How to pace yourself when you're in a food marathon: Lazy Bear
San Francisco is not in short supply of amazing food options that is for sure. This city was recently ranked as #1 top food city in the world but are we surprised? No not really.
With being number one, that means that restaurant owners and chefs have to really bring their A-game to impress and stand-out to the foodie crowd that is San Francisco. Not an easy task, that is for sure.
Unlike my peers here, I'm actually easy to impress. Maybe that's because I know how much hard work goes into preparing a dish from my own experiences with cooking that I just appreciate that someone is willing to make me food. However, it takes a lot to blow my mind and get me to the point where I'm blasting it all over social media, texting my friends and family and emailing my colleagues at work telling them that a place is a MUST.
A place that has done that for me is Lazy Bear. This former pop-up/pre-fixe dinner experience was created by the amazing Chef David Barzelay.
Located in the heart of the Mission District, this dining experience is one of the best that I have experienced so far. Every detail here is done with purpose and I absolutely love it. From the tea cups they serve you for your first round of punch to the unique tableware that matches the color palette of the food - I mean, you get the gist, it just works and it's awesome. Now, let's get to why you came here in the first place: how to survive all the courses you are served during this food marathon.
Phase 0: Get your tickets
The obvious step, but here is the info for you. Be sure to sign-up for their newsletter so you can get a notification as to when tickets are released.
Phase 1: Arrival & Pre-Game
Both times I came to Lazy Bear, I participated in the second seating. Lazy Bear always has two seatings and the later one works best for those of us who's work schedules don't get out before 6:00 PM. I recommend arriving a little early so you can go upstairs and enjoy some cocktails and grab a seat in the lounge area where they serve the first set of appetizers and the punch I mentioned earlier. Remember, if you arrive super late and you miss out on the first round of appetizers, you risk not enjoying those amazing bites so be sure to arrive at the recommended time so you don't miss out.
Tip: For the uber picky eaters out there - leave that business outside because this isn't the place to be finicky about your food (unless you have some severe allergy, then you can let the staff here know prior to your arrival so they can try to accommodate your needs). But don't be THAT person who needs everything customized to his/her specs. You're paying to be taken on a food adventure, so just try everything.
Phase 2: Please take your seat
You will be escorted to your seat by one of the lovely hosts. It really doesn't matter where you sit because there is no bad seat. You will have your menu, pencil and your place setting.
Tip: If you want to have a closer look at what they are doing in the kitchen, you will be able to get up and get semi-close to the kitchen to check them out and take pictures.
You can order additional cocktails or you will continue your wine pairing (which I have not done yet, but I am kind-of a light weight, so I don't know if I ever will). Once everyone is seated, the magic begins!
Phase 3: Food marathon begins
The menu at Lazy Bear tends to change with the seasons, but there are some staple items on the menu that will always be there - thank god because I'm obsessed with this dinner roll and the cultured butter. The butter tastes like cheese in the BEST way. I am pretty sure I licked the butter off the plate.
Tip: When a new course is served, the chef who created the dish will provide everyone with a short story behind the dish. Be polite and listen to what they have to say. Remember, life is much richer when you know the story behind the recipe. Am I right? ;)
Here are a few of the dishes I consumed here:
Phase 4: Dessert anyone?
Ok, I have the biggest sweet tooth ever. If you don't, that's ok I don't care, I'll just have your share of dessert then. My husband and I have this inside joke that I constantly strategize my appetizer and main course consumption based on whether or not I found a dessert on the menu that I have to try. And did I do this at Lazy Bear? Yes, yes I did. I didn't waste my food, I just gave my husband and Robin the opportunity to have seconds during dinner (hehe).
The dessert here looks like art. It's so pretty you almost don't want to eat it, but you do and it's worth destroying the beautiful creation because it tastes even better than it looks.
Tip: Before dessert is served, the hosts will ask if you want to order an additional cocktail, dessert wine, tea or coffee. I don't care if you order another cocktail, but please order the coffee too. It's THE BEST ICED COFFEE. I swear you won't regret it and staying up later than you wanted because of all the caffeine you just consumed will be totally worth because it's just that good. It's worth staying up an extra 3-4 hours from the caffeine high. Just keep the party going or go home and watch Netflix or Hulu. You know you have a show you want to binge watch.
Phase 5: The Finale
Congrats! You made it to the end! By now you will be experiencing a weird combination of being drunk and in a food coma because your stomach is filled to the brim. The hosts will bring you your check in a hardcover book for your beverages that you purchased throughout the evening.
Tip: Leave a fun note or drawing in the book
Good luck and have fun!
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