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Thursday, February 8, 2018

checking out the bazaar

with the bean off on a sleepover with one of her BFFs, the hub and i were free to head out for a rare overnight date.  we'd decided to go big and booked a room at the SLS beverly hills, along with a dinner reservation at one of the hotel's restaurants, the bazaar.  we were greeted at check-in by this:

the guy at the desk made a quick phone call to get our dinner reservation extended by about 15 minutes to give us time to head upstairs and get into our room, and on our way up we rode with these people in the elevator.

as we stepped out of the elevator, we were inexplicably greeted by a giant light-up portrait of penelope cruz.

home for the night!

we stretched out on the bed while we waited for the bellman to bring our bags up.

and while the hub greeted him at the door, i took a selfie in the mirror that doubled as a tv.

back downstairs, we checked in at the restaurant and walked through the "bazaar" section on our way to the bar.  but not before a "celebrity" sighting - the hub spotted one of the property brothers from that HGTV show waiting for the valet with his wife and a few friends.  i was amused that he recognized him immediately, especially as i likely wouldn't have even if i hadn't been oh-so-carefully climbing the stairs, making sure i didn't trip in the heels i'm so not used to wearing.

as we waited for our table, the hub ordered an old fashioned (which was presented with a flourish by our bartender) and i tried the "truffles & bees" cocktail.  it was really tasty.

we were eventually seated in the rojo room, where we occupied half of what basically amounted to a fancy picnic table.  the hub was not amused, and was even less so at the notion of sharing the table with some random couple at the other end.

we did have a view of the kitchen, bustling with activity.

and lucky for us, the hostesses managed to avoid seating someone there until we were almost at the end of our meal.

we started things off with a plate of three different types of thinly sliced jamon, which was served with super delicious tomato bread.

i couldn't resist an order of the cotton candy foie gras, which horrified the hub slightly...but he went with it anyway.  inside this little puff of spun sugar:

there was a sizable hunk of foie gras (and i sent this to the old lady, who was equally horrified after sampling the stuff during our fancy dinner on the disney cruise a couple of years ago).

next up was our cheese plate - two goat cheeses and one cow & goat, served with more of that delicious tomato bread.

our brussels sprouts were served with a lemon puree, apricots and grapes (which the hub happily munched on) and a puff of "lemon air."  these were SO good.

the hub decided to try one of their special cocktails, topped with a bit of black truffle.  he wasn't a fan.

this was my other favorite:  the "not your everyday caprese."  the cherry tomatoes were peeled and infused with a vinaigrette, served on a dollop of pesto with some arugula and "liquid mozzarella."  soooo yum.

another serving of tomato bread came alongside the plate of "secreto," some kind of super fancy spanish pork tenderloin.  this was also incredibly delicious and ended up being one of my favorite plates.

the wild mushroom rice was also topped with a serving of shaved black truffle.  it was sticky and savory and delicious.

the coffee-rubbed american wagyu flat iron steak came with a puff of espresso air.  this was not my favorite thing, but the hub enjoyed almost every bite.

last but not least, we'd decided we couldn't leave without trying their version of a philly cheesesteak, served on air bread with a cheddar sauce and wagyu beef.  this was delicious and we were glad we hadn't passed on it after all.

we moved into the candy shop area for some dessert, where the hub enjoyed a cappuccino and i ordered a few items from the menu.  from the bonbon selection i chose the praline & pop rocks, the rice crispy and the caramel & crisp pearl, and added one of the ferrero rocher-esque macarons for good measure.

this was the only selfie we managed to remember to take, on our way out of the restaurant.  oh!  and i totally forgot to mention that i'd spotted michael voltaggio, winner of "top chef" from the one season of that show i've actually watched.  i may have practically yanked the hub's arm out of the socket in my excitement.  heh.

our companion in the elevator back up to our room was this lady.

we'd enjoyed a really lovely evening together, and i was glad that the hub ended up liking the restaurant i'd chosen.  he's not usually one for those "foodie"-type places, but even he had to admit that this one was a good choice.

i can't wait for our next date night!  it's so fun to have an excuse to get dressed up and eat some good grub.

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