Koi Palace

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3 Bay Area Restaurants Made The "America’s 38 Essential Restaurants" List For 2018

Bradford Hornsby
November 13, 2018 - 10:56 am
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Eater has released their list of America’s 38 Essential Restaurants for 2018.

Three Bay Area restaurant made the cut this year with San Francisco's Benu making the list for their 5th consecutive year along with newcomers Atelier Crenn and Koi Palace

Previously, two local spots (Nyum Bai in Oakland and Che Fico in San Francisco) were named to Bon Appetit's Hot List and San Francisco area was named the #2 Metro for Foodies in the US.

Last year's list featured Benu, Cala, and Mister Jui's.

Here's what Eater had to say about this year's choices.

Atelier Crenn (3125 Fillmore Street, San Francisco) 

Eater says: "With an artist’s sense of constant reinvention, Dominique Crenn has been bending flavors and meditating on design since her flagship restaurant’s 2011 debut. More masterfully than ever, Crenn and her team (including pastry chef Juan Contreras) mine the middle ground between intellect and emotion, between heady presentation and flat-out deliciousness. Crenn focuses the modernist kitchen on seafood and vegetables, using impeccable Bay Area ingredients while musing over her upbringing in Brittany, France, for inspiration. Stunning black-walnut tables, part of the dining room’s 2017 renovation, show off swirling wood grains that resemble turbulent cloud patterns; the effect is mirrored in tableside theatrics like platters of billowing dry ice that soon reveal tiny geoduck tarts."

Monkfish Liver torchon, White Sturgeon caviar, Creme Fraiche disc, Turbot Fumet gelee. Just a glimpse into the experience of dining with us! Follow the link in our bio to book your table for December or January! @dominiquecrenn --: @keroine

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Benu (22 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco) 

Eater says: "No culinary leader in America deserves the honorific of “chef’s chef” more than Corey Lee. Easy labels don’t stick to his visionary cooking. Lee runs three San Francisco restaurants, including the bistro Monsieur Benjamin and In Situ at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but it’s at his flagship where his virtuosic talents most hold sway. Lee was born in Korea, and he most often summons the cuisines of China, Japan, and his native country for his intricate, striking dishes. Lobster coral soup dumplings, mussels stuffed with glass noodles and layered vegetables, a combination of potato salad and caramelized anchovies that recalls two staples of banchan: After thousands of meals consumed for Eater, I don’t know another place in America that serves food more dazzlingly, gratifyingly singular than Benu. Master sommelier Yoon Ha’s beverage pairings keep pace with Lee’s kitchen — another of the restaurant’s near-impossible achievements." 

Koi Palace (365 Gellert Boulevard, Daly City)

Eater says: "Dim sum is among my favorite meals; I took a particularly obsessive deep dive through the Bay Area and greater Los Angeles this past year while researching the Eater Guide to California. A Sunday jaunt to the original Koi Palace (the flagship of its three locations) reminded me why it’s the indispensable cornerstone among the region’s many stellar dim sum options. Once you wade through the chaotic crowds, a euphoric whirlwind of food and service awaits. In a blur of dumplings, noodles, congees, sweet and savory cakes, piled greens, and crisp-skinned meats, a through-line of freshness and craftsmanship gives the feast cohesion. Finish with the last dregs of tea and the custardy fritters called 'Sugar Egg Puffs.'"

This is what Monday brunch should look like!

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For the full list of Essential Restaurants go to Eater.com.