Here are California's hottest Michelin-rated restaurants

By Bloomberg Pursuits, June 12 2019

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.

The inaugural stars of the 2019 Michelin Guide California include 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.

A dish at Single Thread, awarded three stars by Michelin.

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,” says Gwendal Poullennec, international director of Michelin. “It is one thing to have amazing local produce, but having very talented chefs who can work their magic on it is the key.”

Chef Niki Nakayama of N/naka.

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 US$600,000 to make it happen, reports industry newsletter Family Meal.

Poullennec acknowledged the payment, but said it came after Michelin decided to launch a California-only guide and began seeking financial partners.

A dish at Monterey's Aubergine, a new addition to the Michelin guide.

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.

San Francisco's Bar Crenn, awarded one star in the 2019 Michelin guide.

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

An avocado-and-caviar dish from triple-starred the Restaurant at Meadowood.

Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Benu, San Francisco
The French Laundry, Yountville
Manresa, Los Gatos
Quince, San Francisco
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
Single Thread, Healdsburg

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

The Michelin-starred eponymous Japanese restaurant inside Kenzo winery.​​​​​

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

Bloomberg Pursuits

Bloomberg Pursuits curates the best in cars, food, drinks, travel, watches and more for the modern globally-minded executive, and is republished under licence by Executive Traveller.

Flying High

Flying High

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 38

"The state’s tourism board, Visit California, is paying Michelin US$600,000 to make it happen"

Can't really take it seriously then...



Air New Zealand - Airpoints

06 Jul 2015

Total posts 14

Basically every city that has Michelin ratings will have thrown some money at Michelin to get them to add them to their review list. Consider it a marketing investment. ;)

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Here are California's hottest Michelin-rated restaurants