3416 19th St
San Francisco , CA 94110
Why did we dine here? – Lazy Bear bills itself as “A modern American dinner Party”. Since 2014 they have been hosting 2 seating of a single prix fixe Tasting Menu served to guests on a long communal table. They started as an underground pop-up, gained traction, scored one Michelin star and have established themselves as more than a gimmick.
Prices have risen from $120 way back when to $165-$195. You also need to pay for a reservation in advance on tock.com. Beverage pairing is available for $95 or $145. 20% service charge is automatically added. 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. This place is not for casual walk ins.
We were thinking about dining here for a while, but a single menu with no adjustments for dietary requirements stopped us. We realized they had more flexibility now, so we waited for a special occasion and dined at Lazy Bear.
The meal starts upstairs in the lounge for drinks and ‘snacks’. Old school R&B plays on the speakers. You have an assigned spot, so folks get a comfy seat, others have to stand. The appetizers and drinks are brought to you. The menu changes seasonally with some items staying on there for a while.
Insider Tip – Come early, enjoy the ride
Cuisine – New American
Location – San Francisco Mission District
Opened – 2014
Service – Service was good with no worries on refills and special requests. They have enough waitstaff to keep things flowing fast. Everyone seemed to know their stuff.
Verdict – Wow, what a journey. Lazy Bear was a unique experience both from a food and dining perspective. Quantities were just about right to be filling. Anyone into food should give this a try once. The price is inline with other high end options in San Francisco.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes 30 minute? Yes 1 Hour? Maybe
Lazy Bear Food Picks:
Opening punch – Lilet – A fruity punch with hidden potency welcomes you to the upstairs lounge.
Snacks slow flow through the crowd
Cocktail – Was slightly fruity and has a bitter aftertaste.
Whipped Scrambled Eggs – Bacon, Maple, Hot Sauce – A molecular style drink in a shot glass that you consume with a spoon. Dig all the way down and get a little of everything. Pretty cool.
Shigoku Oyster – Watercress, fermented Pear was topped with a strong watercress gelatinous mixture. This mid sized oyster was presented to us in a cool tray.
Lamb Tartare – Sea Lettuce, Fava Beans was a nice starter with tasty lamb on top of a crispy wafer.
Rhubarb Soda – Yogurt, Pink Peppercorn was the palette cleanser. Strong yogurt flavor that lingered a long time.
Softshell Crab – Brokaw Avocado, Green Strawberry was a large appetizer. Crisp and still hot, this crunchy delight clearly took a long time to create. Slightly salty.
On to the main meal Downstairs – They lead you to an assigned seat possibly based on where you live. Everyone gets the same dish, at the same time. They encourage you to get to know your neighbors. Each course is announced by a different cook with details on the ingredients and what they were trying to achieve.
Spelt & Rye Dinner Roll was an ode to the Parkerhouse roll. Nice warm with a soft fluffy texture. Their housemate butter was very rich and a touch salty. Alternate gluten free toast was really well done. Alternative Egg free biscuit. We asked for more and got some freshly baked ones.
Geoduck clam was diced up and blended with all the ingredients, making it harder to taste it. You mainly feel the chewy texture of the gross looking clam. Lots of foraged herb flavor.
White Asparagus, Country Ham, Sourdough, Preserved Citrus Hollandaise had one long nice looking piece cooked to a crisp to the bite level of doneness.
Smoky Beets, Coral Cherry, Black Olive, Grilled Foie Gras were creatively prepared. They were aged and shrunken in size. Some hidden foie gras gave this dish a burst of flavor. Cool.
Mount Lassen Trout, English peas, Meyer Lemon, Dill, Mint was poached and looked pristine. A very well done fish course on a bed on peas that provided a huge flavor bomb. Sweetness from brown rice, foraged flowers, rye crisps. Vegetarian alternate: rutabaga with peas.
Grilled Porcini, Ramp dumpling, fine herbs, mushroom broth – Nice subtle broth along with grilled, cured mushrooms. A complex mushroom dish.
BBQ Rack of Lamb, morels, lettuces, carrot BBQ was a really nice looking aged lamb chop cooked to a medium rare. Sweet glaze. One of the top dishes of the night.
Strawberry dessert, coconut, rice pudding had a soggy strawberry, nice ice cream with white chocolate, sauce poured tableside.
Cherry dessert, black cocoa, rye, sherry was a new dish. Crispy notes, cherry strong flavor, strong chocolate note. A big contrast in flavors
Petit Fours – A very sweet apricot gummy bear. Strong coffee chocolate truffle bonbon. Cool looking matcha macaroon. Blueberry muffin, cornbread, brown butter.
Be sure to try their Lazy Bear Cold Brew iced coffee. It comes in a decaf and is served in a beaker!
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