Located in the old Hi-Lo BBQ joint, the bones of the space remain intact but the guts have been ripped out. Chef David Barzelay finally found a permanent space for his pop-up dinner party, Lazy Bear. The decor is casual but classy - plaid blankets, fur rugs, wood tables and an all-American vibe. Lazy Bear's space feels immense but the two seatings a night (Thurs - Mon, 6:15 and 8:15) only holds a max of 40 diners. The first two weeks sold out in an hour and crashed the ticketing system. I happily scored a ticket through friends, @jonnaro and @charkattack. Cost is $120 per person with 20% gratuity, beverage pairings are an extra $60-80. There's an a la carte list of cocktails or you can BYOB. Our party did the pairing AND had our own bottle of wine. Cuz we are FUN.
Dinner began in the upstairs mezzanine, the former dining tables replaced with a Tahoe cabin feel though not quite Aspen ski lodge decor. Try getting there early to snag one of the comfy couches. The kitchen serves appetizers along with a punch made by bar manager Brandon Presbury (Bartlett Hall, Locanda). Delish, we loved the Shigoku oyster in tomato water consommé and whipped "scrambled" eggs with bacon oil and hot sauce.
After a series of small dishes, we were seated below at the communal tables. The kitchen is open and the chefs encourage you to walk up and see the work in progress. They also talk you through the inspiration and preparation of each dish. So good! We were particularly woo'd by the desserts from former AQ pastry chef, Maya Erickson. Light yet complex desserts that leave you wanting more. The koji rice pudding with matcha was out of this world and a good palate cleanser for the next few rounds of sweets.
I'm looking forward to coming back when the seasons change. And my wallet recovers a bit. Hopefully Maya will still be there to sign my menu again ;)