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The liquid nitrogen is flowing at the Bazaar

November 18, 2008 |  4:00 pm

CaipiThe Bazaar -- the José Andrés restaurant in the lobby of the SLS Hotel -- is in full swing, and Andrés' team from Minibar in Washington, D.C., including Katsuya Fukushima and Ruben Garcia, are here for now to help with the opening. Andrés will be traveling back and forth to L.A. from D.C. over the next several weeks.

Lucas Paya, beverage and wine director of Andrés' restaurant group ThinkFoodGroup, is helping to "pour" the "nitro caipirinhas" tableside. Liquid nitrogen never fails to amuse (and the resulting caipirinha sorbet, left, is a kick too) -- with all those thermodyamics and the "Leidenfrost effect" (hence the smoke) at work.

"We have tanks of it on the loading dock," says pastry chef Michael Gillet, who keeps a small tank of liquid nitrogen in a corner of the open, pink-tiled pâtisserie kitchen for desserts such as the "nitro coconut floating island." "You have to work with it quickly," he says. "Otherwise you'll get burned."

The Bazaar, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 246-5555.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Darko Zagar