Mugaritz @ SAAM at The Bazaar (Los Angeles, CA)

Mugaritz + Saam
SAAM at The Bazaar
SLS Hotel
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Dining date: 7/21/17

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It’s been over 4 years since I dined at the Saam Room, the tasting menu-only private room in the back of The Bazaar by Jose Andres. I’ve appreciated the experimental nature of the restaurant – it never fails to provide something new, exciting, and different with a flair for the whimsical. Andres’ organization recently announced that the Saam Room was closing to re-conceptualize. To mark the occasion and provide a sort of farewell, the restaurant hosted a two-night dinner with chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz. Mugaritz, a well-known restaurant in Spain, currently holds two Michelin stars and is ranked the ninth best restaurant in the world. Aitor Zabala, who will be chef of Somni when it takes the place of the Saam Room, teamed up on the collaboration. The menu was about 20 courses ($250), with Aduriz and Zabala more of less alternating on each course.

Hojita mezcal, lime, agave, mango

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Jamon Iberico arturo sanchez, pan con tomate

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Pan de Boniato sweet potato, idiazabal cheese

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Apple Meringue foie, strawberry

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Beso Helado de Ostra oyster, “snow”

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Floret corn, cilantro, chili piquin

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Tortilla de Nuez walnuts, truffle, bread

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Onigiri Shiso Tartare egg yolk, shiso

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Sangria “Dew”

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Decadencia smoked cream, eel, sugar fork

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Peking Crab softshell crab, chili sauce, black garlic, peanut

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Crema Catalana chicken, lobster

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Scallop burrata, basil, pesto

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Lubina Manteca sea bass, pork “bark”

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Foie as Corn foie, corn, chicken skin

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Hojaldre de Cordero “puff pastry”, lamb

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Mochi de Flores

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Crunchy Praline Pop

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Beeswax Ice Cream mandarin, pistachio, yuzu, “honey comb”

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“Cheesecake” white chocolate, red fruit, sable

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Petit Fours

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I really enjoyed this meal, which offered a very wide range of flavors and techniques. There were a lot of highlights from both chefs. The Jamon Iberico was some of the best I’ve had – nutty, grassy, and sweet. The jamon was from chef Aduriz’ own collaboration with Arturo Sanchez, a pig farmer in Spain. The apple meringue “sandwich” was one of the best things I’ve eaten this year. Thin slices of Harry’s Berries strawberries, foie gras, and black truffle complemented each other so well, along with the sweetness of the air bread meringue. A nice piece of succulent sea bass was topped with a thin layer of pork ‘bark’ which resembled chicharron – a great pairing of textures and flavors. Foie gras, disguised as corn, was a fun dish complemented by morels, fresh corn and chicken skin. This was a very unique meal and I’m glad I had a chance to experience it.


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