Fine Dining with Strangers

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  • Dinner
  • Michelle Wong
  • January 9, 2018

Lazy Bear

If you’re looking for a change from the typical fixed-menu, candlelit dinners, you need to check out Lazy Bear. Located in the Mission District of San Francisco, Lazy Bear does not have any signs or logos outside of its restaurant - just a plaid banner symbolizing a lumberjack’s flannel. There are only two sessions every night, one at 6:00pm and another at 8:30pm. The way you get reservations here is not by calling in or through OpenTable. Instead, you must join their mailing list and reserve prepaid tickets. Once you’ve made reservations, they send out a quick form for you to fill out so that they can better tailor your dining experience.

Lazy Bear is not like any dinner experience I’ve had before. Upon arriving, they start by serving you 5 “snacks” which include whipped scrambled eggs, crispy maitake mushrooms, king salmon tartare, miyagi oysters from Marin and a cape gooseberry soda as a palate cleanser.

You spend about 45 minutes upstairs enjoying your snacks and drinks until you start noticing small groups slowly get directed to make their way down stairs. Think, Thanksgiving Dinner at your house but multiplied by 10.

OYA (Oh yea and): You can add the beverage pairing before you are seated downstairs so if you basically want to go wine tasting while you eat, this is a great option! You’ll be at least 7 drinks in by the end of the night.

- Meesh

Lazy Bear sets up their dining experience with an open kitchen and an interactive ambiance. As each dish arrives to your table, the cook explains what you are eating, where they’ve foraged it from and how it’s prepared. They encourage you to go up to the kitchen and ask questions throughout your dinner.

At the end of my night, I had met a couple who travelled from LA to San Francisco just for Lazy Bear and was invited to join a FaceTime call with the lady next to me and her friend who she was chatting with in Europe

Owner David Barzelay and staff are seen plating dishes

October 2017 Menu

Halibut with plum, olive and almonds. The halibut is from San Francisco’s Lands End. I didn’t even know you could eat halibut as a sashimi but this was delicious!

Sungold Tomatoes with shelling beans, seaweed vinaigrette and a squid cracker. The seaweed was foraged by one of their chef divers and the the tomatoes were dehydrated, blanched and peeled without losing texture. The thought of how much work it can be to peel a tomato makes this dish just that much better.

Abalone from Monterey Bay topped with chicken skin, sprouts, and grains. The abalone is frozen first in order help it tenderize. Anytime I see Abalone on the menu, I get excited. It was prepared similar to a fried rice and the abalone wasn’t too chewy.

King salmon and its roe. The salmon is caught from Marin and smoked in Eucalyptus leaves while the roe is brined with brown rice shio-kogi. Before this dish is served, Chef Barzelay himself comes around to waft the smokey Eucalyptus aroma around the table just hyping you up for what is to come. The salmon melts in your mouth almost passing off as raw with the buttery consistency but it’s not. The cabbage underneath offsets the taste of fish from the roe.

Corn with pork jowl, kale and egg yolk. This dish was inspired by the pork broth you’d typically get with ramen. The pork jowl broth is a lot lighter than any Tonkatsu or miso broth I’ve had and the yolk is slow cooked in oil in order to not lose it’s form. I’ve never seen or tasted an egg yolk cooked this way but it was magical. The yolk had the perfect consistency, not too fudgy or runny.

Dry-aged squab with beets, huckleberry and peppercorn. This squab is from Modesto and aged for a week. The consistency is similar to duck but I was so full by this point I didn’t even touch the beets.

Apple, hibiscus and brown sugar panna cotta. This was my favorite dessert dish of the three that were served - light and refreshing. The panna cotta also had a slightly burnt taste similar to creme brulee. Yummy!

The last two dessert dishes included a play on peaches and cream that included a cheesecake with poached peaches and another dish with a raspberry red pepper gummy bear, lavender macaron and fig jam cream puff. They were meh so I didn't even take a picture.

Meesh-elin Star Rating - 🔥🔥🔥🔥