Lazy Bear: Pop-Up Stardom

I didn't know much about Lazy Bear (an anagram of Chef Barzelay) except for a few facts: it was a pop-up in SF, it was highly rated on Yelp with a near-perfect score, and it was extremely hard to get into. I was hooked immediately but was thwarted a few times the past year when trying to get a seat through their lottery system. My most recent failed attempt was for their last dinner in June before they moved operations to their brand new brick and mortar space - the endgame of all pop-ups.

Imagine my delight when Anna came through clutch again with a surprise reservation for October 5 at their two-story space with two long communal tables seating a total of 40 guests per service. She was able to pounce on two tickets on their new system that licensed the software of Alinea's system where diners prepay for tickets in full. which cuts down on cancellations. Despite the whole system crashing due to demand and technical glitches, the first two weeks of dinners were sold out within hours. 

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French Laundry: California Classic

Eating at The French Laundry was a dream come true. My inital exposure to the restaurant occurred a few years ago when I read Grant Achatz’s book, Life, on The Line where he mentions his experience at The French Laundry and the philosophy and ideals espoused by the chef behind it all, Thomas Keller. As one of the first pioneers of the farm-to-table movement that is now commonplace, Keller left his indelible mark in culinary history. My opportunity to dine there was a random occurrence - when I met Anna back in the fall of 2012, she was in the midst of organizing a group to go for private dining and extended an invitation to me.

Fast forward to Sunday, June 2, 2013. The sun was shining, the skies were clear and blue, and a group of us were dressed up like it was prom all over again.

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Quince: All That Glitters Is Gold

For Anna’s birthday dinner a few weeks ago, I took her to Quince, a restaurant located in the in Jackson Square neighborhood of San Francisco. Chef Michael Tusk's menu is French and Italian inspired and sources local ingredients from Northern California. Walking into the restaurant, you couldn’t help but feel at ease. The host made eye contact, smiled, and welcomed us warmly. Coats were taken and we were shown to our table in under a minute.

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