After months of recon, one takeout rule holds true: When it comes to delivery-friendly foods, pizza and Chinese still reign.
Enter Lazy Susan, the Chinese-American restaurant that seemed to pop up in Hayes Valley overnight, with a former Mister Jiu's sous chef churning out bowls of chewy chow mein noodles and steaming platters of orange chicken that was still crunchy upon arrival at our doorstep.
When San Francisco's performing arts eventually do reopen IRL, Lazy Susan, on Fell Street near the corner of Franklin, will be ideally situated for quick dinners pre-show in the vicinity of Civic Center. Until then, consider it a gift from the to-go food gods.
(Photography by Sarah Chorey)
The orange chicken with sun-dried mandarin peels has a gluten-free batter with long-lasting crunch.
The restaurant's offerings are delightfully effortless, intentionally un-fancy, not over-thought. The goal here: to remake classic dishes really, really well. "We designed Lazy Susan to serve favorite Chinese-American dishes without compromising on taste, convenience, and how we live today," says founder Hanson Li.
Li—also the founder of Salt Partners, the same restaurant investment group behind Crenn Dining Group, Horsefeather, and Humphry Slocombe—wanted to create an accessible, dependable, modern version of the 100-year-old iconic cuisine whose dishes are as American, even more so, than Chinese, and have become household staples.
Chef Eric Ehler, whose resumé also includes Luke's Local and Fort Point Beer, was clearly the man for the job: His takes on General Tso's chicken, puffy crab rangoon, and crispy egg rolls are craveable, convenient, and affordable, with all dishes $15 or less. Quaranteams of two to four could easily put together a multi-course dinner for under $50 and still have leftovers.
After just one busy week, word is spreading fast.
"We sold out every night with all guests preordering ahead on our website," says Li, who notes incredible support from the customers ("even those who were not able to order") and the high spirits of the Lazy Susan team. Get in on that.
// Lazy Susan is open for pickup and delivery 5pm to 9:30pm Wednesday through Sunday; 208 Fell St. (Hayes Valley), lazysusanchinese.com.