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Benu

When I was in San Francisco, I managed to score a seat at Benu, the two star Michelin restaurant in the SOMA district. It is headed up by Corey Lee, whose career has seen action in seven 3-star Michelin restaurants in England, France and the U.S. He was also the chef de cuisine at The French Laundry.  The Real Deal.  And, my first Michilen starred restaurant (Next doesn’t count, right?).

As is becoming my custom, I won’t wax poetic.  Just bad camera photos. Enjoy!

The Benu Tasting Menu
Crackas
Close Up Of The Crackers

Thousand Year Quail Egg, Potage, Ginger

Thousand Year Quail Egg, Potage, Ginger

Oyster, Pork Belly, Kimchi

Oyster, Pork Belly, Kimchi

Monkfish Liver, Caviar, Pistachio, Cauliflower, Lemon Jelly, Brioche

Monkfish Liver, Caviar, Pistachio, Cauliflower, Lemon Jelly, Brioche

Eel, Feuille de Brick, Creme Fraiche, Lime

Eel, Feuille de Brick, Creme Fraiche, Lime

Eel Dish Plate

Caramelized Anchovy, Lilly Bulb, Peanut, Pickles

Caramelized Anchovy, Lilly Bulb, Peanut, Pickles

Salt And Pepper Squid

Salt And Pepper Squid

Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao

Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao

Read that again. Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao.  Full on Euro-Asian collision.  And he pulled it off.  That is cool.

Five Tines, Two Stars

Five Tines, Two Stars

Hokkaido Sea Cucumber Stuffed with Shrimp, Cucumber, Onion, Fermented Pepper

Hokkaido Sea Cucumber Stuffed with Shrimp, Cucumber, Onion, Fermented Pepper

Chicken In Two Courses

Chicken In Two Courses

Chicken In Two Courses

Chicken In Two Courses

Japanese Deer Tartare

Japanese Deer Tartare

Beef Braised In Pear

Beef Braised In Pear

"Shark's Fin" Soup

"Shark's Fin" Soup

This wasn’t really shark fin but an artificial creation of his own making. It had great texture and flavor, and if I had had shark fin before, I might say it was a perfect replica.  But I have no idea.

Grapefruit, Espelette, White Chocolate

Grapefruit, Espelette, White Chocolate

Coffee with Sugar

Coffee with Sugar (No, Really, Just Coffee with Sugar)

Acorn-Cranberry Custard

Acorn-Cranberry Custard

Chocolates

Chocolates

And that was that.  But, I saw the table next to me getting some serious VIP service.  The waitress was going person to person, shaving huge chunks of truffle onto their dishes.  I wanted in on the action.  I asked her if I could have some shaved truffle as well.  She left and came back with a little truffle trinket for me to taste.

Truffle Slice

I Be Trufflin' All VIP Style

I asked to go back to the kitchen and meet Chef Lee, which they gladly obliged.  The kitchen hummed away with action, and Chef Lee was very nice and I appreciated him taking a brief moment to speak with me.  The staff was stellar and I had a taste bud blast.

Now if only they had a cookbook so I could do this at home.

Jethro

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