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MICHELIN Guide Taps CA Rests

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By Dan Clarke

The Guide Michelin is a very big deal in Europe. Begun in the early 20th Century, it was created by the French tire company of that familiar name.

More people seeking out good places to eat meant more of them driving automobiles on those early roads. And this meant more tires sold, or so went the story as we heard it. Whatever the details of its origin, the Michelin Guide has become a respected institution. In recent years, it has expanded its influence to the United States.

French Laundry PicmonkeyThomas Keller sustains three stars for French Laundry in Yountivlle

While the MICHELIN Guide has evolved with culinary trends and dining preferences over time, the five criteria used by their inspectors have remained the same to ensure that readers have a consistent experience, irrespective of the style of cuisine and wherever they travel throughout the world. As in Europe, the California guide awards one-to-three stars to exceptional restaurants.

Last week, publishers of the guide announced the debut of their 2019 California edition. Restaurants in the Golden State garnered a total of 90 stars this year.

There are just 14 restaurants in the U.S. to receive Michelin’s three-star rating. Seven of them are in Northern California:

Atelier Crenn – San Francisco

Benu – San Francisco

The French Laundry – Yountville

Manresa – Los Gatos

Quince – San Francisco

The Restaurant at Meadowood – St. Helena

SingleThread – Healdsburg

Six new restaurants in Los Angeles have been awarded the two-star status in the MICHELIN Guide California 2019: chef Niki Nakayama’s n/naka kaiseki restaurant in Culver City; Michael Cimarusti’s seafood-driven Providence in Hollywood; Aitor Zabala and José Andrés’s Somni inside the SLS Beverly Hills; Sushi Ginza Onodera in West Hollywood; Urasawa, which inspectors deem “an exemplary sushi temple” in Beverly Hills; and chef Jordan Kahn’s highly-innovative Vespertine in Culver City. And in San Francisco, chef Srijith Gopinathan’s Campton Place in San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood, has been elevated from one to two MICHELIN stars.

michael Cimarusti of Providence 1 PicmonkeyMichael Cimarusti of Hollywood's Providence received two starsThe 2019 MICHELIN Guide California also features 27 new restaurants with a one-star distinction, 18 of which are in Los Angeles. In Beverly Hills, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, located at The Beverly Wilshire; Curtis Stone’s Maude—which is named after the celebrity chef’s late paternal grandmother; and Nozawa Bar, a hidden room tucked inside Sugarfish, all received stars.

Five restaurants in downtown L.A. are also joining the one-star ranks: Le Comptoir, where Gary Menes waxes poetic with his seasonal eight-course vegetable-driven menu; the intimate 40-seat Shibumi, where chef and owner David Schlosser offers skillful Kappo-style Japanese fare; Josef Centeno’s hot spot Orsa & Winston; kaiseki newcomer Hayato; and Hiroyuki Naruke’s Q Sushi. Here, inspectors state Naruke “gracefully prepares each course and thoughtfully serves each diner virtually from his own hands.”

Elsewhere in the City of Angels, chef Dave Beran’s Dialogue in Santa Monica; Bistro Na’s, serving up Imperial Chinese cuisine in San Gabriel Valley; Kevin Meehan and Drew Langley’s Kali; chef Jonathan Yao’s Kato; Mori Sushi in Westside; Ludo Lefebvre’s popular Trois Mec; Shunji Nakao’s eponymous eatery in Westside; Shin Sushi on Ventura Boulevard; Andy Doubrava and Jeremy Fox’s Rustic Canyon; and Nancy Silverton’s acclaimed Osteria Mozza all received stars.

Chef Kelly McCown at The Kitchen PicmonkeyChef Kelly McCown makes dining an interactive experience at The Kitchen

In Monterey, the stalwart Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel—which dates back to 1929—also received a MICHELIN star. Inspectors were particularly impressed by the local flavor and seasonality of the menu by executive chef/director Justin Cogley and pastry chef Yulanda Santos.

Addison, chef William Bradley’s contemporary French restaurant in San Diego, was awarded a star.

Orange County is now home to two one-MICHELIN-starred restaurants: chef Carlos Salgado’s Taco María, which he dubs as “Alta California cuisine,” a mash-up of Mexican and American flavors, is among one of them. “The enticing scent of meat cooking over the fire and house-made heirloom masa tortillas on the griddle set the tone for an amazing experience,” stated MICHELIN inspectors. Hana Re, chef Atsushi Yokoyama’s omakase restaurant in Costa Mesa, was also awarded a star.

The Kitchen in Sacramento, where executive chef Kelly McCown provides an interactive dining experience that doubles as dinner and a show, garnered a 2019 star.

San Francisco boasts three new one-MICHELIN-starred restaurants. Joshua Skenes's “sea life-focused eatery,” Angler, which opened up on the Embarcadero waterfront last fall; Sorrel, the sleek Cal-Ital eatery from Alex Hong, Colby Heiman, Samuel Bogue and Brennan Spreitzer in the Marina; and Maum, which inspectors say, “offers an incredibly exciting dining experience,” all join the one MICHELIN star ranks.

Finally, Harbor House in Mendocino County, where executive chef Matthew Kammerer relies on the bounty of on-site gardens and diverse sea life found in a local cove and along California’s North Coast, was honored with a star.

In addition to the seven three Michelin-star establishments listed above, the following California restaurants are rated at two and one stars:

 

Two Stars

Acquerello

Baumé

Californios

Campton Place

Coi

Commis

Lazy Bear

n/naka

Providence

Saison

Somni

Sushi Ginza Onodera

Urasawa

Vespertine

 

One Star

Addison

Al’s Place

Angler

Aster (closed)

Auberge du Soleil

Aubergine

Bar Crenn

Birdsong

Bistro Na’s

Bouchon

Chez TJ

Commonwealth

CUT

Dialogue

Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant

Gary Danko

Hana Re

Harbor House

Hashiri

Hayato

In Situ

jū-ni

Kali

Kato

Keiko à Nob Hill

Kenzo

Kinjo

Kin Khao

The Kitchen

La Toque

Le Comptoir

Lord Stanley

Luce

Madcap

Madera

Madrona Manor

Maude

Maum

Michael Mina

Mister Jiu’s

Mori Sushi

Mourad

Nico

Nozawa Bar

Octavia

Omakase

Orsa & Winston

Osteria Mozza

Plumed Horse

The Progress

Protégé

Q Sushi

Rasa

Rich Table

Rustic Canyon

Shibumi

Shin Sushi

Shunji

Sons & Daughters

Sorrel

SPQR

Spruce

State Bird Provisions

Sushi Yoshizumi

Taco María

Trois Mec

The Village Pub

Wako

Wakuriya

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