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High prices, hidden flavors: the irony of Bazille at Nordstrom Rack

Former Campanile reporters Erik Feng and Jerry Xia review western-style dishes at Nordstrom Rack’s specialty restaurant Bazille, leave discount luxury store paying premium prices
Erik Feng/Used with Permission

Hidden behind Stanford Shopping Center’s main block lies Nordstrom Rack, a sister store to the fashion retailer Nordstrom.

Most shoppers visit Nordstrom Rack to browse an array of Nordstrom’s luxury clothes at discount prices.

However, as accomplished food critics, we embarked on a mission to review the restaurant hidden on the top floor of the store: Bazille, Nordstrom Rack’s specialty restaurant.

For lazy shoppers too hungry to walk 500 meters to other restaurants, Bazille offers a convenient, though probably more expensive, option.

After riding up four flights of escalators, we arrived at Bazille.

The dimly-lit restaurant was decorated like a simple wooden cabin on the prairie but encompassed two dozen tables.

Though holding enough space for 20 tables, only four other groups of people had found the restaurant when we arrived at 6 p.m.

When we sat down, we had a great view of the online order pickup counter on the opposite side of the floor and the open kitchen at the back of the restaurant.

Suspiciously, one of the chefs proceeded to deposit a steak and salad in the pizza oven, setting our expectations higher than ever.

Bazille offers a wide variety of typical western cuisine including soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and steak.

However, the menu has a conspicuous lack of drinks, and we had to interrogate our waiter to order a simple lemonade.

We remained ready to order for 15 minutes, our excitement levels diminishing with each ticking minute like a capacitor discharging electricity.

Despite the slow service at the start even with the general lack of customers, our waiter was nice enough to check in several times and even offered to refill our lemonade, free of charge.

Rating: 4/7


We started with Nordstrom Rack’s signature Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco appetizer.

While the name might be a mouthful, the dish was anything but: we were surprised both by the diminutive dimensions of our starter and the intense corn flavor that overpowered the chicken.

The dish consisted of two tiny corn chip shells filled with chicken, lettuce and cheese.

Adding the lime wedges that came with the tacos added the much-needed second flavor — a 100% improvement.

The dish could be more aptly named “Corn and Lime Tacos” and was not worth the $9 we paid for it.

Rating: 2.75/7

Crab Mac N’ Cheese

The Crab Mac N’ Cheese arrived in a miniature pot, making the dish feel freshly baked.

A crispy layer of breadcrumbs provided a satisfying texture and the white cheese sauce was creamy, nailing the classic “Mac N’ Cheese” flavor.

While having no shortage of crab, the pasta somehow did not have much of a seafood flavor and was as exciting as a blank page.

Luckily, the portion size was much larger than the tacos, though still not worth $22 hard-earned dollars.

Rating: 5/7

Spicy Wild Shrimp Pomodoro

According to the Cambridge dictionary, pomodoro is an Italian word for “tomato,” but Bazille’s Spicy Wild Shrimp Pomodoro did not remind us of Italy.

After waiting for so long, we were disappointed when the pasta tasted like it could have been cooked from an instant package.

However, the tomato sauce’s savoriness and hint of spice gave the dish an extra dimension.

While the shrimps looked like shrimps and had the chewy texture of shrimps, they did not taste like shrimps. It seemed as though the chefs had played an elaborate game of culinary hide and seek but forgot to come out of hiding. For $22, the Shrimp Pomodoro fell short of the Crab Mac N’ Cheese and was also not worth the price.

Rating: 3.5/7


While we thought a restaurant inside a budget luxury store would serve premium food at a discount, we found ourselves on the other side of the spectrum: discount food at premium prices.

With passable design, inconsistent service and, ironically, generally poor deals, Bazille cannot compete with the other restaurants just a block away including the classic student-favorite The Melt.

Though we received complimentary refills of our lemonade, the restaurant’s questionable practices of cooking everything inside their pizza oven should have been enough of a red flag.

Next time you’re picking up your online orders at Nordstrom Rack, do not go to Bazille.

We recommend this hidden restaurant remain hidden.

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