Seduced by Clos de L’Obac and The Bazaar by José Andrés
Signs you may have a slight obsession with food…After a fulfilling day of food and drink with girlfriends for breakfast and lunch, you decide to attend a Winemaker dinner at a fancy spot. Why not? Welcome to life with a bona fide Food Stalker!
Foodie-wine pal Mona loves to break out of the bubble into uncharted territory as much as I do. She’s got her own special spy girl combo, especially when it comes to wine. A recent road trip took us to a Winemaker dinner in downtown Los Angeles. Mona assured me this evening of tasting and celebrating shouldn’t be missed. She was spot on.
Learning to appreciate wine doesn’t have to be daunting, expensive, or reserved for some strange elite with magical noses. Jump in, let your taste buds run wild, try new things, be adventurous. You may just find your new favorite wine. I’ve observed wine lovers squeezing the cork, swirling and sniffing the wine with comments such as “I find it earthy, rounded, young, dull…astringent”. Their knowledge transports me to a brighter place. Needless to say, this Gastronomical Interlude was simply divine. The Hotel was eye candy. The lounge was eye candy. The wine was eye-candy. Hell, the server was eye candy too!
The Bazaar by José Andrés and Winemaker Carles Pastrana teamed up at SAAM, a private dining room offering a multi-course tasting menu of modern and traditional style tapas highlighting Jose Andres’ “greatest hits”. Clos de L’Obac and Miserere are two of the greatest wines in the world and owner Carles Pastrana’s passion for them is evident. Had he been able to do a jig on the table to show his enthusiasm, he would have (yes, I would have been right there with him.) We sipped and swirled Clos de L’Obac wines, one of the orignal “Clos” of the world renowned Priorat wine region. The surprisingly sophisticated 2008 Kyrie was named after Mr. Pastrana. In Greek it means boss (after he was told he couldn’t name the wine after himself. Way to go dude.) The elegant 2004 Miserere was perfectly paired with a platter of dried cured sausages and chorizo. A blissful balance.
There was great debate whether the Clos de L’Obac 2004 or 2005 was better. I’d have to go with the 2004, a happy mixture of Grenache, Cab, Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Carinena. Rhapsody in a bottle. I wanted to bathe in it with chocolate in hand of course. Hell-lo…I can’t drink wine in the shower people.
Special thanks to our hosts, The Goldbergs, from Divine Wine Company and Ana Launes of Lifestyle Publications for sharing everything Spanish with us.
I had to give Jose’s much-hyped Foie Gras Cotton Candy a try. Eat it in one bite so you can get all the flavors at once. While the contrast of textures was pleasing, and rapidly-dissolving cotton candy added a whimsical touch. It sounds so, dare I say bizarre, but it’s mind blowing. The Jamon Iberico Platter (a sampling of the Bazaar’s Spanish ham selection) and some Tomaquet (toasted bread served with Manchego cheese and a tomato spread) was probably one of my favorite dishes of the night. The Philly Cheesesteak is a unique interpretation of the more classic but casual cheese steak. Like its original counterpart, it’s pretty messy. As soon as you bite into the thin bread, the liquid cheese pours out and oozes down your chin. One hot mess. Just the way we like it thankyouverymuch.
The organized Caesar, which is literally just a Caesar salad, with the touch of a quail egg was sinfully scrumptious. The Manchego cheese, when paired with spread and toasted bread had me at hello. There’s a high probability that the woman across the table saw me making some pretty orgasmic faces as I “oohed” and “ahhed” over these little bites of heaven (if only little Miss Food Grabber would let me photograph the food before devouring it. By the middle of dinner she got the hang of it… after I gave her the stink-eye.)
Last but not least, we sampled the Traditional Spanish Flan. Holy Shite, this was SOOO good. I’ve never had anything like it and yes, this would be perfect in addition to wine and chocolate for my next Victoria and Albert bathtub bubbles session. Can you say lather, rinse and repeat? (Shhh, I may have devoured mine and my neighbors.) Dishes like these are what Chef José Andrés’ builds his reputation upon; jaw-droppingly gorgeous presentation, imparting a sense of artistry into each bite. And to clarify one of the biggest misconceptions about tapas not filling you up – trust this Stalker girl when I tell you, you leave satisfied. The Bazaar lived up to my expectations in every way. The epitome of food porn. They even amused me and my obsessive photography…Gracias.
And those martini’s poured over cotton candy! Are you kidding me? Delight has no curfew so go ahead, down a few of these bad boys and don’t call anyone in the morning! Just bask in the afterglow like a great night of passion.
Bless me Father for I think I have sinned…
* Never eat here without going to the bathroom…in a good way! The sinks are not really sinks but rocks and the water flows off from the side. Each bathroom stall has four-sided mirrors so you are staring at infinities of yourselves when you turn. It looks as if you are cloned an INFINITE amount of times. Oh my Gawd, thousands of Food Stalkers? Perhaps it’s where those selfies on Instagram were born…