Michelin, the formidable French ranking system, is known for its often staid approach to fine dining, with traditional-leaning restaurants earning stars more regularly. This year, Lazy Bear seems to have disrupted that trope as it earns two stars for the laid-back, communal dining style that has helped establish its reputation.
The restaurant from chef/owner David Barzelay opened to critical acclaim in 2014, and earned its first star in 2015. The format is an open kitchen, with two large communal tables in the dining room; guests are encouraged to mingle and interact with the kitchen during service, a trait that certainly sets it apart from fellow two star spots like Acquarello and Coi, where buttoned-up service and separate kitchens set the scene. Barzelay has won points with the SF’s fine dining crowd by offering a lively, dinner party atmosphere backed up by modern American fare that is both intricately executed and approachable.
Barzelay also recently announced a collaboration with bar director/partner Nicolas Torres, a low-key cocktail-focused spot with food, just around the corner from Lazy Bear.