We’ve been food bloggers for almost three years now, and there’s one meal that stays with us: dinner at The Bazaar by José Andrés. Not only was it a feast for our taste buds, but it was also a feast for our eyes. When it comes to presentation and flavor, the Spanish restaurant holds nothing back.
Bazaar Mar, the chef’s latest Bazaar concept, continues this playfulness with a focus on seafood. The plates are just as vibrant, the cocktails are just as inventive, and the ambiance is just as playful as its sister property. Here, dinner is more than a meal — it’s an experience.
Our visit entailed a 13-course chef’s tasting — and that’s only a small taste of the entire menu. There are enough selections here to ensure that any subsequent visits are never the same (all the more reason to come back).
Instead of doing a deeper dive into each item and writing a thesis, we’ll be looking at six items that blew us away. If you visit, make sure some (or all) of these dishes end up on your table.
1. California “Funnel Cake”: Odds are you’ve seen photos of this dish. The seaweed “funnel cake” sits atop a fun octopus stand that makes for an Instagram-worthy photo. Avocado, blue crab, tobiko, mayo and cucumber round out the plate, resulting in a crunchy and refreshing bite.
2. Cobia “Rosa” Ceviche: The name gives you an idea of what to expect, and the presentation doesn’t disappoint. This cobia “rose” with leche de tigre indeed looks like a flower, and its flavor pairs spectacularly with the accompanying corn nuts and sweet potato. We’re tired of seeing ceviche on every Miami menu, but this is one iteration that we’ll make an exception for — and you should, too.
3. Seaweed and Persimmons Salad: When you’re surrounded by so much fresh seafood at Bazaar Mar, a seaweed and persimmons salad is probably not the first thing you’d order. But it should be: This unassuming dish was easily one of our favorites of the evening. There’s not much to it besides the namesake ingredients and some yogurt, Yuasa soy and sesame, but it packed some of the biggest flavor of our meal. The cooling effect from the underlying yogurt was a nice touch.
4. Bagel and Lox: Here’s the thing about restaurants by José Andrés: Even the most basic-sounding items are anything but. In this case, fish-shaped air bread replaces the bagel in the classic pairing. After you’re done taking a photo, take a bite out of the air bread to discover cream cheese and deliciousness inside. The lox is the icing on the cake and brings everything full circle.
5. Chilled Lobster: Buttery lobster. Enough said.
6. Cocktails (All of Them): Come here to eat, but stay for the drinks. Scratch that: Come here to drink, too. The LN2 Caipirinha is a show; it’s made table-side and involves a lot of smoke and cool sounds — it’s a chemistry experiment gone oh-so-right. Another standout: the Salt Air margarita, which comes topped with … you guessed it … salt air. You can even drink your dessert in the form of a key lime daiquiri. Whatever your preference, the bar program at Bazaar Mar has you covered.
A visit to Bazaar Mar is like being a kid in a candy store: There are so many different things to try, and you want them all. Our parting advice to you is to pace yourself; just get a few bites and drinks and then play it by ear. No matter what you end up ordering, the end result is the same: a memorable experience.
Bazaar Mar by José Andrés at SLS Brickell is located at 1300 S Miami Ave inside the SLS Hotel in Brickell. For hours of operation and other information, visit their official website or call 305-615-5859.