Michelin California 2020 Predictions

Anyone been lately?
I went once and it was nothing great.

Most Korean restaurants in Ktown are aware of the Michelin Guide. Whether or not they actually care enough to cater to Michelin is a different question.

I know these LA restaurants do not necessarily fit into the Michelin system but it would be shame if Bestia, Majordomo, Bavel, Republique, Gjelina and Chi Spacca collectively receive 0 stars. So much good food.

Right you are about Osteria Mozza getting a star in the 2009 guide.


  • Melisse
  • Providence
  • Spago
  • Urasawa


  • Asanebo
  • Bastide
  • CUT
  • Dining Room at the Langham Pasadena
  • Gordon Ramsay at The London
  • Hatfield’s
  • La Botte
  • Mori Sushi
  • Ortolan
  • Osteria Mozza
  • Patina
  • Sona
  • Sushi Zo
  • Trattoria Tre Venezie
  • Valentino
  • Water Grill


  • Angelini Osteria
  • AOC
  • Babita
  • Bistro 561
  • Border Grill
  • Cholada
  • Ciudad
  • Cru
  • Elite
  • Fraiche
  • Girasole
  • Honda-Ya
  • Il Pastaio
  • Ita-Cho
  • Izayoi
  • Katsu-Ya
  • K-ZO
  • Literati II
  • Lu Din Gee Cafe
  • Melrose Bar & Grill
  • Nook Bistro
  • Pizzeria Mozza
  • Rustic Canyon
  • Triumphal Palace
  • Typhoon
  • Violet

what a fucking Joke…

Osteria mozza has had a star since 2008

Osteria Mozza is not in the 2008 guide, only the 2009. I have copies of both right here.

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I have. I feel like Michelin has been really hyping up Sacramento, and the Kitchen is one of the only two restaurants (other than Localis) that is even attempting Michelin-star type food. The food is quite banal (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in Michelin terms), but its a nice concept, everything is executed perfectly, and flavors are good.

The Sacramento tourist agency is co-funding the California edition with the California tourist agency.


Interesting. I’ve heard of this place before. It will certainly be eligible to get a star, and most likely it will be inspected. Not sure if it will get a star, though.

One of my friends was just joking about that place the other day.

Just confirmed Queenie’s is open Mondays, so will stop there on way home. May stay several nights at Harbor House Inn since rooms are only about $425 a night.


There’s also The Bewildered Pig in suburban Philo. I was off the grid when I ate there and forgot to post about it later.

As to all the few individuals with sarcastic responses, I understand how you feel, but I hope you have an open mind. It’s unlikely the Michelin guide will bring any harm…which city do you think’s dining scene was harmed by Michelin? The Michelin guide is still very well respected by almost all chefs, and can be a major turning point for businesses. I can say definitively in San Francisco Bay Area it has caused the dining scene to evolve for the better at the top level…it has allowed chefs from different backgrounds to have their cuisine also be perceived as top caliber and broken the mold of French fine dining. Compare San Francisco in 2006 to San Francisco today…instead of being helmed by Gary Danko, La Folie, Campton Place, and Michael Mina (which are all still around and going strong btw, though two of them now serve insanely good Indian and Egyptian cuisine instead of French), we now have insanely good Benu, rustic fine Saison, Mexican marvel Californios, casual and conversational Lazy Bear, the list goes on. Michelin, IMO, encourages and rewards diversity at the high end instead of limiting it. Without Michelin recognition I don’t think these restaurants would have thrived as much. Chefs from around the country now flock to San Francisco as well…be it the the legendary Laurent Gras or culinary school interns looking for a stage. From a business perspective it is good too…for instance Michael Cimarusti says a large portion of Providence clientele still comes in because of their Michelin rating. It’s a total positive cycle that boosts the food economy.

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We used to live at Lake Tahoe and never ate there. Driving from Truckee back to the lake over Brockway Summit after wine never seemed like a good idea. Since we live in Reno now, straight shot on I-80, I’m thinking about doing an early dinner maybe for my birthday in early June. I’ve chatted with a/the chef at a fave Mexican place. Truckee is really booming with lots of Bay Area people who can ‘work from home’ moving in.


Michelin just replaced the old mold with a new one taken from The French Laundry around 20 years ago.

Any restaurant that wants two or three stars has to serve a long series of elaborately plated canapes produced with French technique. That is not the only kind of meal that is worth a detour or special journey.

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Hatfield’s in the old guide with 1 star gives me hope that more LA restaurants than we think will get 1-2 stars.

Ha! I’ll keep an eye on Water Grill. They’re solid but quite safe.

Quite the contrary. I feel like the Bay Area dining scene was completely dominated by the French Laundry and Chez Panisse before the Michelin guide showed up. Every single restaurant was trying to replicate something from one of those two places, say, circa 2007. After the Michelin guide came, people realized they could match and even surpass these two places doing their own, creative food. Now I’m not saying LA has the same problem. But I do think Michelin might encourage more chefs to push boundaries with exotic flavors. A couple of the recent restaurant openings (I’m thinking Auburn and The Silver Bough) can be attributed to the return of Michelin.

As for the proliferation of long tasting menus, that is just a fine dining thing. Even in LA, without Michelin, the much raved about spots (Somni/Vespertine/Dialogue/etc.) also have the same format. Without Michelin’s presence, Somni is probably the worst offender of this multiple canape meal idea (not that I mind).

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The way it worked with SF Bay Area at least with the sushi restaurants, when one restaurant got a star for the first time, someone had to lose theirs. Otherwise it will look like the star is being wholesaled on the cheap.

Now with Sacramento and LA in the mix, does that mean if say, a sushi or Japanese restaurant is to gain one in those markets, does that mean someone in SF will lose theirs, either they are no longer favored, inconsistent/quality decline? Or does Sac and LA have their own separate pool and assigned pool ?

I guess some of this will be answered when the results are announced, and how many places are either overrated, despised but still get it, or felt some place was truly deserving but never got it.

Sasaki should have received a star (since the others are well…not that great to begin with one exception)…the problem is that the chef owner helped Maruya earned their star before he got let go, then consulted for Omakase and they got a star after he finished. So while logically his own place should have a star (in reality better than the first two places by far), it is possible he’s being skipped last few years because of that…although you never know.

So if we confine it to SF Bay Area sushi restaurants only

Sushi Yoshizumi

am I missing any? Or are there too many?

One of these will likely have to lose their star for Sasaki to get theirs. That has how it has been. To put it in historical perspective, Ju-Ni gained their star when Kusakabe lost theirs. Omakase got the star after Maruya lost theirs. Kinjo/Hashiri, not sure.

Incanto, O Izakaya, Jai Yun, Sebo, Mochica, Perbacco, A16, SPQR, Ubuntu, and La Ciccia certainly weren’t. I could go on.

Well it’s not like those restaurants disappeared. Most of those restaurants (or reincarnations of them) are still around. What Michelin has done has added new, more exciting restaurants to the mix at the high end which do their own thing. There are chefs who would not have established their restaurants in SF had it not been for the Michelin guide. Corey lee, for one, has said that Benu would be in New York. Dominique Crenn moved to SF from LA after the Michelin guide SF started and when LA’s guide was revoked. I definitely see much more freedom today, now that Michelin has begun to recognize new and exciting places.