This just in: José Andrés is good at this restaurant thing. The Spanish-American chef already has two hot spots on the Strip (the Cosmopolitan’s Jaleo and China Poblano) and with his new Bazaar Meat at SLS, he’s added another of Las Vegas’ best to his expanding empire.
Upon entering this hall of carnivorous consumption, you’re welcomed by a juxtaposition of sorts—gleaming stainless steel grills sit amid hunting-lodge-gone-wild décor, with Mardi Gras bead-adorned alligators in attendance. It’s a fitting contrast between traditional and contemporary as Andrés fully reimagines the Vegas steakhouse. And it’s an experience of epic proportions.
With 87 individual dishes scattered among 18 categories (not including dessert), Bazaar Meat’s Ten Commandments-like menu is quite literally enormous. Where does one begin? I suggest the tartares. The Classic ($24) is destined to become just that, a bright-red dish delivering sharp meatiness in every bite—cubed sirloin mixed with anchovies, HP Sauce and Savora mustard. The anchovies deliver hints of saltiness to balance the savory, pushing the clean, vibrant dish to a strong position among the best renditions in town. Confusingly, it was prepared tableside during one visit and not on another, a strange service misstep.
The Classic is unnecessarily accompanied by Parker rolls. Save those for the beef and Parmesan grissini ($26), carpaccio-wrapped breadsticks accompanied by a ridiculous gorgonzola foam fondue. You’ll need the bread or something to sop up every last remaining drop.
Continue on to the “smoke and ice” fresh oysters ($18). Applewood smoke wafts from underneath a glass serving dome as each Kusshi oyster delivers a depth charge of char. In a riff on surf and turf, morcilla with uni ($25) contrasts salinity and minerality—a dollop of sea urchin perched upon a slice of dark blood sausage. It’s so very, very good.
Meat is prominent at Bazaar, but vegetarians shouldn’t fear. One of the best overall menu items is the setas al ajillo ($12), Spanish for mushrooms with garlic and a solid delivery of buttery, umami-laden bliss. A bit more pedestrian is the grilled asparagus ($13) with house-made romesco; instead, save room for the bubbling hot, creamy Delmonico potatoes ($15) rife with butter and cheddar.
I’d be remiss not mentioning some of Andrés’ innovations, like the Foieffle ($12), where peanut butter and foie gras foam meld inside an airy, honey-drizzled waffle—pure, evil, sweet-and-savory genius. If you like your foie on the lighter side, try the cotton candy foie gras ($8), skewered and cubed torchon dusted with amaranth and swaddled in cotton candy.
Andrés goes big with several large, table-share options you won’t find at other Strip steakhouses, including by-the-pound bone-in rib steaks and suckling pig by the quarter ($140). But perhaps the most amazing thing is how you can enjoy Bazaar Meat without ordering a steak. In fact, the most disappointing dish I’ve tried was a flatiron ($42) strewn with sinew.
With such a vast menu, this new spot has something to tempt anyone. Like the portraits of pioneers adorning the walls, I look forward to exploring Bazaar Meat further, and you should, too.
Bazaar Meat by José Andrés SLS, 702-761-7610. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 5:30-11 p.m.