Lazy Bear! San Francisco’s Greatest Dinner Party! Communal Dining With Two Michelin Stars! Legendary Paul Masson Wine!

Welcome To The Lazy Bear Kitchen!

Talk about an “open kitchen” concept! This Two-Michelin Starred restaurant in San Francisco literally cooks right in front of you – and encourages you to talk to them while they work!

Welcome to Lazy Bear! This incredibly creative restaurant calls themselves a “modern American dinner party.”

As they explain on their webiste:

The best dining experiences are the ones in which we’re seated around a table sharing food and stories with others. We hope Lazy Bear is the best dinner party you’ve ever attended. Our food is modern American. We serve flavors that are intrinsically delicious and familiar, in a format that calls to mind those great American shared eating experiences that we love. It’s communal and social, but the food and drinks are refined.

After throwing dinner parties all across the Bay area, Chef and Founder David Barzelay opened his permanent home for Lazy Bear in 2015. Alex and I ate there for the second time recently, with our friend Karen and Bruce and Dina and Tom – and I wanted to share the experience with you!

The party begins with snacks, drinks and mingling upstairs in the living room. Here is the upstairs menu, with each dish shown in order – one isn’t a great shot and two great shots are from my wife’s instagram posts that night because she nailed them!

Whipped Scrambled Eggs!

“Poorly Focused” Lamb Tartare!

White And Green Grilled Asparagus!

Duck Liver Mousse!

Fried Soft-Shell Crab!

So, you get the idea of just how magical this meal is? And we are still upstairs!

After these five delicious bites, we are all taken downstairs and seated at one of two long communal tables.

You are given a “Field Guide” and pencil so you can make notes on every course!

As each dish is served, the Chef responsible will step forward and explain each course to the entire dining room at once. Here is one Chef doing just that:

It’s a great way to hear from different Chefs as they tell you the concept behind their dish, and information about the preparation!

As we begin, my wife Alex has already Instagrammed the single most incredible dish of the night, served first:

Spelt & Rye Parker House Roll w/ Cultured Butter

Yes, these Parker House rolls are “to die for…” and the “cultured butter” served with it is creamy, with a hint of tartness – the best bread and butter we have ever had!

Now, onto the courses:

Monterey King Salmon w/ Apple, Nasturtium, Horseradish, Lovage

Note the “salmon rounds” with the salmon eggs on top, plus the flowers…

English Pea w/ Country Ham, Pickled Ramp, Egg Yolk Fudge

As you can see, they let you come right up to them as they prepare the dishes, which look like edible works of art…

I mentioned they gave us booklets to take notes, but I was too overwhelmed to write anything intelligent…

San Francisco Coast Halibut w/ Shellfish, Morels, White Asparagus, Sourdough

Next up was another fish dish: Halibut served with Morel Mushrooms, while above it is the Abalone in its shell…

Monterey Bay Abalone w/ Grilled Onion, Brown Butter, Lettuces, Toasted Grains

Bear with me as these dishes were coming fast and furious. and I was also getting up to watch it being prepared AND talking to everyone!

Needless to say, the dishes were all unique and delicious, and there were still more to come.

Another one of the Chefs steps up to tell us about our next course:

Grilled Dry-Aged Sonoma Duck

A beautifully presented dish, the grilled Duck complimented with Beet, Rosemary, Cocoa and Mandarin. But nothing can compare to what is next – and I headed up to see it being prepared closeup:

Carrot Barbeque with Wagyu Ribeye!

Yes, they call this dish a “Carrot Barbecue” but happen to include a piece of Wagyu Ribeye!

Chef and Founder David Barzelay announced this dish to us:

The carrots were smoky, slightly crunchy and incredible, and as for the Wagyu, well there’s a reason it’s the last main course because nothing can top it!

Milk And Honey w/ Jasmine Rice, Sweet Alyssum

The first dessert came next, a delicious Jasmine Rice pudding and sweet Aluyssum honey…followed by a unique cheesecake…

Strawberry w/ Caramelized Goat Cheese, Cashew, Elderflower

I can’t overstate was an incredible job the Chefs did with each course: this cheesecake was delicious, not too sweet, and the strawberries were dominant in the best way…they ended the meal with 4 different “treats”:

What can I say? Superlative food – oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the incredible wine pairing that went with it:

As you can see, there was Champagne, Sake, and a variety of wines, but what really caught our attention was this:

Yes, this was a 1970’s era Paul Masson wine!

If you don’t know, this wine was sold with the tagline:

“Paul Masson will sell no wine before it’s time.”

And the legendary Director Orson Welles was the spokesperson!

Well, this was a terrific surprise – we were told they heard some was found in a warehouse, they tried it and liked it – and guess what, it was a slightly brandied tasting wine that was great – so Alex smiled through it for me!

There you have it, an incredible meal at Lazy Bear in San Francisco – the second such amazing meal for us – and remember I told you that America just got its FIRST EVER 3-Michelin starred female Chef:

Chef Dominique Crenn achieved that honor – a bit shocking its taken this long for a female Chef to be so rewarded…I took an in-depth look at our meal at Atelier Crenn and you can see it here:

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Thanks so much for reading – and let me know your favorite course for this meal!

Categories: Art, Awards, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized, Wacky Food, wine

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24 replies

  1. What an experience I would love this. Communal table great idea after the living room experience. Jealous AGAIN!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They say you eat with your eyes and I could taste that food…What a dinner party…A totally awesome experience and one I would love to be part of…My favourite..too many to choose from but the egg fudge intrigued me…I love fudge…haha…That carrot and …..Just love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting name for a restaurant, lazy bear, especially one that certainly is not lazy. It looks incredible. I’m just about to go to bed here in the UK but I’m now hungry. Really great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! What a great concept! And the food looks exquisite and delicious! thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an incredible culinary adventure John! I love the desserts.☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great experience. Sounds like a taste explosion!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, that looks like the place to be. The concept seems cool and the food sounds amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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