Michelin California 2020 Predictions

Michelin guide is coming out in around a month. For the first time, the entirety of California will be covered. That means while we will see some movement from the Bay Area list, most of the new entries will come from elsewhere in California–any location is fair game. This adds in several restaurants which have not been part of the Michelin discussion before. Who do you think will get stars? Here are my predictions.

Two Stars

Addison, San Diego
Aubergine, Carmel
Birdsong, San Francisco
Providence, Los Angeles
Somni, Los Angeles
Sushi Ginza Onodera, West Hollywood
Urasawa, Beverly Hills

One Star

Angler, San Francisco
Auburn, Los Angeles
Avery, San Francisco
CUT, Beverly Hills
Dialogue, Santa Monica
Eight Tables by George Chen, San Francisco
Erna’s Elderberry House, Oakhurst
Harbor House Inn, Elk
Hayato, Los Angeles
Kali, Los Angeles
Kato, Los Angeles
Le Comptoir, Los Angeles
Maude, Beverly Hills
Maum, Palo Alto
n/naka, Los Angeles
Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles
Patina, Los Angeles
Q, Los Angeles
Sasaki, San Francisco
Scratch Bar, Encino
Spago, Beverly Hills
Studio, Laguna Beach
Sushi Zo, Los Angeles
Taco Maria, Costa Mesa
Tempura Endo, Beverly Hills
The Kitchen, Sacramento
The Silver Bough, Santa Barbara
Trois Mec, Los Angeles
Vespertine, Los Angeles

While there are some candidates for three stars (most likely Addison and Urasawa), I think they will be quite conservative the first year. This is a rather conservative list overall, there are many more possible inclusions but I only listed ones I feel have a very good chance of being included.


Welcome to FTC. The Stinking Rose should get at least a bib this time around, as should the Echo Park huitlacoche quesadilla lady.


The Kitchen in Sacramento sounds tiring. I emailed a friend who lives there and is into food, both cooking and dining. I can’t imagine anyone going there more than once. Have you eaten there?


Chadsie is that you?

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Here’s his comment:

“It’s not bad. Decent food prepared well by entertaining cooks. Not really my kind of place, but it’s fun and non-threatening for people who might be uncomfortable in a more traditional fine dining atmosphere.”

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Hmm, I’ve always thought of n/naka to be 2 stars worthy.


If Majordomo doesn’t get two ( “excellent cuisine, worth a detour”) or three (“exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”), it’s Michelin bullshit as usual.

If they stay consistent with how they’ve been awarding stars in SF, having an a la carte menu limits a restaurant to one star (“high quality cooking, worth a stop”).

Vespertine should get three stars or none. Either they consistently achieve their crazy ambitions or it’s pretentious bullshit.

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But the mere presence of Michelin pressures chefs and their kitchens into uniformity. It’ll become a whole city with nothing but Eleven Madison Park wannabes on every block. Yay for true diversity, as in vampiros out of a tire store parking lot, housemade zongzi from a Nanjing duck joint, and the Saturday community paellas from a Spanish grocery store. LA’s got its own thing going on.


I wonder how far away from LA/SF they’ll get. How about Truckee?!?!?

For Southern CA, at least, I want to see Michelin award stars based on neighborhoods rather than actual restaurants.

wSGV - 3 stars
Koreatown - 3 stars
Thai Town - 2 stars
Arts District - 2 stars
Beverly Hills - 2 stars
NoHo - 1 star
Westminster - 1 star
eSGV - 1 stars
Silver Lake - 1 star



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No love for Chi Spacca? Nobody ever mentions them when it comes to star predictions.

Also, after going to Le Bernardin and EMP last year, I certainly feel that Providence is 3 star-worthy.

My 2015 visit certainly wasn’t close, but I’ll be re-evaluating in June.

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They’re not mutually exclusive

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Hasn’t happened in San Francisco. Some tourists come to town and go to nothing but Michelin tasting-menu places but if you look at the Plate and Bib Gourmand lists you get a sense of the diverse scene.

It probably limits diversity at the high end, though Saison has been moving in a different direction, with fewer courses and larger portions. And even before Michelin came to town almost all restaurants that raised prices to the point where entrees would be over $40 moved to some sort of fixed-price scheme.

Asian-Ya and Yongsusan probably are, since along with Park’s and Seoul Jung they were in the last one.

Ok, ok… Now that I’ve had my first coffee this morning, I will concede that. But I will agree with Robert here:

Fiven the unwritten rule against Italian restaurants without heavy French influence getting stars, it’ll probably get The Plate. Same for Osteria Mozza.

Similarly, Petit Trois might get a star because of the extra credit for Frenchiness.

They had a star in the 2 guides that came out back in the days so I’m not convinced that Osteria Mozza will be relegated.