The Michelin Guide to return to Los Angeles as part of new California edition


Feel free to post evidence to the contrary instead of dismissing mine.

N/Naka used to regularly have some open seats on weekdays

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if you factchecked me then I stand corrected. Crow tastes pretty good as a pre-dinner snack.

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Relying on the Michelin guide is more understandable when a foreigner is searching dining options in Japan - A lot of times the Michelin places in Japan are the only spots that (1) consistently has someone on staff who speaks English, and (2) accepts reservations from foreigners.

But if a foreigner in Japan has a Japanese-speaking fixer, guide, or friend accompanying them, then vast new gastronomic opportunities exist.


i mean I think you’re right, restaurants should just carry on as they have. However, restaurant margins are razor thin and hype is a powerful thing. I guess we’ll see if and how things change or if people start chasing stars. It’s all speculative at this point and for the most part the types of chefs and restaurants that are affected by this aren’t the types that I frequent (or am really interested in).

For me it’s more of a general disgust with shit like Michelin and how it is so elitist with these pronouncements coming on high about what is “good food” and what is deemed worthy of even being considered


That goes for any guide or list. It’s nice to have a starting point when doing research especially for someone who isn’t local.


Thanks for that. He’ a nice enough guy, maybe teeny pretentious. I can continue to like him a bit :smile:


The San Pellegrino Top 50 lists may the worst offenders of all for those reasons.


That one’s strictly a popularity and trend contest where countries have people lobbying for more votes and the “reviewer” can vote for a restaurant as long as they have been there in the past 18 months (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!). At least Michelin goes to the restaurants they review multiple times within the same year…


I mean yeah, lists are flawed. But if I made a list or you made a list or we as a forum all together made a list or eater or midtown lunch or whatever it carries little weight. I mean who the hell are we?
Michelin on the other hand is old and storied. Their reports mean something. The stars in and of themselves are sometimes news worthy (I remember when they gave that one star to the Singapore hawker).

I agree it’s good to have a starting point when you are unfamiliar with a place, but the amount of gate keeping, snobbery, and pretentiousness inherent in these particular stars makes, for me, the whole thing suspect at best


Hooray. The only guide that matters.


And like - gag - Yelp - I use any and all guides as a starting point.

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My evidence is that I specifically remember calling them to make a reservation for any Fri or Sat night for a party of two long before Chef’s Table and there was nothing available for maybe two months. They did say that I can get on a waiting list and if something opened up, they would let me know. Sure enough, I got a call from them after a month or so with a cancelation and an opening on a Friday night. So while reservations may not have been impossible especially if one was flexible to go during the week, it was far from an easy reservation. Hell, if I’m willing to dine alone at 10pm, even Bestia would be an easy reservation.


Not sure if that was meant for me. I’m not suggesting that Chef’s Table is not a huge business booster. My point is that n/Naka was a fairly successful restaurant even prior to the show. Of course the show just took it to a whole new level.


The only thing I’m curious about is what places make the Bib Gourmand list (presuming there is one). I’m definitely not their target audience, though, and don’t aspire to be.


N/Naka was surely harder to get into for a while after Jonathan Gold’s rave.


I have been to Tsuta in Tokyo and my god did it blow my mind, definitely deserves it’s star.

But every country has different problems with the guide. Japan’s issue is that there are way too many quality restaurants for the inspectors to ever be able to go thru all of them especially if there are only a handful. It’s estimated Tokyo has 160,000 restaurants. I’ve been to hole in the wall places which could warrant a star but never will because they are hidden and don’t do social media and have a steady niche clientele.

As for Los Angeles I’m already going to eat at Somni before they get a star. I think Hayato might earn a star too and he could definitely use the attention but I would hate to see places I want to eat at raise their prices due to star-inflation.


I called shotgun first on Chowhound! (10 months ahead of LATimes)…


I don’t know, I found prime day and time n/naka reservations less than easy well before Chef’s Table. With planning, decent chance. With flexibility, good chance of getting a table. For some of us, though, reservations need to be on a weekend night during prime time and that was always a fairly tough get for n/naka.
It was doable, but not automatic.

After Chef’s Table. Fucking bananas.


Should a list be started of places to hit before June?
I just made reservations for Hayato. I’m thinking Nightshade, Somni, Felix, and Trois Mec would probably be good ideas, too.