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Michelin Debuted Its California Guide With No New Three-Star Restaurants

Sorry, Los Angeles

Choy sum filled with strawberry nam prik pao at Dialogue in LA
A dish at Dialogue in Los Angeles. The restaurant debuted at one star.
Bill Addison

At an awards-style event tonight, Michelin revealed the restaurants that earned stars in the tire company’s 2019 California Guide, which covers the entire state including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

For restaurant obsessives, tonight was really about Los Angeles — and Southern California more broadly — and how the guide would (or would not) represent it. Would the guide get it right after being away for 10 years?

Here’s what didn’t happen: No new restaurants earned the coveted three-star ratings, which means the only three-star restaurants in the guide were in San Francisco and wine country. Los Angeles and SoCal broadly were shut out from the highest echelons of the guide. It also means that Dominique Crenn remains the only female chef in America to helm a restaurant with three stars.

Several of LA’s critically acclaimed tasting menus, restaurants that seemed to signal a new era of fine-dining in the city, only earned one star, including Dialogue, Maude, and Trois Mec. Providence retained the two stars it had when the guide was last in town — a surprise perhaps, since the restaurant’s chef/owner Michael Cimarusti is fresh off a Beard Award win and the restaurant seemed the most likely in the city to land three stars. N/Naka, Chef’s Table star Niki Nakayama’s tasting-menu destination and spaceship/wizard’s tower Vespertine both debuted in the guide at two stars. Several prominent restaurants in town only hit the one-star level, including Rustic Canyon, Orsa and Winston, and Osteria Mozza. Dave Chang’s Majordomo, one of the hottest openings of the past few years, was left without stars, having been named a Bib Gourmand.

Meanwhile, sushi restaurants in LA fared relatively well. Los Angeles has long been a hub for America’s finest sushi chefs, and plenty of sushi counters were represented on the list, including Shunji (one star) and Sushi Ginza Onedera (two stars). The region’s amazing tacos were not entirely ignored; Carlos Salgado’s Taco Maria in Orange County earned a star.

Meanwhile, San Diego only saw one restaurant in the new guide: Addison was awarded one star. The biggest shake up in San Francisco was Saison’s fall to two stars this year; other list stalwarts like Benu and Quince maintained three, and “no other area of the country has a greater concentration of three-star spots, the guide’s highest honor,” according to Eater SF.

Overall, the new guide felt weighted towards what past guides have typically been weighted towards: tasting menu restaurants run, predominantly, by male chefs.

Below, the full list:

Three Stars

Atelier Crenn
Benu
The French Laundry
Manresa
Quince
The Restaurant at Meadowood
SingleThread

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

Addison Is San Diego’s Only Michelin-Starred Restaurant [ESD]
Here Are LA’s New Michelin Stars for 2019 [ELA]
San Francisco Bay Area’s Michelin Stars Are Announced for 2019, Again [ESF]
Michelin Guide California 2019 Selection [Michelin]

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