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Michelin’s first California-only guide gives stars to 90 restaurants

By   /   Friday, June 14th, 2019  /   Comments Off on Michelin’s first California-only guide gives stars to 90 restaurants

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By Kate Krader and Lucas Shaw

Bloomberg News

As if further proof were needed that California has become the center of America’s food universe, consider this: Michelin historically bestows its famed stars only once a year. Last November, the international food guide showered the Bay Area with stars. Seven months later, Michelin is back again, this time to recognize the entire state.At a ceremony in Huntington Beach on June 3, the 2019 Michelin Guide California announced its inaugural stars, including updated awards for San Francisco. There are now seven three-star restaurants in California, all in San Francisco or Napa Valley. That number is fewer than a year ago, but the overall number of restaurants with stars has increased to 90. The new guide features restaurants in greater Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Barbara.The guide named 14 two-star restaurants, split between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The newly two-starred include N/naka, a kaiseki restaurant in Culver City; Providence, a fish temple in Los Angeles; and Campton Place, the rare Indian restaurant to claim two stars. Saison, a San Francisco restaurant with a $298 tasting menu, fell from three stars to two.

Even so, San Francisco still has two more three-star dining rooms than New York does. The new guide demonstrates the increasing importance of California in the culinary world, as well as that of secondary cities away from traditional epicenters such as New York.

“From the wine country to San Diego, this unprecedented expansion of the Michelin guide gives full credit to California and its leading role as culinary powerhouse,” Gwendal Poullennec, international director of Michelin, tells Bloomberg Pursuits. “It is one thing to have amazing local produce, but having very talented chefs who can work their magic on it is the key.”

A belief in California’s culinary prowess isn’t the only reason Michelin expanded its star search here. The state’s tourism board, Visit California, is paying Michelin $600,000 to make it happen, reports Family Meal, an industry newsletter. Poullennec acknowledged the payment, but said it came after Michelin decided to launch a California-only guide and began seeking financial partners.

Now 57 restaurants in the Bay Area hold Michelin stars. Last year, that number was 55. Five new places were awarded one star this year.

For those on a budget, Michelin recently announced its inaugural California Bib Gourmand awards. The list includes 151 places recognized for high-quality, reasonably priced food (specifically, $40 for two courses, plus wine or dessert) with cuisines ranging from burgers at Father’s Office in Los Angeles to tacos at Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen in Orange County.

Diners use the guide to help determine which restaurants to visit, so the latest awards should boost business for the honorees.

Here are California’s Michelin winners. The 2019 California guide will go on sale on June 6. (An asterisk denotes a new entry; neighborhoods are designated by Michelin.)

Three Stars

Two Stars

  • Acquerello, San Francisco
  • Baumé, Palo Alto
  • Californios, San Francisco
  • Campton Place, San Francisco*
  • Coi, San Francisco
  • Commis, Oakland
  • Lazy Bear, San Francisco
  • N/naka, Los Angeles*
  • Providence, Los Angeles*
  • Saison, San Francisco
  • Somni, Los Angeles*
  • Sushi Ginza Onodera, Los Angeles*
  • Urasawa, Los Angeles*
  • Vespertine, Los Angeles*

One Star

  • Addison, San Diego*
  • Al’s Place, San Francisco
  • Angler, San Francisco*
  • Aster, San Francisco
  • Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford
  • Aubergine, Monterey*

 

  • Bar Crenn, San Francisco
  • Birdsong, San Francisco
  • Bistro Na’s, Los Angeles*
  • Bouchon, Yountville
  • Chez TJ, Mountain View
  • Commonwealth, San Francisco
  • CUT, Los Angeles*
  • Dialogue, Los Angeles*
  • Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Forestville
  • Gary Danko, San Francisco
  • Hashiri, San Francisco
  • Hana Re, Orange County*
  • Harbor House, Wine Country*
  • Hayato, Los Angeles*
  • In Situ, San Francisco
  • Ju-ni, San Francisco
  • Kali, Los Angeles*
  • Kato, Los Angeles*
  • Keiko à Nob Hill, San Francisco
  • Kenzo, Wine Country
  • Kin Khao, San Francisco
  • Kinjo, San Francisco
  • The Kitchen, Sacramento*
  • La Toque, Napa
  • Le Comptoir, Los Angeles*
  • Lord Stanley, San Francisco
  • Luce, San Francisco
  • Madcap, Marin
  • Madera, Peninsula, Menlo Park
  • Madrona Manor, Wine Country
  • Maude, Los Angeles*
  • Maum, San Francisco
  • Michael Mina, San Francisco
  • Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
  • Mori Sushi, Los Angeles*
  • Mourad, San Francisco
  • Nico, San Francisco
  • Nozawa Bar, Los Angeles*
  • Octavia, San Francisco
  • Omakase, San Francisco
  • Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles*
  • Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles*
  • Plumed Horse, Saratoga
  • The Progress, San Francisco
  • Protégé, Palo Alto
  • Q Sushi, Los Angeles*
  • Rasa, Burlingame
  • Rich Table, San Francisco
  • Rustic Canyon, Los Angeles
  • Shibumi, Los Angeles*
  • Shin Sushi, Los Angeles*
  • Shunji, Los Angeles*
  • Sons & Daughters, San Francisco
  • Sorrel, San Francisco*
  • SPQR, San Francisco
  • Spruce, San Francisco
  • State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
  • Sushi Yoshizumi, Peninsula
  • Taco Maria, Orange County*
  • The Village Pub, Peninsula
  • Trois Mec, Los Angeles*
  • Wako, San Francisco
  • Wakuriya, Peninsula
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Managing Editor-Pacific Coast Business Times

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