Michelin 2019

Three Stars
Atelier Crenn (NEW)
The French Laundry
The Restaurant at Meadowood
SingleThread (NEW)

Two Stars
Lazy Bear

One Star
Al’s Place
Auberge du Soleil
Bar Crenn (NEW)
Birdsong (NEW)
Campton Place
Chez TJ
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Gary Danko
In Situ
Keiko à Nob Hill
Kin Khao
La Toque
Lord Stanley
Madcap (NEW)
Madrona Manor
Michael Mina
Mister Jiu’s
Nico (NEW)
Plumed Horse
The Progress
Protégé (NEW)
Rich Table
Sons & Daughters
State Bird Provisions
Sushi Yoshizumi
The Village Pub


Alan Guth on inflation theory and the creation of stars.

Or perhaps Oprah said it best: “You get a star, you get a star, you get a star…!” (sic)


The most humorous one


They shuttered for 6 to 8 months+ due to facilities damage. The head chef left and took off to open his own restaurant in Novato, and quite a few staff departed as well. They have just recently re-opened (within a couple months) and changed the format from sushi to hybrid “kaiseki” to sushi and the definition of kaiseki here is loose. Yet they retained their star.

But at the 2 to 3 star level, they were watching Coi’s chef depart (the one who scored them 3) and knocked them down to 2.

Consistency is king!

Speaking of “kaiseki” bad enough for SF Eater to describe Single Thread as kaiseki…it may be inspired but not even close.

Kinjo reopened in mid-June, which I believe is long enough for the inspectors to do their thing.

Good to know. Surprised at the luck they had then!

Kudos to Crenn.

Y’know, cuz female, and that whole first thing.


First chef to have suggested that corn silk is edible to get three stars.

What is the reason L.A. is shut out?

Currently LA is not considered by Michelin. They were here a few years ago and gave up deciding that all our restaurants were just for famous people.

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I think the LA guide must not have sold well enough. And ten years ago the city had few if any of the kind of rich-people places they give two and three stars to.

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I don’t think LA needs Michelin anymore, but I don’t know the reasons why LA is now not reviewed by them. While I used to think it would be nice for LA chefs to get the recognition for their hard work and the boon in business that ensues from getting Michelin rankings, overall it doesn’t seem like a good idea to invite Michelin back in.

In my opinion, the relative strengths of LA’s food offerings are the diversity and authenticity of all types of worldwide cuisines represented, and not so much on the type that Michelin predictably tends to award, which is totally fine. Michelin has become somewhat trite; inconsistent (what passes for stars in the US vs. international - to wit, I believe that 80+% of the 2019 SF list is overrated); and overly generous at times, stingy at others. Really, what they seem to be ranking is the perceived international notoriety and legacy of a restaurant, and also how a restaurant fits in to the cultural zeitgeist, not so much the food. On the food, what they tend to rank well can be quite formulaic and homogenous. LA doesn’t need that Michelin carrot dangling in front of it; that would stifle what makes LA a joyous place to eat.

While admittedly, almost like Yelp or Eater, Michelin isn’t a bad place to start some research on a city with which I’m unfamiliar, overall I guess I just don’t really find much resonance with their ultimate rankings, and I also don’t like the effects that star-chasing often have on a restaurant. Give us satisfying, hearty food, less precious plating. And more sticking to what is known and chef’s can cook confidently, less botched “creativity” for the sake of “doing something different.” I do enjoy a good tasting menu, but many 3* aren’t, and despite a few gems, 1* or 2* in the US often corresponds to a pretty formulaic and uninspired set of almost-there menus that would be better but for the Michelin-chasing effect.

And please, may there not be a “Hypothetical Los Angeles Michelin Guide, 2019…”


Boom. That pretty much sums it up.

I have expounded my take on this topic ad nauseum before. LA’s current dining scene and the Michelin system are incompatible at best, and immiscible at worst.

Michelin stifles creativity. It forces chefs to continue on a (very well-trodden) path, and enslaves them to it. The étoiles system is fine if you are looking for a safe place to entertain the hedgies from London. But then, you’d never find places like Mariscos Jalisco.


Underestimating a city’s sophistication is a misstep on their part. But in any case, they’re gone. And good riddance, I say.


Glad I asked the question. These are great responses! Very astute.

If they’re that narrow minded then y’all are right, we don’t need them. No need to have them mess up our good thing and send a bunch of stressed-out chefs over the edge in the process. I read that a lot of Michelin star chefs spend most of their time worrying about holding onto the stars.

Michelin’s two- and three-star restaurants in the SF Bay Area run the gamut from A to B.

The Bib Gourmand and The Plate lists are solid, though.