Lazy Betty

Lazy Betty is a modern and innovative restaurant inspired by its community, guided by exquisite ingredients and a thoughtful approach where every part contributes to the whole. The upscale yet relaxed space features an open kitchen concept and generous bar, allowing guests to observe Chefs Ron and Aaron in action. Eclectic design choices include live edge tables, limewashed brick, a rusticated concrete floor, textural wall tile, and custom furniture pieces. Thoughtful details including cozy throws and soft accent pillows add to the intimate feel. Together, these elements set the stage for an innovative menu and extraordinary dining experience.

Design Challenge

Chef Ron Hsu with the backing of his siblings Howard and Anita Hsu, envisioned creating an atmosphere that would honor their mother (Betty) by welcoming guests to dine at a leisurely pace as if at the house of a friend while enjoying refined dished with intentionality and finesse. The program needed to include seating for small parties with the intention for intimate gatherings as well as a large bar with open and direct access to the chefs so the guests could feel as though they were invited to the kitchen table. An overall warmth with simple moments of modernity and touches of comfort were the goal of the aesthetic. Originally designed for another location, budget and urgency provided another open door and the design quickly became adopted into a new 2,500 square foot home. The bones of the space allowed for less interior construction but more need for quick cosmetic solutions. Community and comfort defined the design solutions for Lazy Betty. The guest enters the space and is immediately facing the view of the kitchen with the smells and sounds it entails – a welcoming hello. Guests can either sit in this front area of the restaurant for a chef’s table experience or they can choose a more intimate option in the back of the restaurant. Every detail of the guest experience was given consideration towards comfort and convenience including the oversized seating, pillows along the banquette, eased live edge tables, and lush throws along the chairs. The palette itself was a reflection of the neighborhood with bits of eclectic charm woven alongside warm wood tones and white but rustic limed brick. Antiqued and bronzed accents provide a deceiving age to the new space, making it feel timeless and well loved. Local artists were engaged to accent the dining areas and greenery throughout provides a cozy reminder of home.

Physical Context

Entering the design of the project, “Come together, eat well, and live unhurried” was adopted as the restaurant’s tagline. Engaging with Chef Ron brought about an intentional approach to the program and details of the space. We aimed for the local community to find its reflection in the design rather that feel it was a stranger moving onto the block. The guest should feel as though they are entering directly into the side door of a friend’s kitchen. Chef Ron wanted to be sure the guest would have the option to see every move he made or simply be served and offered a place to retreat. The guest should be enveloped with comfort no matter where they are seated in the dining rooms surrounded by a palette of warmth and refinement. The restaurant was recently named a finalist for the James Beard ‘Restaurant of the Year’ Award—One of the highest honors in the culinary industry.