José Andrés New Bazaar Location Brings Spanish-Japanese Fusion To NYC

A Spanish-Japanese mash-up may not be the first combo that comes to mind when you think about fusion cooking, but it's exactly what Chef José Andrés is bringing to New York City with his latest interpretation of Bazaar, the concept dining experience he debuted in 2008.

While themes vary by location, the common thread connecting each of Andrés' Bazaar venues centers on the award-winning chef's commitment to showcasing his Spanish heritage in unique ways. The new restaurant, located at the Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, pays homage to Hasekura Tsunenaga, a 17th-century samurai credited with establishing the first diplomatic ties between Spain and Japan.

The dining experience in its entirety represents Andrés' interpretation of that cultural exchange. "Both Spain and Japan share a deep respect for ingredients and dedication to technique," Andrés said in a press release. "What you are about to experience is a journey between these two worlds."

To accomplish his goal, Andrés developed a menu of complimentary presentations, small plates of similar dishes prepared to showcase both Spanish and Japanese interpretations. For instance, that includes jamón Ibérico de Bellota (hand-cut from acorn-fed, black-footed Spanish pig) and bluefin tuna belly jamón (hand-cut tuna belly cured in the jamón Ibérico style).

An all-encompassing experience

The dining experience at Bazaar New York encompasses everything from food to décor. Andrés worked with Spanish design firm Lázaro Rosa-Violán Studio to create an interior space that subtly references Hasekura Tsunenaga's seafaring journey from Japan to Spain. The earthy-toned bar space features nautical touches like backlit sketches of period sailing ships and a central table designed to resemble a celestial navigation chart.

Guests climb a tiled staircase to the upstairs dining room, where the cross-cultural theme continues in a tapas-style setting illuminated by lighting fixtures reminiscent of Japanese lanterns. The blue décor also has a purpose. Deep shades represent European royalty, while indigo is a nod to Japanese fabric art.

A highlight of the dining room, the central mixology bar reimagines Castilian-style bookshelves with amber glass, mirrors, and a display of brass bottles. Offerings include a selection of shōchū and sake, Japanese spirits, and an array of Japanese and Spanish wines. There's also a curated menu of cocktails — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic — designed to reflect Japanese and Iberian influences.

Bazaar New York joins Andrés' other Bazaar locations in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, and Chicago. Located in a historic post office building, the D.C. eatery melds good old Americana with a nod to U.S. history. Bazaar Las Vegas celebrates all things carnivore, while the Chicago venue showcases unique meat and seafood preparations.