Just as the preparation cart for my liquid nitrogen caipirinha pulled up to the table at the 3-month-old Bazaar by José Andrés on Collins Avenue, I spotted three tacos nestled in compartments of a chrome serving platter. They were folded in what seemed like some sort of rice paper. A cool smoke then captivated the room as the server stirred the liquid nitrogen, cachaça, and lime. Amid the fog's mystique, I took a bite.
Perfectly grilled eel, shiso, and wasabi were enveloped in slivered cucumber topped with crisp pork chicharrón flakes. But then it hit me. I had been so entranced by the look that I had ingested the inedible wrapping.
Our amicable waiter quickly apologized, remarking that it happens all the time. It's the result of the flirtatious genius of Asturias-born powerhouse restaurateur, cookbook author, and Made in Spain television star José Andrés.
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Who else could cast such a theatrical spell encouraging this ephemeral lapse in reason? The dining experience at the Bazaar is influenced by adventurous takes on the cuisines of the world: Spain, Singapore, and Japan, as well as Latin America's influence on Miami.
From the start, roasted cherry tomatoes and liquid spheres of mozzarella elevate the traditional flavors of an insalata caprese. With one bite, the cheese bursts, infusing one's mouth with the essential flavors of the classic salad. The Peruvian dish of papas a la huancaína enthralls with petite purple potatoes and an unexpectedly addictive addition of luscious sea urchin swimming in a bowl of rich sauce. It's fun and utterly exciting.