It’s now illegal to sell foie gras in California. Restaurants who don’t comply face a $1,000 penalty. And while local officials themselves have expressed doubt over whether the engorged duck liver ban ban will actually be enforced (per a report by Bloomberg News), high-end restaurants don’t appear to be risking the ire of animal rights activists, or the swift hand of the law.
Benu, Corey Lee’s two Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco, has switched out the duck liver on his a la carte menu in favor of monkfish liver. And since gastronomes haven’t yet found a way to perform gavage on aquatic creations (though I’m sure it’s in the works), the monkfish liver is 100% legal. The fish foie is $14, down from $2 for the more expensive duck liver. The tasting menu remains at $180. No more foie gras long xiao bao on that 17-course monster (per the Benu website), instead diners will get chicken liver steamed in sake with caviar, green apple, radish and brioche.
Of course, we’re keeping a STRONG BUY on Benu and are curious about the prospects for a third Michelin star in the fall (Editor’s Note: Benu always offers its tasting menu, while the a la carte selections are only available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays).