"Everyone seems to want an invite" to the "dinner party" that is Lazy Bear, and that will only become more so now that His Bauerness has dropped a staggering 3.5 stars on the Mission newcomer in just its third month on the scene. To put that in perspective, State Bird Provisions didn't secure 3.5 stars until it had been open for a year and a half (it originally got 2.5 stars before its expansion), and the 3.5-star ranking puts Lazy Bear in the rarefied company of Acquerello, Gary Danko, Michael Mina, Aziza, and Spruce, all of which hold one or two Michelin stars. Come Michelin Madness time next year, David Barzelay and his team could very well be in their company. (Here's some proof on that score.)
So what sparked the love affair between Bauer and the Bear? For starters, "Barzelay isn't an amateur—he's a talented chef who can stand tall with the best." (Considering the former lawyer has no formal culinary training, that's definitely high praise.) Bauer particularly loved "memorable" crab in seafood broth, a "perfect" pork loin with kuri squash puree, and "intense" matsutake mushroom soup. Maya Erickson's desserts also get a shout, particularly a pumpkin ice cream with cocoa nibs, coffee and chicory gelee, and tobacco that "sounds as if it would fail but doesn't." Even the newfangled atmosphere doesn't get him down: "Even if you don't like communal tables, you can't help but participate, because the meal really does feel like a dinner party." A dinner party to which you have to buy tickets, of course—which are likely to be in even shorter supply now that this rave is out.