José Andrés’s tapas style restaurant in the swanky SLS hotel was easily the best meal we had in the US. The hotel is dimly lit and the restaurant takes up 80% of the hotel lobby. We found the furnishing rather quirky, imagine weird animal wall ornaments or a 6 foot dog headed army general statue. The Philippe Starck furnishing adds to the baroque tone of the hotel and the restaurant.
Reservations must be hard to score after winning many awards, but we didn’t have a problem when we went in 2010. The crowd was casual chique, with most ladies dressing more for the after party and we definately felt under dressed in our casual jeans and hoodies. Try to get a counter seat so you can observe the chefs at work and the seat is perfect for people like me who prefer to see how the food looks before ordering it.
José Andrés has an impressive resume, starting out as a young chef under Ferran Adrià at elBulli. The menu consists of small portions of traditional and modern Spanish tapas. The traditional tapas were executed well but there wasn’t anything to shout about; the draw here are the modern tapas. The creations are his modern take on classic dishes, and no doubt the molecular gastronomy influence at elBulli was evident. Each dish was interesting and creative and the it was an interactive atmosphere with the chefs explaining the creations as they were making them.
465 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048