California

San Francisco, CA – State Bird Provisions (America’s Best New Restaurant) – Part 1

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I was in San Francisco during the James Beard Awards in New York and State Bird Provisions was just named “Best New Restaurant”. Well, @$#%. There goes my chances of getting in. It only opened in 2011, but it has already gotten so much hype and media attention.

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Tacos in The Mission: El Gallo Giro Taco Truck & La Taqueria – San Francisco, CA

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First off, there is a lot more to Mexican food than tacos and burritos, but I had to narrow my focus. Not having a taco in The Mission would be like skipping a croissant in Paris, so I committed to tacos on this occasion. A taco sounds like a simple thing, equivalent to the American sandwich, but there are things to consider when “judging” them.

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Authentic Tacos in The Mission: El Gallo Giro Taco Truck in San Francisco, CA

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If you’re looking for authentic Mexican tacos with homestyle recipes then this is the spot. They were no-fuss tacos at extremely affordable prices and they make all the marinades in house. It could get better than this, but I was quite satisfied having this as my one experience for authentic Mexican tacos in the Mission. Mission completed… for now.

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Authentic Tacos & Mexican Food in The Mission District – San Francisco, CA

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Mexican and Central American immigrants settled here in the 1940-1960’s and they introduced the neighbourhood to authentic Mexican and Latin flavours. Nowadays the district has changed and The Mission has become one of the young, hot, hip, “hipster”, and happening food scenes in San Francisco.

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San Francisco, CA – Benu Restaurant (Tasting Menu by Chef Corey Lee) – Part 5

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More often than not I get more excited about a meal and a restaurant when I’m actually in the moment, but in this case it was the opposite. It was a thought provoking meal I appreciated more looking back on it. I did not necessarily remember each course because of how amazing it tasted, but it was the consideration for a concept that had me intrigued.

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San Francisco, CA – Benu Restaurant (Tasting Menu by Chef Corey Lee) – Part 4

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I did not have that toe-curling moment, but the execution, technique and development of each dish was so intense and fine tuned it was admirable. I could almost taste the determination for a third star. The precision, knife skills, and attention to detail at benu I hold high in regard. It wasn’t necessary my favourite movie, but it was mindfully stimulating.

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San Francisco, CA – Benu Restaurant (Tasting Menu by Chef Corey Lee) – Part 3

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Some of the courses were very homestyle Asian dishes while others were a test of skill. An Asian chef could spend a lifetime mastering some of those dishes, so at times it was ambitious but nonetheless dedicated.

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San Francisco, CA – Benu Restaurant (Tasting Menu by Chef Corey Lee) – Part 2

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If you are familiar with Chinese cuisine, or even Asian cuisine, meaning you grew up eating food from these cultures, you will experience and relate to benu’s Tasting Menu differently. For me it was personal and at times nostalgic and even challenging. It started off with a modern play on Chinese appetizers and childhood snacks which I found the most fun.

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