de Bellotas 贝优塔 [Shanghai] – closed

What is De Bellotas?
De Bellotas is a Spanish restaurant located near Shanghai’s Xintaindi. Situated just a 5 minute walk away, with a couple of other interesting restaurants like Tenya, Bellagio, and Green Massage, De Bellotas occupies a really space with a large window. Their kitchen is just behind the bar, with a cozy dining room of around 10 tables. But don’t let the size fool you, their attention to detail can be seen with the ornamental pigs, wall decorations, and the displayed Iberico hams.
 
What did I eat?
Their byline, Jamon Y Vino, which means simply ham and wine, is highlighted under their the name and menu. The Jamon Iberico, 125 RMB for 60g or 225 RMB for 120g, was something I was looking forward to. As a fan of anything related to the Pig – I liked the crumbly nature of the ham with the slight oiliness. There were also are few dishes I liked among the ones we had, such as the Pincho De Queso Brie Caliente and the Esparaggo Verde Con Jamon were my favorites. The Pincho, basically laughing cow cheese on toast, was creamy and delish. The Esparaggo (also known as asparagus) had a nice crunchy and snapping texture to go along with the savory Jamon (ham).
 
What I didn’t like.
The main event of the night was, suppose to be, the paella, which was more disappointing since it seemed like risotto. Named Risotto De Setas Y Quejo, which should have given it away, was something I didn’t expect. Paella, for me, means the rice is more dry with the flavors of the seafoods or meats absorbed in. I didn’t think I was going to have an Italian dish at a Spanish restaurant. Please correct me if I am wrong if this is also a Spanish dish. And dang, it was hot. They need to improve their A/C, since the open kitchen is in the same room, I was sweating while we had our dinner. No fun!
 
The Last Word
Jolin, one of the waitresses, said that the chef, from Henan, had a knack for making Spanish dishes. I’m not sure if she said Henan or some other place. Hmmm. . . Henan. . . .Overall, I thought the place and the food (except for the paella) was fine.
Location Rating
de Bellotas 贝优塔
太仓路68号 近顺昌路
No. 68 Tai-cang Road, near Shunchang Lu, Shanghai
+86 21 6384 1382
2 Pigs
Price Range 3 $/¥/NT

The Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS Hotel [Hollywood]

One of the trendiest restaurants in Hollywood and Los Angeles, I finally made my way to try Bazaar.
 
In one week, my last week in Los Angeles, I was able to try some restaurants that were on my short list. On the top of this list was Bazaar. I had heard so many mixed messages from friends, bloggers, and articles. Nonetheless, I knew I had to try it regardless.
 
Miss B and I, was able to get a reservation for a Friday night, only to be told that it was at an early 6pm table. When they called back to confirm, later in the week, I asked about more favorable times and got an ideal 8pm seating. This is a nice strat to use when getting call backs for table reservations.
 
Our waitress suggested that we order about 4 or so small plates per person, being that Andres meant for Bazaar to be a blend of tapas traditional with nouveau Hollywood style. We choose a smattering array of dishes, including a couple of their featured drinks – the Ultimate Gin & Tonic for $18 and the LN2 Caipirinha for $20. We started with Sweet potato chips, which we could have left off. Then the “Not your everyday Caprese” with the Olives (Modern and Traditional) came out with this molecular gastronomic treat. The cheese and olives were produced in a way that just pops and melts in your mouth. The Philly cheesesteak and Hilly cheesesteak featured “air bread” that was baked cheese inside with Wagyu beef and Mushrooms slices that laid gently on top. There was so much going on that your senses, usual taste ones, were being bombarded with the exciting visuals from the food and venue.
 
After dinner, we were lead to the Patisserie for desserts and coffee, just nearby. This whimsical area is full of unique items that MOCA would be jealous of. The desserts available included the coconut floating island, which we ordered. With a mango sour glaze, the delicate coconut shell, looking like a mushroom, broke its shell, with its gooey goodness oozing out. Accompanied with slices of banana, it formed taste sensations that I have never had.
 
Bazaar is the type of place where you can impress friends, out of towners, and dates.
 
What to Order: coconut floating island, the foie gras cotton candy, the hilly/philly cheesesteak, the caprese.
What not to Order: I would probably forgo the traditional Spanish tapas.
 
2 Pigs
$$
 
The Bazaar by Jose Andres
SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 246-5567