilled asparagus with a roasted tomato/red pepper sauce.  The grilled asparagus was delicious, cooked to perfection with that Romesco sauce which had a great depth of flavor. I could eat it all day.

Applewood-smoked oysters, with a lovely apple mignonette. The oysters were plump and juicy, but if I had to choose I would pick the grilled oysters from America Eats. The espuma of smoke was maybe too much. If it had other flavors, they were well hidden by the smoke, which almost reminded me of the liquid smoke chefs use in the kitchen.

My entree was taking time so the chef sent out their version of the Philly cheese steak.  My favorite bite so far. If you go, get it! Since Andrea is a vegetarian, I got both.  They sent out a cup filled with avocado mousse and topped with heirloom tomato for her. Delightful.

We had an issue with my drink. The response was prompt and I was brought out another drink immediately.  The service and overall ambience were great.  It was noisy, but so noisy you couldn’t hear your dinner partner across the table.