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22 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA (SoMa)
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Ranked #293 of 4,947 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Price range: $50 - $50
Tue - Sat 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Cuisines: Asian, French, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: SoMa
Cross street: Howard
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87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
218 reviews 218 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
231 helpful votes 231 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

I'm no foodie but I can appreciate the experience that is dining at Benu. I attended a private event to celebrate friends' wedding anniversary. The seven course meal was sublime. Service was excellent and the wine was perfect. Benu was a perfect venue for this celebration.

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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

The man, the myth, and the legend. If you crave fusion food done creatively, look no further than Benu. Chef Lee has unique talent honed at the French Laundry under the tutelage of his former mentor Thomas Keller. Don't compare Benu to the French Laundry, though, as the experience is highly different. Do go and enjoy each course as a... More

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Atlanta, Georgia
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

...we spent the evening in San Francisco. Looking for a unique dining experience, I was attracted to the previous review for Benu. I was not disappointed. This is one of the all-round best dining experiences I have ever enjoyed. The tasting menu concept was flawlessly executed and the attention to detail, included a phone call prior to our travels to... More

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New York City, New York
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Only a place you want to go if you are in for an engaged dinner with maximum flavors and texture. I love it, but you have to be in the correct mindset.

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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

Visually beautiful and (generally) interesting flavor profiles, each dish is one small bite. While the Asian-influenced, molecular gastronomy-inspired foods are interesting, we didn't feel that the experience deserved its two Michelin stars. With the prix-fixe menu pricing of $195 USD, $150 for beverage pairings (more on that in a moment), a glass of champagne, service, and taxes, the total for... More

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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

We were prepared to be impressed with Benu as we had arranged a private dining event there for an international client of ours in February 2014, which had been very successful. We were not disappointed! My partner has a nut allergy and the set tasting menu was adjusted to accommodate him - the printed personalized menus we were presented with... More

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

18 very special, unique, small tasting treats were accompanied by two bottles of Sancerre recommended by the able Sommelier! The presentation each of the courses was elegant and well spaced. The dishes were unique and well sequenced. Yes, expensive but worth the celebration of a very special occasion. We will be back again and again and again.

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Galloway, New Jersey
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

18 courses of edible art! I could not believe the creativity it took to master each of the courses. It was truly amazing. People may criticize me for taking pictures of my food (including my husband!) but creativity like this must be remembered! If only I could taste this meal again and again. If you have the means to splurge,... More

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

The outside courtyard and entrance were enchanting in downtown SF, but the indoor environment was rather spartan and unadorned….modern & metallic, but sleek. Not that we were disappointed, just not what we expected. We were initially seated next to the serving station, however upon request they graciously moved us to a wonderful, central table for two to celebrate our anniversary.... More

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san francisco
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

I was skeptical upon sitting down; the environment was austere and brought to mind several meals at various haunts that were not particularly enjoyable. It just had the feeling of a conceptual foodie hothouse where everything is certainly interesting but not especially delicious (Manresa and Coi come to mind). But alas, my initial skepticism evaporated as the courses rolled out... More

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