Our next dinners are on Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17. These dinners mark Lazy Bear's two-year anniversary and we are using many of the same items we used in that first dinner (sweetbreads, octopus, carrots in dessert, etc.). This is a longer format menu with lots of great stuff, and it will be $85/person. It's all BYOB. Reservations and pre-payment via Paypal are required. A tentative menu is at right, but the dinners are several weeks away so please allow for significant variation.

As a reminder, we now do reservations via lottery, and we now (in theory) will accommodate all dietary restrictions if you get in from the lottery. The location will be disclosed after reservation and payment, but it's in SF in the vicinity of the Mission District and is accessible by BART.

Reservations are now open. The initial reservation period will remain open until this Friday, September 2 at noon (roughly two days from time of posting) 6pm. Assuming there are enough reservation requests submitted to fill up the dinners, at that time we'll run the lottery and we'll start notifying successful parties on a rolling basis after that. We'll be out of town, however, so if you don't hear back from us immediately, you shouldn't necessarily worry. It may take us a day or two to get back to everyone who got in, and even after that parties often cancel and we move down the waitlist. Reservations received after Friday at noon 6pm will be processed first-come, first-served if there are still spots available.

To submit your reservation request, please fill out this form. Please only one submission per party. Using these Google Forms will hopefully make the reservation process much smoother and easier for us, but it's a first for us, so just in case there are any issues with it, we apologize in advance.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/31 @ 12:56 | Lazy Bear



Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/29 @ 18:44 | Lazy Bear, Meat, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



I took a bunch of sungold tomatoes, scored, blanched, shock, and peeled them, then dehydrated them at 105F in order to preserve their raw flavor. Then we took a bunch of fresh sungolds and seared them in a smoking hot pan, adding diced padrons and shallots, and opal basil, and finished the seared tomatoes with a splash of smoked shoyu.

We served the seared and sun-dried sungolds with red wine vinegar aioli (1 tbsp red wine vinegar per egg yolk, emulsify in neutral oil, finish with salt and black pepper to taste). Niman sirloin center, seasoned, seared, chilled, bagged, cooked sous vide at 57C then deep-fried to finish. Opal basil. And a super tasty beef sauce made from intensely flavored and reduced beef stock, braising liquid from some smoked beef, smoked shoyu, wine, etc.

It was seriously delicious. Possibly the tastiest dish I made in 2011. And it was received that way by guests as well.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/29 @ 17:56 | Lazy Bear, Meat, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/29 @ 17:39 | Desserts, Lazy Bear, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



I took a ton of pristine bay scallops, tossed them in 1.5% salt, refrigerated, then let them cure them for 24 hours. Then I rinsed them, dried them, and roasted them until they were nicely browned. Then I loaded them in the dehydrator. Once they were mostly dehydrated, I ground them up, then put the ground scallop back into the dehydrator. If you leave them whole, the insides never get fully ground, but if you grind them initially they take up tons of surface area in the dehydrator. Finally I ground them into a crusty powder that tasted INTENSELY of roasted scallop.

Then I took a bunch of pristine sea scallops...

I like to cook my scallops sous vide first for about 20 minutes at 50C. It gets them perfectly cooked throughout--silky, supple, plump, firm--so that when I eventually sear them I can worry about getting a great sear and crust without having to worry about the insides cooking at the same rate.

The problem is that when vacuum-sealing and cooking scallops sous vide, they tend to deform and flatten and get all wonky-shaped. The solution is to lay your scallops end-to-end (flat sides facing), and roll them up tightly in clingfilm. Don't forget to season them first. Then vacuum-seal the roll of scallops and cook 50C for 30 minutes (the extra time is because the roll is thicker than the scallops alone would be, so it takes longer for the heat to reach the core). Chill the scallops down. You can hold them at this point in the fridge for a few days.

When ready to cook (or before service) remove the scallops from the bags, pat them really dry, score them if you like (I sometimes do and sometimes don't), and sear on really high heat using high-heat oil (peanut oil is my preferred oil).

In this case after searing we dusted them with the roasted ground scallop.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/29 @ 3:17 | Lazy Bear, Seafood, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/29 @ 3:12 | Lazy Bear, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/29 @ 3:11 | Lazy Bear, Seafood



Our customers loved this. We halved some little gem lettuce heads, brushed them with olive oil, then charred them the grill, arranged some shaved Vella Dry Jack over it, topped it with fried anchovy spines (a byproduct when you clean fresh anchovies), then surrounded it with a lemon and worcestershire-spiked anchovy chowder that we drizzled with smoked ash oil. Delicious, nostalgic.

Smoked Ash Oil

Arbequina olive oil, heavily smoked over hickory chips, then blended with some leek ash (made by roasting leek greens in a very hot oven until they completely carbonize, then grinding and sifting). The ash imparts almost no flavor but has a nice visual impact.

Fried Anchovy Spines

Take spines from cleaning fresh anchovies, toss them in a 75%/25% blend of rice flour and crisp-coat, and fry at 325F until very crispy and completely dry. Let cool, then store airtight for up to a few days.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/28 @ 23:49 | Lazy Bear, Seafood, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



I didn't write a lot down about this dish, but I can share the biscuit recipe. It's adapted from the recipe in the Ideas In Food book, which makes absolutely terrible biscuits. However, the method they describe is very efficient compared to my other biscuit recipes. So I modified their biscuit recipe. My version is below.

Also, allow me to rant here for a second: unsalted butter is entirely useless. There is NEVER any reason to buy it. I always see recipes that call for unsalted butter, then call for salt. But the quantity of salt they call for is MORE than the quantity of salt in salted butter compared to unsalted butter! JUST USE SALTED BUTTER, and get used to the salt in the brand you like, then modify your recipes accordingly. That way you only have to keep one kind of butter on hand. I have yet to come across any recipe where the quantity of salt I want in it is less than the quantity imparted by salted butter.

Finally, regarding fried chicken, it's important to note that I have yet to come across any method that allows adequate adherence of crust-to-meat unless the meat is raw when battered and fried. Sorry, guys, but as far as I have managed, you just can't pre-cook your chicken before frying it.

Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 300g AP flour
  • 12g kosher salt
  • 35g sugar
  • 15g baking powder
  • 2.5g baking soda
  • 85g cold butter, frozen
  • 285g cold buttermilk

Whisk flour, salt, sugar, and leaveners. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the butter directly into the dry ingredients, then stir to coat the pieces of butter. Add the buttermilk and stir so the dough just comes together. Dump it out onto a floured countertop and fold it onto itself a few times so that it's more cohesive. Flour the top and bottom again, then pat it out until it's about an inch thick. Use a floured cutter to punch out rounds of whatever size you want (in the case of this dish I used very small cm cutters). Ideas In Food explains that the scraps can be reformed and cut out just once, but that's nonsense. Just use them up. Maybe the last biscuit you make will turn out a little wonky-looking, but still delicious. Transfer the punched out dough rounds to a parchment-lined sheet pan, brush with melted butter, and bake at 450F until golden and delicious, about 15-20 minutes.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/28 @ 23:25 | Lazy Bear, Poultry



This ice cream was one of the best things ever. The whole dish, really, was awesome. For the espresso, I pulled a ton of shots of Blue Bottle's Hayes Valley blend beforehand, then warmed it up before serving.

The young coconut was just removed from the shell and diced. The white powder is just peanut butter and tapioca maltodextrin. The peanuts are just toasted.

Here are some other details:

Thai Red Curry Ice Cream
1500g milk
100g nonfat dry milk
390g 100% palm sugar
20g glucose
40g trimoline
12g stabilizer
300g egg yolks
225g cream
28g Thai red curry paste
50g lemongrass
20g ginger
3g sweet paprika (mostly for color)
4 limes' zest

Fry curry paste in a tiny amount of neutral oil, then add all ingredients except cream and yolks and bring to a boil. Strain through a fine chinois into a blender and blend to fully incorporate stabilizers. Add cold cream and egg yolks to blender, then transfer to vacuum bags and seal sous vide. Cook base at 82C for 30 minutes, then chill rapidly and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 weeks.

Cocoa Crumbs
130g cocoa powder
60g sugar
95g butter
3g salt
1 egg whites

For the cocoa crumbs, mix all the components with the paddle attachment to get a dough. Cook it at 300 F° for 30 min. Break it up.

Roasted Bananas
Sliced in half, then in half lengthwise. Lay flat side up on foil-covered sheet. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of sugar per 4 banana quarters. Roast at 400F for about 20 minutes, then leave at room temp. To serve, return bananas to oven for about 10 minutes.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/28 @ 23:13 | Desserts, Lazy Bear, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



This was like a lamb French dip. Delicious lamb fat and fir tip brioche, topped with melted manchego, accompanied by poached lamb loin and a lamb sauce.

Unfortunately I now can't find the recipe I formulated for what turned out to be an awesome brioche. It incorporated lamb fat (substituted for about 1/3 of the butter) and chopped fir tips. I can say that the lamb loin (lamb racks with loin removed, trimmed, and rolled in clingfilm, then vacuum-bagged) was cooked at 57C for 2 hours before serving. The dish was sprinkled with chopped fir tips then sauced with a standard lamb stock reduction.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/08/28 @ 23:10 | Baking, Lazy Bear, Meat, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



Lots has happened in the weeks since our last dinners! Let's catch you up: we were named one of the best underground restaurants in San Francisco by local magazine Refinery29; we were featured in a Yelp weekly update; and deal site ScoutMob said we were their culinary heroes. All that attention has gotten us a ton of new subscribers to our mailing list, followers on Twitter, and some action on Yelp. Also, we took a trip to New York and ate at some pretty awesome and inspirational restaurants, and David spent four days staging at Aldea. Finally, we posted a few photos on the blog of some dishes from the last couple dinners.

Now. We've got incredible meals coming up at the end of this month, and reservations are now open! Get 'em while they're hot. Dinners are Friday, July 29 at 8pm, and Saturday, July 30 at 7:30pm. $80/person. Reservations and pre-payment via Paypal are required. Spots will fill up fast. The tentative menu is at right. The location is in San Francisco, and is accessible by BART. It'll be announced to our guests after they've confirmed their reservations and paid. Oh, and we ARE willing to do vegetarian (not vegan) substitutions this time! Yay, vegetarians! We can do gluten-light, but not completely gluten-free. For other restrictions, feel free to inquire.

To make a reservation, please email reservations@lazybearsf.com with answers to all of the following questions. We'll respond with Paypal instructions, and we'll hold your spots for up to a couple days before moving on to the waiting list.

  1. What is your name?
  2. How many people are in your party?
  3. For which date are you seeking a reservation, Friday, 07/29, or Saturday, 07/30?
  4. If your preferred night is full, would you want to attend on the other night?
  5. Has anyone in your party been to a Lazy Bear event before?
  6. Does anyone in your party have any dietary restrictions you'd like us to try to accommodate?
  7. Do you know anyone coming on the same night with whom you'd like to sit, but who will be making their reservation separately?

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/07/17 @ 3:20 | Lazy Bear, Menus



Bacon-wrapped pork belly, bacon-maple vinaigrette, lovage and maple-red wine vinegar relish, pickled mustard seeds, mustard greens, nameko mushrooms.

The bacon-wrapped pork belly was one of the most labor-intensive dishes I've ever made. Trimmed Snake River Farms Berkshire pork belly, then brined for 48 hours, dried, vacuum-sealed with rendered bacon fat, cooked 28 hours at 70C until really tender, chilled while pressing flat, trimmed and slowly seared while pressing to render fat, rolled into bacon-wrapped roulades using plastic wrap, chilled again, vacuum-sealed again, poached 30 minutes at 60C, chilled yet again to set the bacon wrapping, then unwrapped and seared to crisp the bacon, then baked to warm through before serving, and finally glazed with the vinaigrette. INSANE. I don't care how much people loved it, I am not doing this again.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/07/05 @ 11:18 | Lazy Bear, Meat, Sauces, Condiments



California hamachi, a.k.a. yellowtail jack, is wild whereas most Japanese hamachi is farmed. As a result, the hamachi we get here is a bit more fatty, with slightly darker flesh. It lends itself very well to a light cure. Here we trimmed the fish into nice loins, rubbed each one with a pretty standard Texas-style BBQ dry rub, wrapped them and refrigerated for 3 hours. Then we unwrapped them, rinsed off the rub and dried the fish, then sliced them sashimi-style across the grain--not too thinly since you want to have some texture in order to perceive the fish's fattiness and get through the cure flavor to the fish.

Also on the plate are a very tart and floral meyer lemon barbecue sauce made by pureeing whole (seeds removed) meyer lemons with a pretty standard sweet barbecue sauce; bits of toasted cashew; cilantro; thinly sliced and marinated Meditteranean cucumber, marinated raw summer squash; sliced and fried summer squash; and a raw squash blossom.

If I had it to do over again, I'd probably cut the larger squash components and cucumber into a brunoise in order to focus more on the fish, but it was still really tasty, and I often like when the guest has to choose how to compose his own bites.

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/07/05 @ 9:23 | Lazy Bear, Seafood, Veggies, Fruit, Grain, Cheese



Like trees that flower at the first false hint of warmth at the end of winter, Jeanette and I have shifted inexorably into summer mode. We just came back from a trip to a very hot and summery Charleston, SC. Upon our return, we realized that summer hasn't made it to SF yet (and really, does it ever?). But it was no use fighting it. It's officially summer as far as the kinds of foods and cooking we're craving these days. So after a great barbecue with friends on Memorial Day, we are declaring it open season on grilling and cookouts.

With that, we are excited to announce June's only Lazy Bear dinners. The dishes are themed after good old American cookouts, skewed with our characteristic tweaks. We're using humble proteins and awesome veggies. And reservations are now available.

The dinners will be Friday and Saturday, June 17-18. $60/person, with pre-payment via Paypal required. BYOB. 20 spots available per night. We can't accommodate vegetarians, gluten-free, or other major dietary restrictions. The tentative menu is at right. For Friday, guests should arrive between 7:30pm and 7:45pm with dinner to start around 8pm. Saturday night times will be half an hour earlier. BART-accessible location in the lower part of the Mission revealed after payment. To make a reservation, please email reservations@lazybearsf.com with answers to all of the following questions. We'll respond with Paypal instructions, and we'll hold your spots for up to a couple days before moving on to the waiting list.

  1. What is your name?
  2. How many people are in your party?
  3. For which date are you seeking a reservation, Friday, 06/17, or Saturday, 06/18?
  4. If your preferred night is full, would you want to attend on the other night?
  5. Has anyone in your party been to a Lazy Bear event before?
  6. Does anyone in your party have any dietary restrictions you'd like us to try to accommodate?
  7. Do you know anyone coming on the same night with whom you'd like to sit, but who will be making their reservation separately?

Posted by Barzelay on 2011/06/08 @ 20:00 | Lazy Bear, Menus