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Benu

Benu

New American Restaurant and Asian Restaurant$$$$
SoMa, San Francisco
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8.2/10
191
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87 Tips and reviews
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  • tasting menu
  • good for dates
  • fancy
  • corey lee
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  • Eater
    EaterMarch 16, 2016
    Looking to Korea and to China for inspiration, Lee’s progression of courses might start with a brilliant dish like winter melon soup with caviar and gold leaf, and spin off into another realm. Read more
  • Eater
    EaterAugust 15, 2014
    Bill Addison's review: "A beggar's purse of "treasures from the oak," marrying acorn flour and a filling of Iberico ham from pigs that were fed acorns and truffles that grow under oak trees. Genius!" Read more
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureNovember 30, 2012
    French Laundry alum Corey Lee creates dishes reflecting both his Asian heritage and personal obsessions. A bowl of wild-salmon roe with puffed buckwheat is one of 18 courses on the $180 tasting menu.
  • Eater
    EaterJanuary 18
    A unique mix of East and West flavors bring Corey Lee's French technique, California produce, and Korean heritage into focus, with dishes like foie gras xiao long bao. Read more
  • Kelly W.
    Kelly WongOctober 18, 2014
    Great service, great food, great wine pairing! Also found out Benu tracks which dishes you have tried so they create something new for you to experience every time!
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureSeptember 27, 2013
    At the clean-lined Benu, in SoMa, every detail is carefully considered, from the porcelain tableware to the Eastern-inspired chef’s tasting menu (a 1,000-year-old quail egg; salt-and-pepper squid).
  • Eater
    EaterJuly 30, 2012
    Lee masterfully blends myriad influences into a cuisine that transcends cultural boundaries, and sommelier Yoon Ha's insane pairing suggestions complete the entire experience. [Eater 38 Member]
  • Epicurious
    EpicuriousAugust 3, 2014
    Lee's exquisitely designed Asian-inflected tableware frames each dish: his famous lobster xiao long bao; a faux-shark-fin soup poured over black truffle custard; his spin on Peking duck. Read more
  • SFGate
    SFGateAugust 2, 2014
    Every night they create a 17-course fixed-price menu ($180); a la carte dishes are also offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Read more
  • SFGate
    SFGateAugust 2, 2014
    At Benu, a big part of the experience is not only the artistry of Lee but also the sheer genius of wine director Yoon Ha. His pairings are masterful Read more
  • Food & Wine
    Food & WineApril 5, 2012
    Chef Corey Lee combines Asian-inspired flavors to create dishes like his must-try faux shark’s-fin soup. He loves to work with unusual ingredients, like pine needles from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Read more
  • Arthur L.
    Arthur LiaoJanuary 30, 2016
    Flavors are nuanced and may be confusing if you are not familiar with Chinese and Korean cuisine. Execution is perfect, service friendly, wine pairings perfect. Truly brilliant and one of a kind.
  • Eater
    EaterJanuary 14, 2016
    Benu has made Eater's Essential American Restaurants List for the second time in a row, which secures it as the one must-try fine dining restaurant in SF. Read more
  • Fiona S.
    Fiona SJune 13, 2013
    The tasting menu: a $180 spiritual experience. Everything was prepared with such creativity, thoughtfulness and consideration; porcelain custom made for the food.
  • Hamilton G.
    Hamilton GutierrezAugust 29, 2012
    Salt and pepper squid or chicharron de calamar aka fried squid rinds!!! I know it sounds odd and it is delicious! It is squid ink and pulverized squid made into fried rinds like chips.
  • Daniel B.
    Daniel BouludJuly 30, 2014
    The ultimate tasting menu experience. The food here is beautiful. Highlights for me were the thousand year old egg, oyster with pork belly and kimchi, xo sausage and “shark fin soup”.
  • Visit Napa Valley
    Visit Napa ValleyNovember 3, 2011
    Follow the stars! The Michelin Stars that is and head up to The Napa Valley where you will find 17 Michelin Star Restaurants including 3 star award winning French Laundry and Meadowood Resort.
  • Wilson F.
    Wilson Favre-DelerueFebruary 2, 2016
    Summits of creativity, especially in the signature 10+ starter dishes. Flavours ranging from exceptional to decent. Be prepared for a very large tab not inclusive of wine but with 20% service charge.
  • Eater
    EaterJanuary 19
    Corey Lee’s unique, eloquent, and lavish bridging of East and West cuisines is in itself a reason to visit the Bay Area. Read more
  • caroline w.
    caroline wAugust 22, 2011
    The tasting menu is divine. Try getting a reservation at 6 pm rather than 8 pm (it is a 16-course menu!). Tasting takes about 4 hours and is more enjoyable when it ends at 10 rather than midnight.
  • Enrout
    EnroutSeptember 24, 2011
    The tasting menu is now $180 and worth every penny. The kimchee oyster pork belly, the salmon roe with buckwheat, and the foie grois xiao long bao are fantastic. www.enrout.com
  • Nicole C.
    Nicole ChungApril 22, 2015
    Unique and interesting flavors that you will not be able to taste anywhere else. Carries Keplinger wine. 🍷 Ask for the tour of the kitchen after your meal!
  • Michelin Travel & Lifestyle
    Get the tasting menu for Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and French influences in harmony. Try monkfish liver + pumpkin tofu. – Green Guide Editor
  • The Feast
    The FeastJune 13, 2011
    Everything about this new temple to fine dining is part of a larger theatrical experience, from the custom-designed utensils, plates, and bowls to the intricately-plated food. Read more
  • Odile R.
    Odile RoujolJune 26, 2016
    3 etoiles michelin. Best chef ! Inspiration corée chine france. Table incontournable à SF
  • Jess C.
    Jess CliftonSeptember 18, 2011
    The lobster was amazing. As was the beef. Both from the main menu. Portions are small, so plan for two apps, one pasta (to share), two entrees & two desserts.
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 5, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Beef braised in pear, endive, date and watercress - Item 13 of Benu's tasting menu.The beef was cooked "en sous vide" making it very tender but keeping the velvety intramuscular fat. Lusci
  • @JaumePrimero
    @JaumePrimeroAugust 15, 2011
    everyone in the SF bay area needs to pay a visit to this restaurant. Receiving rave reviews from friends I know in the restaurant industry. Worth every penny.
  • Susan H.
    Susan HobbsAugust 7, 2011
    Attention to detail at Benu is fantastic. Food is amazing and the presentation if fabulous. Cosmic music box birthday cake, FTW! Also, save room for the end of meal puzzle box chocolates.
  • Siv
    SivMay 26, 2011
    The tasting menu with the wine pairing was amazing! Definitely a great spot for a classy and fun birthday dinner. Best way to kick off a new year!
  • Rod B.
    Rod BannerFebruary 7, 2013
    The water glasses are totally sublime. Thin and elegant. As with the best in humanity. #thinspo
  • Bloompy B.
    Bloompy BonvivantMarch 12, 2014
    Heavenly food, set in a minimalist decor and calming ambience, and an impeccable service.
  • Bon Appetit Magazine
    Bon Appetit MagazineMarch 30, 2011
    To try: Mock shark's fin soup with Dungeness crabmeat and black truffle custard is set inside a pork stock made from a rare Chinese prosciutto. Yum! Read more
  • Sherry L.
    Sherry LiMarch 17, 2015
    $228 for tasting menu. Wine pairing is flexible based on how much you want to drink.
  • Stacy
    StacyApril 25, 2015
    The service make you in heaven! I like all the staff there! Food are good but somewhat average for a three stars.
  • cyn k.
    cyn kMarch 27, 2014
    They did the most amazing "pork cooked like ham" that I've ever had. It was like bacon in every bite without the fat.
  • Yaron Z.
    Yaron Zakai-OrDecember 27, 2015
    This is exceptionally great food. The complexity and balanced food is felt in every bite. Nothing falls short of great.
  • Bon Appetit Magazine
    Bon Appetit MagazineDecember 20, 2010
    After eight years at The French Laundry, Corey Lee finally gets the spotlight. At his SOMA-district jewel box, everything is well sourced—from the porcelain to the $160 tasting menu. Read more
  • Eric F.
    Eric FloydFebruary 11, 2011
    Tasting menu was fantastic, wine list was exceptional with nice selections even in the moderate price range. Great wines by the glass as well!
  • TripExpert
    TripExpertMay 19, 2015
    Travel + Leisure, one of our professional reviewers, says, "A bowl of wild-salmon roe with puffed buckwheat conjures taste memories of cold soba." Read more
  • Norma R.
    Norma RMay 6, 2015
    Amazing tasting menu. Highlights were the thousand year old egg, foie gras Xiao long bao, shaved milk
  • natalie l.
    natalie l.January 16, 2013
    Definitely take a moment to peek in through the kitchen window from the sidewalk outside. Love to see how it all comes together!
  • SF Weekly
    SF WeeklyMay 6, 2013
    SF Weekly’s Best Of 2012 Winner – Editorial Pick - Best California Cuisine. Twenty years ago, Benu would have been described as an Asian fusion... Read more
  • Julie T.
    Julie TsaiMay 13, 2014
    It's a tasting menu- you may not have a choice. But, sea bream was delicious and quail was very tasty.
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 5, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the first of the spring vegetables, dashi, parmesan - Item 9 of Benu's tasting menu.Indeed a reminder of spring. Light and fresh.
  • Condé Nast Traveler
    Condé Nast TravelerApril 21, 2011
    The $160 tasting menu is worth every penny (entrées, $24-$40). Also: Try the faux shark's fin soup with truffle custard.
  • Bradley L.
    Bradley LeimerFebruary 17, 2013
    Wine pairing was exceptional but pricey at $150. Meal was excellent but also recommend Coi as an alternative.
  • Gilt City
    Gilt CityFebruary 4, 2011
    Head to Hawthorne Lane on March 17: the restaurant’s Head Sommelier, Yoon Ha, will be orchestrating an opulent nine-course dinner for twelve lucky guests in the private gallery.
  • Enrout
    EnroutSeptember 24, 2011
    The conch dish is one of the most beautiful plates you will ever feast your eyes and taste buds on. www.enrout.com
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 5, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Monkfish Liver Torchon, Apple Relish,Turnip, Ramps, Sorrel, Mustard, Brioche - Item 10 of Benu's tasting menu.The foie gras of the sea served with one of Earth's loviest buttery brioche. Y
  • Sophyan J.
    Sophyan JulioFebruary 24, 2015
    Loved the faux sharkskin soup and dessert. Skip the wine pairing if sweeter wine isn't your thing.
  • Gretchen S.
    Gretchen SchrammMarch 3, 2016
    Incredible tasting menu and wine pairing. The lobster soup dumplings were my favorite!!
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 4, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Thousand year old quail egg - Gelatinized eggy goodness balanced by the fresh, pickled ginger. First bite!
  • Omer Z.
    Omer ZachJune 12, 2015
    The oyster, pork belly, kimchi course blew my mind.
  • Claudine C.
    Claudine CoAugust 12, 2010
    Leave some time if you're going for the tasting menu - it takes 3+ hours to get through it.
  • Jessica C.
    Jessica ChanSeptember 20, 2011
    get the tasting menu for a true dining experience - it's art + food combined.
  • Mike C.
    Mike CJanuary 20, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Hands down my favorite restaurant! $$$$ but it's the ultimate dining experience!
  • Condé Nast Traveler
    Condé Nast TravelerOctober 19, 2016
    Corey Lee's menu commands attention.” - Myffy Rigby, editor of Fairfax Media’s Good Food Guides Read more
  • Aurora Y.
    Aurora YoungOctober 30, 2015
    Love benu! Def one of my favorite restaurants in sf.
  • Brian
    BrianJanuary 24, 2012
    7x7's Big Eat 2012 says the faux shark's fin soup is delicious. Yum!
  • Anton S.
    Anton ShusterFebruary 11, 2013
    Lobster xiao long bao are on 7x7's Big Eat 2013.
  • Yoko
    YokoFebruary 4, 2012
    expect to be dining at least for 3 hours if you do tasting menu
  • Odile R.
    Odile RoujolJune 26, 2016
    Tasting menu. Unique experience
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 5, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the banana ice cream, burnt acorn, ginger - Item 15 of Benu's tasting menu.
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 5, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Sea urchin, hot and cold vichyssoise, black truffle
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 4, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Caviar, bone marrow, lobster - Dehydrated lobster cracker, diced bone marrow, caviar and specs of gold.
  • Ted C.
    Ted ConnJanuary 1, 2014
    Wine pairing is way more bang for the buck.
  • Ardielyn F.
    Ardielyn FelicianoApril 9, 2012
    Amazing food. Music was nice too.
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 6, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Capuccino - Made by the barista, my classmate/friend Chris! :)
  • Jenny Y.
    Jenny YoonSeptember 26, 2010
    Tasting menu was good except for the "Eight Treasure Duck." The wine pairing is pretty pricey.
  • Scott M.
    Scott MonsonAugust 14, 2011
    Wow! What an amazing dinner. We will definitely return.
  • Yaron Z.
    Yaron Zakai-OrDecember 27, 2015
    Perfection
  • Fatima
    FatimaNovember 2, 2012
    YUM. Everything is amazing!
  • Odile R.
    Odile RoujolJune 26, 2016
    Tasting menu
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedAugust 22, 2014
    David Kinch, chef of Manresa, eats here on his nights off. He loves the Tasting menu. Read more
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 5, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Birthday cake - Complimentary birthday cake! :D Happy birthday to me! :)
  • Foodspotting
    FoodspottingDecember 4, 2010
    Try the Sea Urchin Risotto
  • Joel A.
    Joel AntipuestoJanuary 29, 2013
    Lobster xiao long bao
  • Tani Y.
    Tani YeeMay 2, 2016
    Tasting menu only
  • Andy S.
    Andy StevensDecember 9, 2011
    Be careful if you ask them to order you a taxi - they put you in an overpriced "limo" for a $40 flat fee!
  • Simoun U.
    Simoun UngJune 2, 2015
    Only open for dinner
  • Beau H.
    Beau HaleOctober 27, 2012
    74. Faux shark’s fin soup
  • La Dolce Vita
    La Dolce VitaDecember 21, 2011
    Three Michelin stars.
  • James G.
    James GuigayomaSeptember 24, 2010
    Tasting menus are for the entire table only?
  • Foodspotting
    FoodspottingNovember 18, 2010
    Try the Salad Emmanuelle
  • Hugo B.
    Hugo BarraFebruary 17, 2013
    Zagat 27, recommended by SF Magazine
  • Seung-yong J.
    Seung-yong JiMay 23, 2013
    한국인 오너셰프 이동민 (KBS1 글로벌 성공시대)
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