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The MICHELIN Guide celebrated 27 new MICHELIN stars across California with the announcement of five new two MICHELIN Stars and 22 new one MICHELIN Stars. Chefs were surprised during video interviews on the MICHELIN Guide Instagram channel.
“As an international culinary destination and leader in the industry, California continues to impress MICHELIN Guide inspectors with a commitment to sustainable gastronomy and creative cuisine,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the MICHELIN Guides. “We are delighted to celebrate nineteen promotions for restaurants that elevated their quality and consistency despite the challenges of the health crisis, and welcome eight new entries to our selection at the star level.”
Here’s the list of new MICHELIN star restaurants, with inspector notes from each restaurant.
Two MICHELIN Stars:
Addison (San Diego – promotion from one MICHELIN Star)
Chef William Bradley continues to flaunt his impressive skills at this iconic, standard-setting dining room, and his talents are more tangible now than ever before. Addison's menu retains the chef’s signatures while constantly evolving.
Birdsong (San Francisco – promotion from one MICHELIN Star)
Chef Christopher Bleidorn's skill lies in his ability to combine the rugged appeal of flame-kissed meats with a delicate touch and palpable sense of whimsy. For proof, look no further than the lacquered quail with grilled Parker House rolls and crunchy pickles to be assembled by hand à la Peking duck.
Hayato (Los Angeles – promotion from one MICHELIN Star)
Dinner here is an intimate and engaging experience with chef Brandon Hayato Go. Many of the courses for this kaiseki meal begin with ingredients that are artfully arranged in the back kitchen and handed to the chef on trays, then finished before your eyes and presented with detailed explanations.
Harbor House (Mendocino County – promotion from one MICHELIN Star)
Chef Matthew Kammerer is devout when it comes to hyper-local and foraged ingredients, so much so that the fisherman's name may casually be dropped into conversation or the apple orchard owner is likely seated next to you.
Mélisse (Santa Monica – New two MICHELIN Star)
Chef Josiah Citrin's iconic dining room is back up and running—even thriving. His expertise lies in delivering a certain fine-dining experience that never goes out of style. It's a lovely change of pace for anyone looking to slow down, indulge and be pampered by the highly capable service staff.
One MICHELIN Star:
Adega (San Francisco – Promotion to one MICHELIN Star)
Chefs David Costa and Jessica Carreira elevate every bite on their appetizing menu with a perfect blend of pristine local produce and top-notch imported ingredients. Seafood is a particular area of focus in this kitchen, and diners shouldn't miss a dressed-up take on Portugal's culinary backbone—that is, bacalhau or salted cod.
Avery (San Francisco – Promotion to one MICHELIN Star)
The impressive menu pays homage to chef and co-owner, Rodney Wages' experiences at some of the city’s most elite kitchens. As the meal unfolds, it quickly becomes clear that this chef marches to the beat of his own drums. A lovingly curated champagne and sake list accents this distinctive cuisine.
Barndiva (Sonoma – Promotion to one MICHELIN Star)
The cooking, as conceived by chef Jordan Rosas, hones in on prime local produce and sustainability. There is a tangible deftness in such aromatic flavor combinations as seared dayboat scallops with kohlrabi, grapefruit and lemongrass-ginger butter sauce. Of course, it should be unlawful to forgo the creative goodies from pastry chef, Neidy Venegas.
Bell’s (Santa Barbara – Promotion from New Discovery)
After cutting their teeth at top New York City kitchens, Daisy and Greg Ryan headed to the West Coast—settling into the confines of the Santa Ynez Valley. This is cooking that tastes as good it looks, shining a spotlight on local purveyors.
Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura (Los Angeles – New one MICHELIN Star)
Chef Massimo Bottura has put the talented Mattio Agazzi at the helm and the results are impressive indeed. This is cooking that is at once whimsical and grounded.
Jeune et Jolie (San Diego – New one MICHELIN Star)
Partner John Resnick and Executive Chef Eric Bost are behind this very appealing and well-orchestrated French restaurant oozing with style and elegance at every turn. This cooking displays a mature direction, with solid ingredients, unique combinations and beautiful presentations.
Knife Pleat (Orange County – Promotion from New Discovery)
Everyone is here for chef Tony Esnault's contemporary take on classic French cuisine, brought to you by professional servers who virtually glide around in measured movements. The menu highlights imaginative dishes that weave technique with ingenuity.
Marlena (San Francisco – Promotion from New Discovery)
Husband-and-wife team, David Fisher and Serena Chow Fisher, manage both the savory and sweet side of things; and their fine dining pedigree is apparent in the cooking, deftly marrying simplicity with sophistication. Diners will appreciate the precise technique and understated yet imaginative use of ingredients found throughout the prix fixe menu.
Morihiro (Los Angeles – New one MICHELIN Star)
Chef Morihiro Onodera's omakase yields an impressive amount of food that includes such impeccably executed items as firefly squid with wakame seaweed and halibut sashimi with pink peppercorn. Minimally seasoned nigiri with large defined grains may unveil everything from clean, white hirame to appetizingly oily mackerel.
Niku Steakhouse (San Francisco – New one MICHELIN Star)
Executive Chef Dustin Falcon helms the kitchen, where pristine cuts of top shelf Japanese beef share screen time with hearty American cuts—the red hot binchotan coals create mouthwatering char.
O' by Claude Le Tohic (San Francisco – New one MICHELIN Star)
Chef Claude Le Tohic's prix-fixe menu is composed of outstanding courses that may pair classic French techniques with pristine Californian ingredients. Exquisite sauces work their way into this rotating lineup that may begin with a generous trio of caviar with freshly baked breads; and end over enticing mignardise.
Pasjoli (Santa Monica – Promotion from New Discovery)
Chef Dave Beran has upped the ante with this captivating French bistro, where standards like onion soup and beef tartare are elevated to their highest reaches.
Pasta | Bar (Los Angeles – Promotion from New Discovery)
The mastery of this team lies in their ability to take full advantage of California’s natural bounty, with thrilling results, as seen in cavatelli with a glossy, butter-rich lobster sauce, with spring peas and chunks of sweet meat; or an exalted take on the caprese by way of marigold tomatoes, mozzarella, fennel flowers and avocado.
Phenakite (Los Angeles – Promotion from New Discovery)
Chef Minh Phan's Phenakite takes up residence at a co-working office space nestled among trees and within a beautifully maintained structure. Subtle, elegant flavors and singular textures show up in spades in such deeply personal creations as mochi dumpling with lardon and sugar snap peas.
Selby's (San Francisco – Promotion from New Discovery)
This talented kitchen spins out classic American cuisine with a menu that showcases product from the group's five-acre organic farm.
Six Test Kitchen (Paso Robles – Promotion from New Discovery)
Chef Ricky Orbert's multi-course tasting menu is on the books, evolving with and inspired by the seasons of the Central Coast. Fridays and Saturdays feature an expanded menu, with dishes that highlight the chef's unique style and creative vision.
Soichi (San Diego – Promotion from New Discovery)
Named for Chef Soichi Kadoya, who honed his skills at Old Town's Sushi Tadokoro, this intimate Japanese restaurant has quickly made a name for itself in University Heights. Sushi leans straightforward, but it's impressive and flaunts much skill.
Sushi | Bar Montecito (Santa Barbara – Promotion from New Discovery)
Nestled next to the Tony Montecito Inn, this is no ordinary omakase eatery. Head sushi chef, Lennon Silvers-Lee, hails from Van Nuys, not Japan, and his nigiri are not just supremely finessed but also infused with original touches—like the dab of sweet corn “pudding” and crunchy sourdough breadcrumbs dressing slices of hamachi.
Sushi I-NABA (Los Angeles – Promotion from New Discovery)
Chef Yasuhiro Hirano, together with his wife who runs the front of house, is responsible for turning out some of the most exciting sushi around. His particular magic lies in weaving together a few key components, including the exotic fish that he ages before preparing with a host of ingredients.
Sushi Shin (San Francisco – New one MICHELIN Star)
Chef Jason Zhan is charming, engaging and a bona fide tome of information on product sourcing, aging and marinating. Diners fortunate to be perched in front of him may be presented with the likes of sea water eel braised in dashi and topped with plum sauce; followed by sardine tartare imbued with ginger and scallions. Next up, nigiri of exceptional quality and delicate seasoning.
Sushi Tadokoro (San Diego – Promotion from New Discovery)
Chef and owner Tadokoro along with young chef, Tatsuro Tsuchiya, take great pleasure in providing diners with a delightful dining experience. Attention to detail is a hallmark, as sauces are homemade and the fish of the day rests within a wood box awaiting very special treatment.
The Shota (San Francisco – New one MICHELIN Star)
The menu combines Edomae sushi with classic kaiseki—and is informed every step of the way with imported Japanese ingredients and local produce. Expectedly, diners are treated to a breathtaking experience from start to finish—as well as service that is effortless, unobtrusive and engaging.
The new selections are available on the MICHELIN Guide iOS and Android app. Download the free app to explore all the Michelin-rated restaurants across the globe and book the world’s most unique and exciting hotels. App users can also create and share their own restaurant and hotel wish lists.