Lazy Bear, San Francisco-8/16/2022

Table set up 10 course menu Dessert/Mignardise

David Barzelay grew up in Tampa, FL and pursued his academic career at Vanderbilt University. After college, he enrolled in Georgetown Law, but quickly developed an interest in cooking and spent class time sneakily poring over cookbooks and food blogs. Shortly after moving to San Francisco for a job as an associate attorney, the 2009 financial crisis hit and Barzelay was left with a long severance package and a driving passion to start anew. He took advantage of the opportunity and plunged into the culinary world full force, staging at a handful of San Francisco’s best restaurants while experimenting with recipe concoctions at home.

After a year of hosting multi-course dinner parties with his wife in their own home under the moniker Lazy Bear (dinners during which excess dirty dishes had to be placed in the bedroom to be washed once guests left, and for which goats were left on ice in the bathtub while waiting to be butchered), Barzelay took a leap of faith and moved the dinners to an empty warehouse. As interest grew and word of mouth spread, Barzelay began to accommodate more and more guests, and was soon serving upwards of 40 people per night, several nights each week.

Recognizing the success of the five-year-old underground operation, Barzelay decided to open a permanent space to give guests an enhanced experience while still maintaining the open, communal aspects of the pop-up.

What initially started as intimate gastronomic gatherings at an underground venue, grew into one of San Francisco’s favorite dining experiences. In its first year of eligibility, Lazy bear was awarded a Michelin star and the following year was upgraded to two Michelin stars.  Chef David was named a Best new Chef By Food and wine Magazine in 2016.

If you’re unfamiliar with Lazy Bear, here’s the premise: They sell each month’s tickets all at once, usually on a Wednesday in the middle of the previous month. For example, July tickets were sold on Wednesday, June 15. Nonrefundable. 

3 weeks ahead I tried to reserved a table and it is pretty sold out with a few exceptions.  Weekends are sold out right away once they opened their tickets online, however I saw that there is like 2 spots left.  I selected a table for 2 on a Tuesday at 6:45Pm.  It works for us as I am retired and can go pretty anytime now.


The entrance of Lazy bear.  No sign indicating the name of the restaurant so you just have to check the number.  The only hint that this is restaurant is seeing a host table set up on the side.


This picture was the taken later in the evening when it is dark outside and the lights are turned on.


The inside of the restaurant is sold out so I took whatever was available which is a booth on the curbside but it was covered.

We were lucky as it was warm night so it was comfortable to sit outside.


Simple table set up, blue napkin with a booklet which we found out later was the menu.


Presenting the menu as a "field guide" complete with an area for notes


Each page represent a dish and there are lines underneath for personal notes.


Wooden table, a vase with wild flowers, menu booklets on the table.



Our booth was private and nice.


Hoa brought a nice bottle of Chateau Malescot St. Exupery 2009 Margaux for the occasion.


Since our table is outside, I decided to check out the inside of the restaurant.  There is a flight of stairs leading to the dinning room.


A large dinning room full of people and an open kitchen at the far end.


Lazy Bear used to known for their communal table that would sit 40 people but when Covid hit, they had to adjust their business model so no more sharing table.


Took all the pictures inside the restaurant and now I am headed out to our table located just outside.


Forager's Tisane stuffed with local Bay Area plants and honey.


The tiny glass tea pot is brought out to the table and then our waiter proceeded to pour hot water over it.


The smell is fresh, herbal, with a sweet note.  


After steeping in a few minutes, it is poured out into a small wooden cup.

The tisane is also meant to be a palate cleanser before starting the meal.


Wine is poured-Cheers!



NEXT.... 10 Course Dinner


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