Last night we attended an intimate media gathering to preview the SLS Hotel and its José Andrés-helmed restaurant, The Bazaar. Reason #1 to go: José Andrés and his food were there. Reason #2: It took place at SBE head Sam Nazarian's fancy casa in the hills above Sunset Plaza. There was an even ratio of SBE/SLS representatives to attendees, and it was more cocktail party than actual preview of the hotel and restaurant because those are still under construction. But who's complaining. It was a fab party and just a taste...literally. Some observations:
1) José Andrés is a charmer, witty, and sounds genuinely excited to have his concepts in Los Angeles. He's also easily distracted and unfussy. When we asked what the olive thing was on a spoon---looked like an olive, but was actually some sort of olive essence encased in a soft olive-y skin that burst when you put it in your mouth---he just looked us, grabbed a spoon and said, "Don't think too much. Just enjoy!" We didn't and did.
2) There's no reason eel wrapped in shiso leaf topped with a fluff of white cotton candy should be good, but it was. The paella was even better.
3) Thoughts while eating: Holy crap, José Andrés in LA. Brace.
4) General randomness: The Abbey's David Cooley told us he got his start working at David Overton's second Cheesecake Factory.
5) Apparently Nazarian doesn't mid the gentle ribbing from Eater: "You guys keep me on my toes." Two favorite posts of late include the Michael Mina XIV plywood report, especially pointing out the Bush signage, and the airplane.
6) We're pretty sure all the SLS and SBE monograms around Nazarian's house (SLS letters around a tree near the pool, SBE towels in the bathroom) were placed specifically for this SLS/SBE party. At least we hope.
· SLS Hotel Coverage [~ELA~]