From the moment he opened the Bazaar in Los Angeles, Jose Andres gave Tinseltown something to gaze upon other than its own navel — or Katherine Heigl’s. In her four-star review for the Los Angeles Times, critic S. Irene Virbila wrote:
How to describe the experience at the Bazaar by José Andrés in the new SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills? Fellini-esque, a gastronomical circus, a flirtation with the flavors and soul of Spain? Los Angeles has never seen anything remotely like this exciting restaurant from Spanish chef Jose Andres.
The Post’s own Tom Sietsema had kind words for the strolling gastronomic playground in his First Bite from March 2009 and even asked Andres if he would ever bring the concept to Washington. (The chef’s response: “It could happen.”)
There’s still no definitive word. But during a conversation this afternoon with Robbie McKay, director of communications for SBE, the luxury-minded hospitality group that owns the Bazaar in the SLS Hotel, the PR person noted that the company is hot on Washington.
“That would be a long-term goal,” McKay says about bringing a Bazaar to Washington. “Trying to bring the SLS brand to D.C. is a priority for us.” (Andres is planning to open a Bazaar in the SLS Hotel at South Beach sometime next year.)
The issue for SBE is finding the right property for an SLS hotel, with its emphasis on luxury — the kind of pampered, house-cars-at-the-ready. luxury typically reserved for Hollywood celebrities, not blue hairs from Iowa wanting to tour the monuments.
McKay said that SBE would be open to the idea of putting a Bazaar by Jose Andres into the company’s more casual hotel brand, the Redbury, in the Washington area. *
“The D.C. market is one we’re very eager to be a part of,” McKay emphasizes. “It’s definitely a market we’re very, very interested in.”
The team at ThinkFoodGroup, Andres’s company, issued this statement for All We Can Eat: “Our partners at SBE are always looking for new opportunities in new markets, however we have no news to report at this time on a Bazaar by Jose Andres coming to Washington, DC.”
More as we know it — maybe in six months or so?
* McKay called later to say that there was a misunderstanding, and that the Bazaar would only be located in an SLS Hotel property.