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…”