While seafood might be de rigueur in the culinary scene of Miami, few local restaurants can lay claim to the unique, boldly crafted environment found at Bazaar Mar, the newest eatery in the SLS Brickell tower. The ambitious interior design by Philippe Starck and innovative cuisine by chef José Andrés marks the team’s fourth collaboration under the Bazaar name, an offering from hospitality developer SLS Hotels. The company, which owns similar real estate ventures in Beverly Hills, South Beach, and Las Vegas, recently completed the SLS Brickell, one of many new high-rises sprouting up downtown and in the Brickell neighborhood.
SLS enlisted the distinctive architectural skills of Miami-headquartered Arquitectonica to design the tower, which also houses over 450 condominiums and a 132-key hotel. Towers like SLS Brickell are changing the Miami skyline while also creating a rich landscape for projects like Bazaar Mar to serve the burgeoning resident and tourist populations.
When it comes to the food, however, SLS entrusted Spanish-born Andrés—a James Beard Award winner and pioneer of molecular gastronomy—to be the
charismatic public face of Bazaar Mar. His vision for the menu is an attractive mix of disparate textures, aromas, and aesthetics. This spirit of inventiveness translates seamlessly into Starck’s scheme for the interior design, which equals Andrés penchant for theatrics and hyperbole. Starck crafted a nautical fantasy complete with mythical sea beasts, picturesque coastal vignettes, and a distinctive white-and-navy color palette.
The 7,200-square-foot Bazaar Mar is composed of two dining rooms and a raw bar materially connected by more than 6,000 hand-painted tiles featuring the drawings of artist Sergio Mora and manufactured in Spain by Cerámica Artística San Ginés. The azulejo tilework, painted in a Delft Blue pastiche typical of 16th-century Dutch pottery, completely covers the walls and ceiling. The murals are ornamented with gilded crustaceans and cabaret-style mermaids that dissolve otherwise-solid walls into surrealist other worlds. Likenesses of people involved in the project, including Chef Andrés, appear throughout the murals. The furnishings include smooth marble-topped tables, upholstered love seats, and stark white wooden chairs, creating an evocative atmosphere from which the maritime narrative emerges.
The bright dining room contrasts with a offset cocktail bar finished in black and gold tiles of the same stylized motif. The total effect of Starck’s design reflects both its seaside locale and the rapidly evolving Miami art and architecture scene.