SBE's SLS Hotel opened a few weeks ago, as did The Bazaar, the culinary playground with its tapas restaurants (Rojo y Blanca), dessert shop (Patisserie) and lounge (Bar Centro), but last night Sam Nazarian opened it all up to celebrate in the restaurants, the ballroom, guest-only lobby and the sixth-floor pool deck. Even without hundreds of people in black tie and gorgeous dresses filling the rooms it's total sensory overload, so this was really over the top. Extreme giddiness all around, and it wasn't just the Champagne. Some observations:
1) Watching other people experience Jose Andres creations was almost as entertaining as watching Pink Martini perform in the ballroom. Oohs and aahs and wide open eyes over the liquid olives, foie gras wrapped in cotton candy, the "Philly cheesesteak" puffs of bread filled with a cheesy cream and topped with a thin slice of beef (with pics of exactly how they make it). Our favorite: beet meringue dallops filled with goat cheese that literally melted away moments after it touched the tongue.
2) Popcorn cubes dropped in liquid nitrogen which then makes you "breathe" smoke when you pop it in your mouth made everyone bananas. Our guest's response: "There's something about that that seems really illegal." Called Dragon's Breath, natch.
3) Food, copious amounts of champagne and cocktails everywhere you looked. People were like kids in a candy store, especially in the Patisserie. As many bon bons and cookies as you could handle. Overheard: Coke jokes over the glass jar filled with cocoa powder.
4) When you see a large ham, hoof up, make its way across a crowded room, follow that hoof. We don't know how many Iberico hams they went through, but the ones left on the tables were carved to the bone.
5) Spotted: Jared Leto (again) looking extremely boho and scruffy with a giant scarf wrapped around his neck. Still hot. Michelle Trachtenberg in Bar Centro just as we walked in. Bill Maher all over the place various times of the night. No Hills sightings but we heard they were there. Jose Andres all cleaned up and charming as ever. Sam Nazarian worked all the rooms; his parents cut a rug on the dance floor. Jermaine Dupri spotted going into the pool area when the security guards insisted everyone had to leave (Beverly Hills regulations). We just wanted to see the bubble that you could "ride" (some guy raved about it in the elevator ride up).
6) If we had a Bentley, we probably wouldn't have had to wait for our car, either.
More pictures in the full Flickr gallery.