Moving on to Los Angeles

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, May 30, 2011

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Well, the weather was bad again today and another trip to Channel Islands National Park was cancelled. I left my hotel in Ventura and drove to Los Angeles. I thought that staying near the airport would be convenient so I drove there first.

I came to Los Angeles for the first time in 1981. I was here for a technical training session for my job with Hamilton Avnet, a company based in the L.A. area. Our training took place at an airport hotel. While I was driving around I saw a place that looked familiar, the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Airport. I parked and went in to see whether it was where I stayed; it was. Things haven't changed much in 20 years.

I found a (much cheaper) hotel in the area and checked in. Then I went over to The Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS Hotel. I have a reservation for Saam, one of several restaurants collectively called The Bazaar, on Thursday. The Bazaar wasn't on Restaurant Magazine's World's Best Restaurants list in 2010, the list available when I planned my trip, but it was added in 2011 coming in at number 85. I thought I'd check and see if I could get into Rojo y Blanca, another of the restaurants in The Bazaar. They had some room and sat me at the bar.

Phillippe Starck was nominated for a James Beard Award for Restaurant Design for his interior design work on the restaurant as well as the SLS Hotel. The design is interesting but it doesn't have many of his usual touches. For instance, I didn't see a single three-legged chair. I wouldn't have realized it was his work just seeing the restaurants but the fun-house mirrors in the hotel lobby and the mirrored walls around the urinals in the men's room might have given it away.

Rojo y Blanca is a tapas restaurant, a Spanish style popularized in the U.S. by Jose Andres starting with his Jaleo chain in the D.C. area. A few of the items looked familiar since some of the courses from my dinner at Minibar are also on the menu here. I ordered five vegetarian tapas: Jicama wraps, "Hilly cheesesteak" (a vegetarian version of his "Philly cheesesteak"), Wild mushroom soup, Tortilla de patatas "new way" and Dashi linguini, which after eating it I decided is probably not vegetarian after all. Everything was very good. I'm looking forward to my dinner at Saam.
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