It’s hard to imagine a day more perfect than the one that began at Bazaar by José Andrés in South Beach. For starters, it was a beautiful, breezy day in December with temperatures in the mid 70s. I was accompanied by a handsome gent who happens to enjoy spending his Saturdays in a fashion oh-so-similar to mine. We began with a bottomless brunch, followed by a few modern art galleries, some shopping, afternoon espressos, sunsets at the beach, and a romantic comedy. It concluded with Oreo milkshakes at a pink, ‘50s style diner. It was, quite literally, the best day ever.
The location? The Bazaar, a José Andrés restaurant located in the posh SLS Hotel on South Beach. From the moment we walked through the door, I was utterly taken by the decor and service. The interior is over-the-top baroque, with glamorous red columns and red accents. But, its the outside that really charms.
The outside patio exudes playful, chic style, with nods to vintage French glamour, a la the South of France, as well as beachy, South Florida nods. We were seated in the expansive, covered outdoor patio, which had cozy striped booths with pastel pillows, and cozy French bistro style chairs. The pastel and natural tones—like the large, rattan light fixtures, made it slightly beachy. Behind us lay the SLS pool and club, Hyde Beach, which was all the more playful, with its walls of greenery and umbrellas lining the pool.
We cozied up outside, and were greeted promptly by a handsome waiter with a thick Spanish accent, who walked us through the menu, which offered bottomless mimosas and a brunch table.
“Oh no,” I thought, “a buffet?” Internally, I was horrified, as my genetics and my Bitchiness make me loathe to enjoy a buffet. “How could José let me down?” I pondered silently. I happen to adore the celebrity Spanish chef—both as a person and as a culinary mastermind. (Check out our reviews of some of his DC restaurants’ brunches: China Chilcano, Oyamel, and Zaytinya.)
Turns out, the brunch is structured with a buffet to begin, followed by a brunch entree of your choosing. The whole package runs $55 per person. Meanwhile, the bottomless mimosas, made with Spanish Cava, are $15 and they are utterly delightful.
We began with a round of bubbly and leisurely made our way to the buffet.
The Spanish inspired buffet was impressive, even to the harshest of critics, i.e. yours truly. For starters, there was a caviar service—and not that cheap kind, either— with smoked salmon and blinis. And I went a bit hog wild, but tried to control myself.
The rest of the buffet comprised mostly fresh fruits, fresh juices, and Spanish cheeses and cured meats, as well as bagels, lox, and an omelet station.
Being the sugar-crazed Gringo in Miami that he is, my brunch date went straight for the Cuban Guava pastries, brandishing a plate laden solely with the saccharine sweets. Meanwhile, my buffet plate was a more balanced plate of Manchego and other Spanish cheeses, Prosciutto, and fruit—even if it was a bit heavy on the caviar.
The menu of brunch options includes several nods to Andrés’ Spanish and Cuban influences, with an egg white tortilla, olive oil mini pancakes (a popular go-to at D.C’s Jaleo), and the churrasco, a Latin-style grass-fed steak with Yuca fries and mojo.
While the steak always catches my eye, I went with the huevos a la Cubana, as it was the most unique of the dishes and came highly recommended by the waiter. Plus, I needed something hearty after being kept out until the wee hours at STORY on South Beach the night prior.
The huevos a la Cubana is a large bowl with fried rice, tomato sauce, pork belly, bacon, a cooked banana and a fried egg. My carnivorous tendencies were pleased by the abundance of pork. The waiter informed me to chop and mix it all up with the enormous spoon—which I happily did, turning the bowl into a sloppy mess of meat, egg, tomato sauce, rice, and flavor. I loved every bite.
In an effort to give himself a toothache, my brunch beau selected the Torrejas, i.e. a Spanish French toast, soaked in cream and sugar and flavored with lime, tamarind and honey. The dish was beautiful: a brick of moist, fluffy French toast, topped with sliced strawberries and served with a side of honey. While it hardly seemed possible, it tasted even better than it looked—super creamy, moist, and sweet.
The Bitches say: A+ for a bottomless brunch with impeccable service, inventive Spanish and Cuban fare, caviar and pastries in a playful and posh environment. When are we going back?
The Bazaar by José Andrés
SLS South Beach
1701 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL
The Bazaar serves brunch on Sundays beginning at 11 a.m.