Chef Ronald “Ron” Hsu and his siblings Howard and Anita (owners of Sweet Auburn BBQ) will open their new restaurant Lazy Betty by the end of the year. The restaurant, located next door to Sweet Auburn BBQ, will take over where Soul Vegetarian No. 2 operates now in Poncey-Highland.
The family owns the building that houses both restaurants. According to Howard Hsu, Soul Vegetarian did not renew their lease this year.
Aaron Phillips is on board as Lazy Betty’s chef de cuisine-partner. He and Hsu met while working at Le Bernardin. Phillips most recently worked as a cook at Atlas in the St. Regis Hotel-Buckhead.
Lazy Betty will seat 37 people in its dining room with banquette seating and a five-seat chef’s counter.
Hsu and Phillips host preview pop-ups twice a month at The Poncey-Highland Cafe & Coffeehouse located next to the Highland Inn. The menu changes monthly. The dinners will continue until Lazy Betty opens.
Past dishes on the pop-up menu included charred Spanish octopus, roasted duck magret, turnip cakes and five-spiced jus, and eggplant, shiso blooms, and stracciatella.
Scheduled dates for the Lazy Betty dinners are Sunday, June 24, Wednesday, June 27, Sunday, July 29, Wednesday, August 1, Sunday, August 26, and Wednesday, August 29.
In an interview with Eater Atlanta in March, chef Ron Hsu said Lazy Betty’s menu would be comprised of three tasting menus. Both the vegetarian menu and the “Lazy Betty” (a mix of meat and seafood) are six courses each. The nine-course chef’s tasting menu will include extravagant dishes such as foie gras, lobster, and sea urchin. Hsu is incorporating his Malaysian-Chinese roots, world travels, and decade-long New York City kitchen stints working for chefs like Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin, into the dishes at Lazy Betty.
“The food at Lazy Betty is Ronald’s journey as a chef with some Southern and Asian influences, because it’s who he is, and who we are as a family,” Howard Hsu says.
Their mother grew up in Malaysia but is originally from China. Betty Hsu came to the United States in the 1960s. Lazy Betty is named for her, but the siblings say she is far from lazy: Betty Hsu owned and operated several Chinese restaurants with her husband George.