Bazaar Mar by José Andrés

By: Dana Rozansky

It’s not often I truly mar-vel over a meal. Don’t get me wrong – I often leave dinner full, satisfied and with compliments aplenty, but marveling is a whole ‘nother level. A level I reached the other week at the brand new Bazaar Mar by José Andrés.

You might have heard of Chef José Andrés thanks to his James Beard Award. Or perhaps it was his two Michelin stars. Or maybe you’ve had the pleasure of dining at one of his other restaurants in South Beach, LA, Vegas or a number of different cities.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the rumors are true. He’s really THAT good. Let’s just say Bazaar Mar truly blew me out of the water – pun intended.

Located at the SLS Brickell, adjacent to another new must-try restaurant, Fi’lia, Bazaar Mar is a welcome respite from some of the Brickell stomping grounds I’ve grown accustomed to frequenting.

Designed by Phillipe Starck, this restaurant oozes sophistication, with just the right amount of playful touch. Staying true to an upscale nautical theme, Bazaar Mar’s blue and white décor is almost as whimsical as some of the culinary creations Chef José Andrés has dreamt up.

Aside from the décor, the first thing that struck me was the impeccable service. Everyone from the hostess to the waiter to the chef was not only inviting, but also incredibly knowledgeable. I certainly had my fair share of questions about the extensive menu, and everyone was more than happy to indulge me.

Now what truly sets this restaurant apart is the insanely fresh, inventive and delicious seafood dishes that will have your eyes darting left and right, trying desperately to figure out what to order. My recommendation? Take a walk on the wild side and let the chef decide!

Or if you trust me (if you’re reading this, that’s a good start), you can order a few of my favorite items.

Uni fanatics, this Hokkaido Sea Urchin Cone is for you. Just a few bites of creamy, salty perfection and you’ll be off to the races.

Tuna lovers, this dish will make you wonder why you’ve ever raved over that basic spicy tuna roll. You’re looking at Neptune’s Pillow, which is not only topped with tuna sashimi but has also got spicy tuna tucked inside. Top it off with spicy mayo, and you’ve got yourself a catch.

After trying this California “Funnel Cake,” you may never be able to look at California rolls the same. This two-biter is composed of a seaweed funnel cake, avocado, fresh blue crab, salmon roe, mayo and cucumber. A serious show-stopper.

Named after the legendary Chef himself, Jose’s Asian Taco should be a no-brainer when ordering. The unsuspecting combo of cured Hamachi, caviar, Korean seaweed, ginger and Iberico ham is a one-bite wonder.

Last but not least, when was the last time you had a bite of salmon and said “WOW” out loud? This pink coral salmon is flown in daily from New Zealand, so you know you’re in for a major treat.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m still mar-veling over my meal at Bazaar Mar. Until next time!