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Benu

/ Restaurant
#1 of 9709 places to eat in San Francisco
ClosedOpens at 17:30
$$$$ Average price: $75-150
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22 Hawthorne St
San Francisco, California, USA
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After a walk around Telephone Pioneers Communication Museum, many visitors stop by this restaurant. Benu may please you with perfectly cooked pottage, fried sausages and black pudding. Trying tasty sesame ice cream, gâteau and cream buns is a nice experience here. This place serves delicious wine, beer or cordial. A lot of visitors order great juice, espresso or ice tea.

At this spot, you can hold any party, whether it's an anniversary, a wedding or a birthday party. The efficient staff at this restaurant can demonstrate how much they appreciate their guests. The fabulous service is something these restaurateurs care about. Attractive prices at Benu are good news for its clients. You will certainly like the spectacular atmosphere and divine decor. It's a three-star Michelin restaurant that is worth a special journey.

Visitors' opinions

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Benu is a shining example of a seamless dining experience that is a product of paying attention to every single detail. Our doubts before we showed up for our 9pm reservation: -Will there be enough food or will we have to go to McDonald's afterwards? -Will the tasting menu be good enough to justify these astronomic prices? -Are we going to get sloshed off these wine pairings? -Are we actually going to eat from 9pm to 12am?? The answer to all these questions is a resounding YES (no need to go to McDonald's afterwards but a late night snack of McNuggets never hurt anyone). The standouts from this meal were the glass noodle and vegetable stuffed mussel, the abalone stuffed chicken wing, inverted crispy skin pork, and barbecued quail. I have no idea how they managed to stuff/wrap/infuse so much flavor into these tiny portions of food, but they did it. Eating each course is subjecting your taste buds to a succession of different experiences in one bite. The dishes are not flashy but elegant and delicate, which mirrors the ambiance of the dining room. We also got the wine pairing, which I think is critical. There was a variety of wines, along with a cider and sparkling sake. They went beautifully which each course, and while I was feeling *quite* good by the end, I wasn't unable to stand.   And yes, the meal duration is around 3 hours. We were sitting there eating "small delicacies" for about an hour. The pacing for the food is amazing; you're waiting just long enough for the taste of the previous course to begin fading to memory but not long enough that you're wondering where the next course is. In addition, the food was heated at just the right temperature so there was no unnecessary blowing required. It seemed like service had rehearsed the steps and timing for the meal multiple times. I'm usually wary of "Asian"-inspired western dining, but I think Benu really transforms Asian dining into something new without losing what makes it special. The price is high, but it's definitely an unforgettable experience.
I've flown for 14+ hours to eat at restaurants like Benu, but for some stupid reason, I've never come to Benu for the simple reason that it is just way too close. I almost ran over Cory Lee with my car when he was crossing the street in full kitchen gear. For some reason, our dog's favorite place to do his daily business is right in front of Benu, and after a year of watching the kitchen staff look on in horror as our dog assumes the position right in front of one of the best restaurants in the world, we took it as a sign that we had to finally get our butts in there once and for all. Atmosphere: Minimalist, almost spartan, because of the square layout, every table feels like it is in a nook and relatively private. The music is eclectic (ever heard Willie Nelson at any other find dining establishment?) and much needed to soften up the mood. Service: Tight. Exactly as you would expect for any 3-star Michelin. Nowhere else do the courses fly at you at such a steady, almost relentless pace. There was never a moment I wondered when they were going to bring the next. The only areas of mild disappointment were that my BF was never asked about his wine preferences for the pairing and that we were not offered a Kitchen tour. That being said, you can see the Kitchen very clearly from the street and glass courtyard door. Food: Innovative, artistic, subtle Asian fusion. The tasting menu had 9 items on it. But this is completely excluding fact that the first "small delicacies" course was actually 9 courses that came with 3 wine pairings. Of those, the century quail egg and oyster/pork belly wrapped in Kimchi were exceptional, and fortunately constants during this season's menu. Even though this is fine dining, its not so stuffy that they didn't thrown in several items that could be considered messy finger food for fun. Everything was pretty tasty, nothing that I didn't want to finish. Small food that are so numerous that we were both stuffed by the end. Damage: $295 pp Tasting menu $210 for one wine pairing 20% automatic gratuity Total: ~$1000 and change for 2 people. Overall: Solid 3-star, mostly for having innovative food and formidable service, but could do just a little more to make their food not just beautiful but also yummy enough to make me drool.
Amazing dinner. Every dish exquisite, every drink pairing was perfect. I've had some of the foods before but never like this. Truly an unforgettable experience.
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Address
22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, California, USA
Features
Сredit cards accepted No Wi-Fi No takeaway Parking Booking No TV Wheelchair accessible
Opening hours
SundaySun Closed
MondayMon Closed
TuesdayTue 17:30-20:30
WednesdayWed 17:30-20:30
ThursdayThu 17:30-20:30
FridayFri 17:30-21:30
SaturdaySat 17:30-21:30

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