I’m one who enjoys celebrating a birthday for as long as possible. Birthday weekends turn into birthday weeks that then turn into birthday months.
One of these days I will celebrate all year long. Life is worth celebrating. It doesn’t mean to splurge without a care, but it means to make the most of the here and now, rather than waiting forever for the perfect moment to arrive.
Ryan’s birthday was during the first week of the month, but we made sure to celebrate ahead of it and through the following week. One of those celebrations was dinner at Lazy Bear, a dining experience in San Francisco that was conceived originally as a pop-up dinner party.
Restaurant goers purchase tickets online for the multi-course menu, which reserves their spot at the table. The price of the ticket depends on the time/day of the reservation. There’s an optional beverage pairing one can add for $$, and it consists of approximately seven drinks [mostly wine] to pair with the meal’s courses. I purchased one ticket with and one without, so that I could drive the birthday boy home afterward.
Lazy Bear – Snacks
When you arrive, you begin your evening upstairs. Various snacks are brought to you, and you have a chance to mix and mingle.
Snacks: Broiled Shigoku Oyster, Cured Fluke
Snacks: Soft Shell Crab Tempura, Whipped Scrambled Eggs (not pictured)
Once you’ve had a chance to settle in, you’re led downstairs and seated at one of two communal tables. We found out that one of my friends was dining that same night, and even though we hadn’t requested to be seated together, we ended up at the same end of the table. Fun coincidence!
The Kitchen and The Birthday Boy!
Lazy Bear – Main Dining Experience
At each seat is a notebook with the menu inside [pictured above] and a pencil for taking notes about each course. We knew that we’d start out taking notes and probably give up by the end of the meal. We didn’t completely stop taking notes; they were more sparse, however.
Spelt & Rye Dinner Roll – House Cultured Butter
King Salmon – Cucumber, Lemon Verbena, Melon, Mint
Broth of Toasted Grains – Egg Yolk Fudge, Ramps [before and after the addition of the actual broth]
In between courses, patrons are encouraged to visit with the kitchen as dishes are being prepared. We made sure to do this several times to capture everything in action.
New Potato Fondue – Morels, Peas, Kale, Fine Herbs
Pork – Collared Greens, Apricot, Walla Walla Onion, Lardo
Squab – Cherry, Spruce, Porcini
Surprisingly, one of my favorite dishes of the meal was the squab. I’m accustomed to how squab is prepared for Chinese banquets, and it’s one I usually avoid. When I saw it on the menu, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was prepared medium rare and resembled a perfectly cooked duck breast in texture. Delicious!
Lazy Bear – Desserts
Like the earlier courses of dinner, there were a handful of desserts to enjoy. I especially liked that they were smaller bites and not overly sweet.
Raspberry – Soy Bean, Ginger, Jasmine Tea [+ prep] and Mulberry – Cocoa Nib, Foie Gras, Buckwheat
Treats: Macaron, S’mores Semifreddo, Financier
We were part of the earlier seating, and by the time dessert rolled around, guests from the later seating were ushered upstairs for their snacks. The pacing of the meal was well-planned, and we didn’t feel rushed at all.
Definitely worth a repeat performance, possibly for another special occasion or even any old day!