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“Benu "hospitality"” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Benu

Benu
22 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA (SoMa)
415.685.4860
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Ranked #148 of 5,102 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $50 - $50
Cuisines: French, Asian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: SoMa
Cross street: Howard
San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Benu "hospitality"”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

I live down the street from Benu and hadn't eaten there yet, but what I like to share with the TripAdvisor audience is a personal experience that might be indicative of the type of attitude that Benu-goers might experience (perhaps, in a different form). Anyways, today, my wife and I were waking by the restaurant and were attracted by its front-entrance/garden. (Btw, it's really nice and inviting.) It was around 4pm in the afternoon, and the restaurant still didn't open for business, and the garden was completely empty. The moment the two of us stepped in the empty garden (eager to admire it), a guy in kitchen attire stepped out and asked us to leave because "it is a private property". Just like that, no "sorry" no "please come visit us", nothing. Made us feel like trespassers, unworthy of their very presence. Will never go to that place, that's for sure.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    72
    20
    8
    6
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Unique restaurant, understated and one of the best. ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013 via mobile

We had the a la carte which is perhaps blasphemous given this restaurant has a 180$ tasting menu. But it was perfect for us and good value considering. Waiting staff were very knowledgeable. Venue is perhaps a bit drab and understated but in some ways that adds to the style. Ps, adapted foods for dietary requirements which was impressive.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Palo Alto, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Truly one of the greatest, most innovative meals”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

You can tell the chef used to work at French Laundry! But it is more creative. Truly amazing meal. One of the best restaurants in the country. It is a tasting menu. Everyone in the restaurant eats the same 18 (the night we were there) course meal. Many courses are just one bite so you leave full but not stuffed. VERY EXPENSIVE! Definitely a splurge but very worthwhile. Imaginative and delicious!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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San Francisco, California, United States
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“A disgrace to San Francisco! Simply the ultimate insult to food!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

The emperor has no clothes........if you think this place has great food you simply need to be locked up and sent to the funny farm! These folks insult food in such high fashion it is laughable to the point of tears...........one ponders how pompous a human being could so become to take food to such high levels of insult........a disgrace to fine dining and a disgrace to San Francisco! Perhaps they should poke a stick in your eye as you leave to make the night complete!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Fantastic, innovative food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

My husband and I took friends to Benu. My husband is a slightly picky eater who doesn't like red meat or offal, our friends and I are quite adventurous eaters. We all had very delicious meals, and the wine list was very good. A quite good amuse-bouche was brought from the kitchen, then I started with a delicious abalone dish. Next, on to an acorn flour based pasta with Iberico ham shavings. Delicious. My husband had a beautifully prepared salmon. Deserts were lovely, flavorful, and not overly sweet.

There was a very interesting looking tasting menu, but none of us chose to have it.

The atmosphere is lovely, and the noise level is low to moderate. The food is moderate to high priced, and worth it for the quality of the ingredients, presentation and preparation.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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