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“Simply the best!! Two thumb up!!”
Review of Benu

Benu
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Ranked #366 of 5,712 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $50
Cuisines: Asian, French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: SoMa
Cross street: Howard
Incheon, South Korea
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
“Simply the best!! Two thumb up!!”
Reviewed October 27, 2012 via mobile

I visited this wonderful restaurent yesterday. We experienced the most fantastic tastes we've ever made. In my opinion, this place deserve more than 3 stars if possible.

Helpful?
Thank Jeong-Seop L
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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202 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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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
California
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Excellent food and experience of culinary delight..”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

The creative fix prix menu has many Asian influences all very uniquely prepared. Amazingly flavored throughout all dishes, this is a not to miss if in SF.

the service was exceptional and among the best!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank vg247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sliema, Malta
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Best dining experience in San Fran!”
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Having traveled for 2 weeks around California we decided to spend our last meal of our trip at this restaurant based on the recommendation of a travel guide. We are all big foodies and have great expectations of every meal we eat out - this dinner was definitely among the top 3 meals of my life. The ambiance of the restaurant is elegant yet not pretentious and its friendly staff makes you feel very comfortable. We went for the a-la-cart menu and each had 3 courses comprising pasta, fish and a meat dish which all were cooked to perfection. An absolute must for any foodie!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
269 reviews
207 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Epic, rare, divine.”
Reviewed August 21, 2012

I am happy to say you don't need my take on this. You get why you are considering it, why you are here reading.... you don't need critique so much as something to excite and tittilate or inform. I will relate a couple minor thoughts, and simply list the tasting menu. It's $160 per person. It was 16 courses. Everything was exceptional. It's Cory, It's Yoon, it's Marc (the floor manager). Full disclosure.. we are good friends with Marc.

The evening:

I) A take on "thousand year old quail egg" with homemade tofu, chrysanthemum, black moss. (simply epic)

II) crisp with caviar, bone marrow, and lobster (the bone marrow was delicious, but it always overwhelms me. It's musty notes sat on my palette for a bit)

III) sea urchin, hot and cold vichyssoise, black truffle (a brilliant soup that was rich and complex.

IV) eel, feuille de brick, creme fraiche, lime (this was almost like a fancy taquito... if you pardon the expression. It was epic... salty but almost infused perfectly throughout the crisp)

V) oyster, cabbage, pork belly, fermented pepper (this was a highlight... the fermented pepper was a reduced kimchee style gelee covering the oyster/pork belly combo. I can't explain how amazing the delicate balance and nuance of flavors rolled over the pallette. Simply mind blowing)

VI) foie gras xiao long boa (brilliantly presented as a shumai dumpling. It's a one bite affair, as it explodes in your mouth and is delicate but deep.... it was amazing, and I could order plates of it)

VII) Sake lees, bottarga, mountain yam, yuzu - it wasn't explained to us very well... it was almost a molecular with a foam. A cold cream, it was a palette cleanser and light, delicate intermezzo (I guess)

VIII) Abalone Grenobloise - almost like a fried calamari, delicate, perfectly cooked... tender and melts in your mouth.

IX) first of the spring vegetables, dashi, parmesan - think of Cory walking into grapes of wrath, finding the first sprouts, and bringing them to you. This was presented as a light soup with a very subtle chicken broth. Mushrooms, asparagus, and more.. this was a stunning delight.

X) Monkfish liver torchon, turnip, apple, mustard, brioche - quite like a pate. The mini turnips were a delight. I think's it's a testament to who I am, as well as the restaurant, that I ate the one I shot across the room which landed on the carpet. I wiped it off and popped it in the maw. I can't waste an experience like this. I likely shouldn't have typed that.

XI) Fresh noodles, shrimp roe, tarragon, chicken jus - The pasta was so epic it was easily paired with a red. That's the kind of night I had. I can't even tell you.... I think the magnanimosity of the event is highlighted with the fact that I rarely use OMG.

XII) "shark's fin" soup, dungeness crab, Jinhua ham, black truffle custard - this is a play on shark's fin that took 9 months to create. He made a noodle that represents the flavor and consistency of shark's fin without actually being unsustainable. At the end of the night Cory let us tour the kitchen, and we got to talk to him a bit. What a humble sweet gent. What's more, you could tape two of him together and he wouldn't be as big as me. It was so funny to talk to this giant as a I dwarfed him with my inconsequence. Enjoy the video! http://www.youtube.com/w… Tremendous how he can take politically charged concepts and sensitively update them. I haven't seen thought go into food, like this, for a long time. He dances with the molecular nonsense, but without being gimmicky or too inaccessible. It's such a delicate dance between asian, fusion, molecular, etc.

XIII) beef braised in pear, endive, date, watercress - straightforward, and a delight because you can see how cooking something different than you might normally choose can enhance and develop the depth of flavor in the meat. The flavors were incredible, and bolstered the delicate cut. It was small... but so filling with robust depth? Is that okay to sound that dorky?

XIV) Rhubarb, Cucumber, white sesame - Another palette cleanser, this was a cucumber gelato with a sesame custard/foam and rhubarb jelly.

XV) Banana ice cream, burnt acorn brownie, ginger - delicate, light, and stunning.

XVI) chocolates truffle selection

Also... Yoon Ha? I went cuckoo for the guy and was actually star struck throughout the meal. We had a chateau doisy daene 2005 barsac deuxieme cru that was.... I can't explain it. I am fairly confident it was the most interesting and enjoyable bottle of wine I have ever had in my life. Herb de Provence in my face.... lavender, sage, even basil.... so refined and delicate. I can't explain what it did to me, but it's on my pallette even this AM. Wow.

I don't have space to list all our pairings, but go with an open mind and trust him.

I want to write about this forever.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank OnlineConcierge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“One of the best”
Reviewed August 18, 2012

The tasting menu is superb. Of 18 courses I found 16 to be exceptional. The other 2 were just very good. The wine pairing is surprising an absolutely worthwhile.
Service is very knowledgeable and unpretentious. The sommelier is fantastic.
A meal to remember. Just like the bill.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Marcoce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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