The new combined California Michelin Guide was released this evening with a party in Huntington Beach — even though, ironically, there were scant few SoCal honorees outside Los Angeles proper, and the vast majority of star awards still went to the Bay Area. And the big Bay Area headline is that Saison has dropped from three stars to two, largely because of the departure of executive chef and co-owner Joshua Skenes.
That means that the San Francisco Bay Area has seven three-star restaurants, down from eight, which is still the most of any guide in the US — but only three of those are in the city proper (Benu, Quince, and Atelier Crenn).
"California’s trendsetting, laid-back and health-conscious culinary scene continues to boom, and as a result is an amazing showcase for the great local produce," says Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the MICHELIN Guides.
Los Angeles, which remains annoyed that Michelin dissed them a decade ago and exited the city in part because it didn't have a restaurant worthy of three stars, still has no three-star restaurant. A half dozen LA restaurants earned two stars, including Providence (which earned two stars in the original LA guide), and relative newcomer Verspertine. And as far as honors outside LA, SF and wine country, San Diego's Addison earned one star, as did Orange County sushi spot HaNaRe, and the only Mexican honoree in SoCal, Orange County's Taco Maria.
LA favorites Trois Mec, Osteria Mozza, and former Bay Area chef Jeremy Fox's Rustic Canyon each earned one star.
Sacramento can claim a single one-star restaurant, as the Sac Bee reports, which is The Kitchen, and Harbor House in Mendocino also earned one star.
But back to the Bay Area, here's the updated (NorCal) list below (the complete CA list is here). You'll note that Campton Place was elevated from one star to two, and Aster still lands its star, despite the fact that it closed a couple months ago. Congratulations, all.
The Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena)
Manresa (Los Gatos)
Single Thread (Healdsburg)
The French Laundry (Yountville)
Baumé (Palo Alto)
Auberge de Soleil (Rutherford)
Chez TJ (Mountain View)
Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant (Forestville)
Harbor House (Mendocino)
Keiko a Nob Hill
The Kitchen (Sacramento)
La Toque (Napa)
Madcap (San Anselmo)
Madera (Menlo Park)
Madrona Manor (Healdsburg)
Maum (Palo Alto)
The Plumed Horse (Saratoga)
Sons & Daughters
State Bird Provisions
Sushi Yoshizumi (San Mateo)
The Village Pub (Woodside)
Wakuriya (San Mateo)
Photo courtesy of Saison