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Annual SF/Berkeley trip to eat - 2 Questions

spicegirrl Nov 19, 2012 11:41 AM

Fellow Chow-hounders, Thanks in advance for your responses.

1. Have reso's at Benu for the Friday after Thanksgiving and worried that the Chef will be out, pantry will be spare and will have a less than stellar experience. Anxiety mostly driven by the ease of landing a reso. :-) Thoughts?

2. Used to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the spicy Dungeness at Mama-lan's in Berkeley which has since closed. Any alternatives to recommend for spicy Vietnamese style crab?

  1. Robert Lauriston Nov 19, 2012 12:06 PM

    It's never hard to get a reservation at Benu.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      CarrieWas218 Nov 19, 2012 12:43 PM

      What Robert said. Benu is not French Laundry and, having dined there a number of times (mostly unimpressed, actually), I seriously doubt the pantry will be bare.

      Even though I don't care for it, they are a class act and won't serve less than there very best.

      1. re: CarrieWas218
        vincentlo Nov 20, 2012 04:01 PM

        I was very impressed at my only visit to Benu last summer, and I told my sister that they were going to get 2 Michelin stars right off the bat. My sister was visiting me from Hong Kong then; she thought there were too many Asian influences in the dishes and they would only get 1 star. I told her these many Asian influences are really uncommon in high-end restaurants (except perhaps Japanese influences) here in the States. Guess who was right at the end? ;-)

        1. re: vincentlo
          jaiko Nov 22, 2012 04:26 AM

          yes, but that may say more about Michelin's food critics than about Benu!

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