San Francisco, CA 94105
SF Weekly's Description
At Benu, former French Laundry chef de cuisine Corey Lee is developing a distinct language, both visual and culinary, within the conventions of haute cuisine. The luxury the room cultivates - stark, serene - is the feel of a shopping spree at Roche Bobois rather than a San Francisco Opera fundraiser. Lee's food, too, is in direct dialogue with San Francisco hip in its mix of of molecular gastronomy techniques, its farm-to-table ethos, and its blending of Asian, American, and European flavors. A la carte dishes at this SOMA restaurant, for example, include a rigatoni with oxtail, red wine, and sea cucumber, chosen for its gelatinous snap; the 12-course tasting meal segues from faux shark's fin soup to beef rib cap with matsutake mushrooms and Asian pear. Has he attained the perfection expected of four-star restaurants? Not yet. Will he? In all probability, given time to let his vision mature.
Tips from foursquare
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.
7x7's Big Eat 2012 says the faux shark's fin soup is delicious. Yum!
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!
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.
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]
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