Bar210 (two one oh!)

Molecular Gastronomy has been all over the news lately, mostly due to Ferran Adria announcing that he would temporarily be closing his El Bulli restaurant in Roses, Spain. Twitter messaging went into overdrive when a false rumor emerged, quoting that Adria would close the world’s “best restaurant” permanently. But then Time magazine wrote that after a two-year hiatus (2012–2014), “El Bulli will change from a restaurant to a nonprofit foundation, operating as a think tank where talented young chefs will explore new directions in gastronomy.”

Olives Ferran Adrià, MyLastBite.comLike most food lovers, I never had the pleasure of dining at El Bulli, but every year I’d send in my request and every year I’d receive the dreaded rejection email as well. I’ve even gone as far as “faux booking” an entire trip, hoping to manifest a reservation into my lap, but some things are just not meant to be.

It hasn’t really bothered me though, because since the Bazaar restaurant opened in 2008, I’ve been lucky enough to eat everything “molecular” on the menu created by Adria’s protégé, the affable and equally talented José Andrés. My first bites, on Bazaar’s opening day, were “Olives Ferran Adrià”, the very same dish I had dreamt about trying at El Bulli.

At the Bazaar, MyLastBite.comDuring 20 (or so) visits to the Bazaar, I got to know a few of the chefs working in the open kitchen. This tends to happen when one obsessively visits a new restaurant over and over, but this wasn’t “just a hip, new” eatery in town. I felt so grateful that we had our “own little El Bulli” in Los Angeles.

Not only do we have the Bazaar to take in an evening of magic (aka molecular gastronomy), but two of the chefs I admired from the beginning have left to run their own “modern” kitchens as well.

Marcel Vigneron at HatchiMichael Voltaggio went on to win Top Chef last year and he now wows at The Dining Room in Pasadena. His good friend Marcel Vigneron (runner-up on Top Chef season 2) only recently left the Bazaar to pursue several new opportunities. Marcel describes his own cuisine as “Modern Global Tastings” and first showcased his dishes at a guest chef event at Breadbar last December.

Just last week, Marcel became chef of the new Bar210 Lounge and Plush nightclub in Beverly Hills. Saturday night was the official opening night party, and it was a terrific night of whimsical, delicious eats and OH YES… liquid nitrogen cocktails too!

Peter and I arrived early to find the luxuriously beautiful Bar210 lounge very welcoming, especially the platters of food on the long communal table! We had a quick drink before running into Marcel near the bar and he immediately offered a tour of his new kitchen, which is always my favorite part of the evening. Watching a bunch of guys prep food may not be exciting to most, but I could’ve stayed back there all night. There’s nothing sexier than a killer mise en place station and a bunch of talented cooks plating beautiful dishes.

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210After Marcel let us taste several samples, he slipped us into the Plush nightclub and private V.I.P. room for a quick peek. I got a kick out of how much fun Marcel was having as he was showing us around. Peter and I were honored that he took the time on his opening night to be so attentive to us, and it just made us love him that much more.

Rooting for the good guy always feels good, especially when he’s been so badly misrepresented in the past. I’ll shout it over and over again, Marcel is one of the sweetest and most talented chefs I know. Top Chef made him look like a jerk, and he JUST isn’t.

Back in Bar210 we ran into a friendly face, fellow foodie (and Twitter pal) Ryan Tanaka, and also the gorgeous Laura Jeppson, a good friend of Marcel’s that we had met previously. Opening night’s are always a bit frenzied and unpredictable, but when we left we were happy to see a long line around the building.

Peter and I will definitely be back on a “regular night” to enjoy the menu with friends. Whether you call it modern or molecular gastronomy, whether you think it’s a passing fad or don’t agree with the concept, the most important thing is how FUN it all is, and Marcel Vigneron seems to be having the most fun of all.

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
POMEGRANITE SPHERIFICATION filled with fresh blueberry

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
WATERMELON & TOMATO: masago & bee pollen ~ nasturtium ~ lemon vinaigrette

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
MUSHROOM TART: burrata ~ petite arugula sylvetta ~ caramelized cippolini

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
SALTY PEEWEE POTATOES: chlorophyll mayo

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
TUNA TARTARE CORNETS: avocado & banana ~ coconut milk powder

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
PORK BELLY SLIDERS: green papaya slaw ~ pimenton espelette

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
BONELESS CHICKEN WINGS : “fancy sauce” ~ micro celery ~ maytag blue

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
Transmontanus Caviar and Cherrywood Smoked Salmon Roe

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
Marcel making the Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail: “Brain Freeze” with Tomato Water and Absolut Pepper

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
Marcel serving Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail: “Brain Freeze” with Tomato Water and Absolut Pepper

Marcel Vigneron @ Bar210
Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail: “Brain Freeze” with Tomato Water and Absolut Pepper

 

 

UPDATE: Bar21o has CLOSED

Bar210/Plush
9876 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90120

Website

Date: 2/20/10 (opening night)

All my Bar210 Photos on Flickr

Bar210 on LA Weekly

More photos of Bar210 & Plush on BizBash

Marcel’s Guest Chef Event, BreadBar’s Hatchi

Ferran Adria in Time Magazine

Ferran Adria Rumors

The Dining Room (Michael Voltaggio)

My first visit to Bazaar

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14 Comments

Filed under Eating Out, Molecular Cooking

14 responses to “Bar210 (two one oh!)

  1. It is great whenever you see a crafty protogé move on and do his own thing. Marcel has taken his time, and waited for the right moment to put his stamp on Molecular Cuisine here in Southern California. His dishes look incredible – near perfection.

    One of the reasons Molecular Gastronomy has gotten a bad rap (especially from other professional chefs) is that the food in a lot of cases doesn’t make any sense. In the case of Ferran Adria and Jose Andres, they tend to bite their tongue because the dishes they prepare are done with a sense of humor.

    I think Marcel certainly falls under this category, and from reading your post, I think he’ll put his own stamp on this style of cuisine for years to come. We’re lucky to have the opportunity to taste food like this, and he’s obviously got great tastes in friends. ;-)

    • Marcels mom

      I thank you Phil, you are so right. The most important thing is, your sense of humor. The thing is they are not trying to make sense of term or technique, they are making a whole new world of dishes. This is something that inspires me and many. Crafty, well some may call it that, but considering the time spent at how hard they work. Ah well Marcel has always made me laugh and eat well.
      Sense of humor he has, love of food and creating, making you feel content.

  2. It’s nice to hear that Marcel is such a kind person (and great chef to boot!) — Top Chef definitely did not paint him in the best light. I have to admit that I was a little anti-Marcel back in the day. :-/ Gosh darn the editting!

    Either way, it sounds like Bar210 is definitely worth checking out! Everything looks gorgeous.

  3. Pingback: ‘Top Chef’s’ Marcel Vigneron – Magician, molecular gastronomist does Hatchi

  4. BPark

    You can see shades of his time at the Bazaar, the salted potatoes, tomato watermelon skewers, boneless chickenwings, the coronets….

  5. Ryan

    After missing Marcel at Hatchi, it was a pleasure to taste his food at Bar210. My favorites from the night were the peewee potatoes and the boneless chicken wing. [I’ve been thinking of both since that night.] It will be curious to see how things evolve at Bar210.

    …And it was nice seeing you and Peter again as always. :-)

  6. Those dishes looks so interesting and fun. I love watching molecular gastronomy on Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie- the liquid nitrogen does some crazy things. I’m finally trying Bazaar this week, but next on my list will have to be Bar210.

    • Marcels mom

      What a wonderful thing to read, the photos were fabulous. I can’t thank you enough for sharing such an important time. Wished I could have been there, thanks to you and Marcel, I was. You have a true and intricate insight, not to mention your love for fine food, the creation of art, making it feed your soul, fill your heart. So I thank you again, perhaps we can dine together, I hope we can.
      All I can say, he so loves what he does, at the same time he works so hard at what he does, just simply because food makes us happy, when we are happy so is he. I love that kid.

  7. Wow, Marcel’s food looks like an art!!

  8. i saw marcel at a foodie event and was so star struck i couldn’t even approach him to eat the sample he was putting out.

  9. I was worried about this place because it’s supposed to be bar/lounge-y but I do want to try Marcel’s food here and looks like he’s still doing interesting stuff. Good to know!

  10. Pingback: Bar 210 at Beverly Hilton : Hollywood | idea2design .:.:. creative lab .:.:. music and visual art production

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