San Francisco restaurant critic Jonathan Kauffman is really, really excited about Corey Lee's newish restaurant Benu, which "has every promise" of achieving perfection. In fact, "[Benu chef] Corey Lee's technique is so exquisite, his sensitivity to aesthetics so acute, that the language he's developing is certain to rival that of Vladimir Nabokov or David Foster Wallace." High praise, indeed!
So what's different between Benu and the San Francisco trailblazers of yore, like, oh, Lee's former workplace, The French Laundry? (Other than the food, of course.) Tablecloths! In a great interview with Kauffman, Lee says people complain about their absence, as well as the lack of flowers: "It's a simple and austere restaurant. Some people can't get past that it doesn't have certain amenities."
Also: Michelin stars. Benu just opened in August so it was not rated in the 2011 Michelin Guide. The French Laundry kept its three stars.
· Corey Lee’s Haute Cuisine at Benu is Almost Flawless [SF Weekly]
· Interview with Benu's Corey Lee [SF Weekly]
· All Corey Lee Coverage on Eater [-E-]
Corey Lee at Benu. [Photo: Eater SF Flickr Pool/Darin Dines]