Michelin California 2020 Predictions

Not sure, may just be a coincidence. Remember after sushi ran lost its star for the longest time there was no starred sushi place in the Bay. I don’t think Sasaki getting a star would mean someone else loses it. And it certainly won’t be the case that a new star in LA will hurt Bay area restaurants.

Majordomo, Osteria Mozza, Animal, Kismet, Night+Market, Baroo, Bavel, and Cassia look to me like chefs doing their own thing.

The two- and three-star places in SF seem more like chefs trying to conform to Michelin’s expectation, which is to say they’re doing Thomas Keller’s thing (with a little of their own flavor and style).

They don’t have any specific number of stars. The SF guide started in 2007 with 28, dropped to 27 the next year, by 2012 grew to 47, dropped to 38 in 2014, and is now up to 58.

Some one mentioned upthread that long tasting menus are ‘it’ these days. I wonder if sushi is also. Both types of meal seem overly trendy and no surprises. Great food, yes, but maybe predictable. And people want bragging rights. IDK.

Just because it’s not your cup of tea, cath, it doesn’t mean that others cannot find joy and nuance in the experience.

I’ll get off your lawn now so you don’t have to get up from your porch chair. Oh, wait a minute… This board isn’t your lawn.


Michelin results in people spending more money on food, which makes restaurants higher quality overall. Michelin’s standards aren’t some odd formula…good quality ingredients, technique, etc. will be rewarded. There may be individual exceptions (i.e. one Chinese restaurant tries too hard to be French because they misunderstand Michelin’s intentions and can’t do it well) but as a whole more money and more press for restaurants means higher quality food and more credit to hardworking chefs.

2 and 3 star restaurants in SF are as diverse as they get. Benu and Saison (the top two) are as different as they come. Californios and Lazy Bear…they are not like TFL at all. Quince is the only one that really follows the French Laundry mold.

No, no, J_L. That’s not my point whatsoever. I’m sure I wasn’t as eloquent as you always are (seriously). My point is what drives Michelin. Are they looking for those long meals with all different bites of food. What’s been the history in the US? I apologize that I worded this incorrectly.


Wait are you kidding me? You think Majordomo is worthy of 2 stars even possibly 3?

Momofuku Ko only has 2 stars and somehow you think the food at Majordomo can compete? I know it’s your own opinion but I do think you are very wrong.

I’d be surprised if they even got one star as a gesture. The food is good but but not amazing, its just a fun restaurant with some fun dishes but as a whole package I’m skeptical. I hope you aren’t being a David Chang fanboy.


Los Angeles’s culinary scene has been doing even better than SF’s since Michelin pulled out.

The only Chinese(ish) restaurants that have gotten Michelin stars in the Bay Area are Benu and Mr. Jiu’s. It’s just culinary chauvinism. French and Japanese are good. Other cuisines are good only when Frenchified.

Is there a Michelin 3 star in the US that’s exclusively a la carte? No tasting menu. Not being snide, I actually want to know.

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These are the *** restaurants in the US. To my knowledge, they all serve only tasting menus.

  • Alinea
  • Atelier Crenn
  • Benu
  • Le Bernardin
  • Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
  • Eleven Madison Park
  • The French Laundry
  • The Inn at Little Washington
  • Manresa
  • Masa
  • The Restaurant at Meadowood
  • Per Se
  • Quince
  • Saison
  • SingleThread

If I could add to your post (apology), how does it differ from Europe? To my knowledge, I’ve only eaten at two Michelin places in Europe and they were completely a la carte.

No. Only one offers any sort of choice on menu length, Le Bernardin, though a few have bars with lower priced options.

Looking from another perspective, are there ALC restaurants within the US that deserve 3 stars? Thoughts?

Note: Multiple ALC restaurants in the Hong Kong and Macau guide got 3 stars.

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Apparently majordomo


McChelin 3 Stars for sure

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What I can say is that SF dining is much more vibrant than it would be without Michelin. When Michelin debuted in 2006, it was easily agreed upon that LA had a stronger dining scene than SF. SF didn’t really have any noteworthy restaurants at all–maybe Gary Danko or Michael Mina? There were zero sushi restaurants even serving traditional omakase, for instance. No restaurants I would desribe as worthy of a special journey. Now it is much more of an open question, as to whether LA or SF has better food. Personally, I think SF does at the high end, though LA does at the mid and low range. Which supports the hypothesis that Michelin is helpful because Michelin targets the high end more.


Don’t you think one has to consider the sheer size difference between the two? SF is SF but it honestly doesn’t extend much into the hinterlands.

I got your 3 Michelin stars right here.


Exquisite use of contrasting textures, with brilliant strokes of genius in pitting the supple krab against the stark, industrial-grade wasabi. The nitsume symbolizes the zen void of gastronomic emptiness, and I see dry wit in what Sergio has done with the dried carrot here (or is that a fucked up piece of kabocha? whatever…) in the plating, all against a backdrop of ocean salad - Surf and turf, indeed, with the Michelinally (and nutritionally) essential gold foil, quixotically placed at the 5 o’clock position on the table instead of on the plate itself. A bravado gesture of feng shui in this daring presentation. Quel formidable!

But alas, the toilet is Kohler. And thus no stars for you, but this screams Gourmand Bib!