Corey Lee in the Benu kitchen

Why Eater's Bill Addison loves Benu

Eater’s undercover restaurant editor praises Corey Lee’s brilliantly inventive San Francisco restaurant

Bill Addison, Eater.com’s roving restaurant editor, spends three weeks out of every month on the road in the US, “hitting everything from pizza in Phoenix to street food in Miami to decadent, dozen-course tasting menus in San Francisco,” the site explains.

Addison assembles these varied dining experiences into The National Eater 38, an unranked list of places that he has deemed a vital or essential part of the gastronomic body politic. 

It’s a fascinating collection, which includes Michelin starred restaurants and strip-mall fried-chicken places. The reviews are always worth reading, even if you’re unlikely to book a table at New York’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, or Alinea in Chicago, because Addison always offers local context and character. 

 

Sea cucumber, as served at Benu
Sea cucumber, as served at Benu

He talks through his work and life on the road in the latest Eater Upsell podcast, and, we’re happy to report, singles out a few of his favourite restaurants, including chef Corey Lee’s restaurant Benu.

“Corey Lee was the chef de cuisine at the French Laundry,” Addison explains. “He worked with that company for almost a decade, and now he does these beautiful tasting menus that really bring in the flavours of Korea and China. He's Korean by birth, and some beautiful, wonderful, weird things, sea cucumber and tofu for dessert, and all these things that don't seem like it would all work, but it does.”

 

 

Nicely put, Bill. For more on Benu and its brilliant founder, get Corey Lee’s book here; for more footloose restaurant advice, consider Where Chefs Eat; and for more from Bill listen to the full podcast above.