It has been said the only way you 100% know a date won’t flake out on you in San Francisco is if you have tickets to Lazy Bear.
Lazy Bear is a former pop-up restaurant by lawyer-turned-chef David Barzelay that found a home in the Mission last fall. They use a lottery-ticket system to dole out reservations and tickets are non-refundable. You find out when tickets go on sale either via their e-mail list or Twitter account and you have to be FAST requesting tickets. Sometimes so many people get on to try and buy tickets that the server crashes. If you hesitate a moment, your tickets are gone (a la State Bird Reservations I once tried to make). So anyway, as soon as I found out the day and time the February tickets were going on sale, I set an alarm and was refreshing the Lazy Bear homepage at 11:58 a.m. like a crazy person, waiting for the noon open time.
And you’re reading this because I scored tickets to Lazy Bear. It was everything I hoped for and more. FOIE GRAS. I haven’t had foie gras in so long. Orange wine! Quail and escargot and beets with chocolate. 12+ courses. Luckily, there is a field guide so I wasn’t forced to remember what I ate because I surely wouldn’t ruin an experience by writing it down.
When you arrive, you’re shown upstairs for drinks and small bites. As I tried snapping iPhone photos in some serious bad lighting, my photographer boyfriend asked why I didn’t tell him I wanted to document it for AGIT and we would have brought a better camera and lighting (foreshadowing). Isn’t A the best? Girls, if your boyfriend isn’t supportive of everything you do, including your blog, you need to GTFO. There’s your PSA for the day.
Whipped scrambled eggs and buttermilk panna cotta with caviar.
Red seabream with almond milk and plum blossom salt… and a reflection of me taking an iPhone photo. I’m the worst.
Bone marrow and cheddar fondu with crudités and perigord truffle.
After you have a drink and the above apps, you head downstairs to two long communal tables and and the chefs all introduce themselves, invite you to come back to the kitchen and chat with them, and let you know that someone will come out and talk about each dish as it is served. The menu changes seasonally so dishes may vary from night to night and the menu changes completely month to month. I’m hoping my dad comes out for Easter so we can go to Lazy Bear again.
Brown butter brioche with cultured butter. They were all about the butter (that they make in house) that night.
Sorrels with snails, garden herbs, spot prawn, geoduck clam and barley. The prawn was totally worth the cold-like symptoms I get from eating shrimp.
Charred onion broth with country ham, egg yolk, apple and scallion… if I could figure out how to get a yolk into a soup my life would be made.
Stelhead trout with cured roe, burnt cream, fingerling potato, rye and grapefruit. A said this was his favorite dish – and it was my third favorite.
You can either do a drink pairing or order a la carte. I love wine parings – I do – but I was concerned this would be too cocktail heavy and also I drink three drinks and I’m out for the night so I didn’t want to get wasted and not remember a seriously amazing meal (because yes, that has happened at some point in my life). Their sommelier is awesome though and introduced me to orange wines… what?! How could I have TAKEN A COLLEGE CLASS ON WINE and never knew these existed. Basically because they are just coming back in style but thank God I live in a city that cares about wine and I can probably track a bottle down at some point.
Squab with pear, shallot, foie gras and chicory-almond brittle – my favorite dish of the night.
Lamb with date, mustard, farro, blood orange, olive and garum. You were encouraged to chew on the bone after but we couldn’t get behind that viking-ish idea.
The pastry chef at Lazy Bear is Maya Erikson. She’s super-famous in the food world and is younger than me. One of the chefs has been asking her to put cheesecake on the menu and this carrot, orange, fennel and cream cheese dish was her answer to that request.
Beets with dark chocolate and burnt vanilla pistachio. This was my second favorite dish of the night and I now want chocolate beet everything.
Right when you think you can’t stick one more morsel of food in your body, they bring out these treats – a macaron, two little guys I can’t remember, a s’more ice cream sandwich and some little cake thing that was A’s fave.
So Lazy Bear… did it live up to the hype? Yes. Every meal the rest of the week had to live up to Lazy Bear, which it could not. Except my avocado toast tried pretty hard.
Chat with me:
What makes your top five meals ever? Have you ever been to Lazy Bear… or another pop-up restaurant? What’s some foodie-related thing you’re dying to do?