Housed in a heritage building in the heart of SoMa, a few minutes’ walk from MoMa and other cultural attractions, Benu is one of the world’s rare three-Michelin-star restaurants. Although it has no dress code, no tablecloths, and no stuffy servers, it is unquestionably a luxury culinary adventure, with all that that entails: more courses than you can count, bite-size servings, custom-created porcelain, wine pairings (if desired; there’s an $80 corkage fee if you BYOB), and a $285 charge per person, plus 20% service charge. If you’re a fan of this type of dining, you won’t be disappointed by the culinary wizardry of chef/owner Corey Lee (formerly of the famed French Laundry). Lee’s eclectic menu might include such wildly creative choices as potato salad with anchovy; thousand-year-old quail egg with ginger and nasturtium; monkfish liver on brioche; or salt and pepper squid—none of which look like they sound. Lee excels at daring combinations such as faux shark-fin soup with black truffle custard, or charcoal-grilled lamb belly with quinoa, pear, and sunflower. Plan to spend upwards of 3 hours basking in a top-quality dining experience in minimalist, serene surroundings. Note: Young children not allowed unless they “partake in the tasting menu.”
San Francisco› Restaurant
22 Hawthorne St (at Howard St)
Our Rating Neighborhood SoMa Hours Tues–Sat 5:30–9pm Transportation All Market St. buses, light rail, and streetcars Phone 415/685-4860 Prices Tasting menu $285. Valet parking $20. Cuisine Type Asian Fusion Web site Benu
Map22 Hawthorne St San Francisco
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.