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Walnut Creek Magazine

Michelin Introduces its First Statewide MICHELIN Guide

Jun 04, 2019 01:00PM ● By Fran Miller

Michelin recently announced its highly anticipated selection of star awards in the 2019 MICHELIN Guide California, the first ever statewide MICHELIN Guide. California is now home to 657 restaurants distinguished in the Guide. 

Since its creation in the early 20th century, the MICHELIN Guide has evolved and expanded internationally and continues to serve as a trusted source and companion to travelers and food lovers. While the Guide has evolved with culinary trends and dining preferences over time, the five criteria used by Michelin’s inspectors have remained the same to ensure that readers have a consistent experience, irrespective of the style of cuisine and wherever they travel throughout the world. 


In summary, the 2019 MICHELIN Guide California selection includes:

·      Seven restaurants with three stars

·      14 restaurants with two stars 

·      69 restaurants with one star

The 2019 MICHELIN Guide California includes seven new two-star distinctions:

Campton Place continues to wow diners with its creative Indian cuisine and consistent execution in San Francisco. Inspectors are incredibly excited about this dining room’s return to the rank of two stars. 

n/naka offers a clever, modern take on kaiseki at this dazzling dining room in Culver City. The chef’s stellar skills and technique are visible in every dish. 

Providence provides a consistently excellent meal with skill and technique. The seafood-focused menu at this Hollywood establishment impresses diners with each course.

Somniis tucked away at the SLS Beverly Hills hotel and amazes diners with a stimulating experience that is a feast for the senses. Desserts are especially memorable and display attention to detail.

Sushi Ginza Onodera stands out for excellent sushi technique and product. Even the miso soup is special and flavorful with a trio of aged miso pastes.

Urasawa is an exemplary Beverly Hills sushi temple that showcases deep knowledge and tradition. The chef handles each morsel of fish himself in a display of world-class skill and expertise. 

Vespertine is a Culver City destination where every dish oozes with personality and creativity. The innovative chef thrills diners with flavors, impressive technique and wholly unexpected dishes. 

In addition, the 2019 MICHELIN Guide California features 27 new one-star distinctions:

Addison offers contemporary French fine dining with seasonal California touches. Luxury and refinement are on the menu every evening in this dining room near San Diego.

Angler is led by a chef who made a name for himself at Saisonand now channels his passion for the freshest seafood at this new restaurant near the EmbarcaderoImpeccable sourcing is a signature of this culinary gem.

Aubergine is a long standing, beloved destination nestled in Monterey with meals that leave a lasting impression. Inspectors were impressed by the local flavor and seasonality of the menu.  

Bistro Na's serves Chinese Imperial Court cuisine and is helmed by a Beijing-based restaurant group. Focused on product quality, the menu proudly acknowledges their effort to utilize good ingredients. 

CUT provides quality beef and expert preparation as the original location of culinary icon Wolfgang Puck’s stellar steakhouse. The menu focuses on classics that never seem to go out of style.

Dialogue offers an evolving, lengthy menu with entertaining and artistic presentations from a maturing and highly talented chef who previously headed NEXTin Chicago. The cooking exudes inspiration from start to finish.

Hana Re focuses on an omakase format operated with minimal staff in a slightly hidden small space in Costa Mesa. Products are of supreme quality.

Harbor House relies on the local bounty of on-site gardens and diverse sea life found in a local cove and California’s North Coast. The chef provides a contemporary approach with finesse. 

Hayato is a relative newcomer to the downtown Los Angeles dining scene. The chef offers a personal expression of kaiseki that is intimate and very impressive.  

Kali is inspired by the chef’s vision for playful food, and carefully composed preparations that exceed expectations. A refrigerator displaying dry-aged ducks, steaks and even a pig’s head is a natural conversation starter.

Kato’s 27-year-old chefdelivers an impeccably plated tasting menu focused on Californian and Asian flavors. The judicious use of deeply flavored sauces and charred elements are repeated showstoppers.

The Kitchen provides an interactive dining experience in Sacramento that doubles as dinner and a show. Whether you’re slurping oysters in the kitchen’s cooler or chatting with your neighbors over hors d’oeuvres, this elaborate menu is a spectacle that is sure to impress.  

Le Comptoir presents a vegetable-focused menu that originates from the chef’s own garden in Long Beach. This intimate Koreatown space seats a mere handful of diners nightly.

Maude was named after the chef’s late paternal grandmother and exemplifies meticulous attention to detail. The tasting menu changes quarterly based on a single wine region and the results are impressive and memorable.

Maum offers an incredibly exciting dining experience in Palo Alto. This Korean stunner was promoted from a Plate award in the 2019 MICHELIN Guide San Francisco.

Mori Sushi received one-star awards in the 2008 and 2009 editions of the MICHELIN Guide Los Angeles. Everything from the homemade tofu to the kitchen’s selection of seasonal fish is nothing short of exquisite.

Nozawa Bar serves omakase in a hidden room at the Beverly Hills location of Sugarfish. The warm rice highlights the flavor of the fish.  

Orsa & Winston showcases the culinary traditions of both Japan and Italy at this impressive downtown Los Angeles hot spot. The multiple prix-fixe menu items showcase the beauty of local ingredients.

Osteria Mozza serves delightful Italian cuisine that represents good quality with a touch of Mediterranean flavors in a casually elegant setting. This restaurant has long been a favorite in Los Angeles, and was awarded one star in the 2009 MICHELIN Guide Los Angeles.

Q Sushi is a downtown Los Angeles sushiya with a lineup of high quality fish and impressive technique. The chef gracefully prepares each course and thoughtfully serves each diner virtually from his own hands. 

Rustic Canyon provides a vegetable-focused menu that is truly impressive. After years away from professional kitchens, the re-energized chef has re-emerged in Santa Monica.  

Shibumi offers Kappo-style Japanese fare in downtown Los Angeles. The chef’s skillful cooking is evident and his plates are flavorful. 

Shin Sushi is an under-the-radar counter that showcases excellent knife work, high quality ingredients and a delightful omakase. The friendly chef engages with each customer as he slices their fish to order. 

Shunji is a delightful and popular Westside Los Angeles sushiya helmed by the chef who previously flashed his knife at several hot spots in the 80’s. While the menu does offer á la carte, the omakase is far and away the best option.  

Sorrel was promoted from the Plate award in the 2019 MICHELIN Guide San Franciscoand delivers seasonal delights from the tasting menu or á la carte. This sleek Cal-Ital eatery draws a casual-chic neighborhood crowd.

Taco Maria in Orange Countydelivers a deeply flavorful and memorable meal. The enticing scent of meat cooking over the fire and house-made heirloom masa tortillas on the griddle set the tone for an amazing experience.     

Trots Mec is a Los Angeles based restaurant where the classic French skills and technique of the chef lend a hand to his contemporary menu that is equally creative and delicious.

For a full listing of California’s MICHELIN Guide restaurants, visit

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