As one of the premier culinary destinations in the USA, San Francisco is always on the cutting edge of dégustation developments. Hence with raging popularity in the UK and origins in Latin America, the restaurante de puertas cerradas, known as the underground restaurant, has started breaking serious ground here in San Francisco and the states. Underground restaurants are eating establishment operated out a private event space, bypassing local zoning and health-code regulations. They are, in effect, paying dinner parties. They are usually advertised by word of mouth or guerilla advertising and may require references to make a reservation.
While most of these are often located in “yet-to-be-gentrified” areas and lack polish, here comes along a renegade underground restaurant that has beautiful presentation and a wait list that may last months long. Lazy Bear is a secret dining experience where 500 or so of the 3,000 on the client list of would-be-diners have to enter a lottery system to obtain one of the 48 seats that occur every month. Chef David Barzelay runs Lazy Bear, (an anagram of David’s last name, “Barzelay”), and each month, he presents a totally new and unique menu featuring the freshest products manipulated with panache. Over the past two years, Lazy Bear has served thousands of patrons many hundreds of different dishes. Each dinner costs approximately $90 per person but changes in accordance to the menu’s offerings.
And it’s Haute cuisine here with service entailing over 6 courses, each described by David himself. Each plate is a work of art. He mixes molecular gastronomy with classic souv vide technique. He uses his grandmother’s blintz recipe but adds in whipped cream where the aeration was done in part by yeast. He encourages all the diners to ask him questions and his passion for his work really shows through. Haute Living caught a moment with him after service to ask him a few questions.
HL: What would be your last meal?
DB: Roast chicken with gravy.
HL: Who would you like to have a dinner party with?
DB: Anyone who likes to eat.
HL: Favorite restaurant right now?
HL: So what’s one indulgence you have?
DB: Spending 10 minutes to make a perfect espresso from my elaborate espresso machine. Then enjoying it.
So for those who hate waiting in queues or playing with lady luck, Lazy Bear does private dinner parties. Lazy Bear can accommodate groups of any size up to about 50 people and have a $100 per person and $1500 per event minimum which does not include gratuity, beverages, or the venue. Simply contact David directly and start planning. There is nothing more haute than making your own home the hottest new dining destination.