The Michelin Guide team has done its usual round of teasers and released its list of new Bib Gourmand additions for the California guide — not the full Bib list, mind you, but this year's new additions, with the complete list available in print or on the Michelin app next Tuesday, September 28, when the star roster is revealed.
Last month, the Michelin inspectors announced a list of 10 "New Discoveries" in the Bay Area, which included Oakland's Horn Barbecue, new Divisadero spot Routier, and two Bernal Heights restaurants, Marlena and 3rd Cousin.
And next week, we'll have to wait no longer for the latest Michelin Guide to all of California — the first in over two years, and one that will no doubt show the scars of the last pandemic year across the restaurant world. In October 2020, the company decided not to release a guide or any star ratings for California due to the wildfires then raging across the state and the ongoing pandemic, though as of last summer they had still been planning to put out a 2020 guide.
Today they announced 45 new Bib Gourmand additions for the California guide, 20 of those in the Bay Area (with only three in San Francisco). This list is supposed to reflect excellent value that doesn't perhaps reach the star level, but is nonetheless recommendation worthy — and technically it's supposed to be "restaurants [that] offer a full menu of a starter, main course and dessert, making it possible to order two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for around $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included)." That $40 cutoff hasn't changed in the last 13+ years that Michelin has been covering California, which makes qualifying as a Bib Gourmand increasingly difficult for many restaurants given the costs of doing business in the Bay Area and rising entree prices. Like, apart from taquerias and sandwich places, when was the last time you had two actual courses and a glass of wine for under $40?
On the new list we see several of the "New Discoveries" that the Michelin inspectors previously highlighted — and the absence of 3rd Cousin and Marlena hints at the possibility they might have earned stars this year. And two excellent Oakland taquerias that also have won over Chronicle critic Soleil Ho, Tacos Oscar and Taqueria El [email protected], have joined the roster as well — welcome additions after many years in which taquerias were generally ignored by Michelin. (See the Bib Gourmand list for 2019 for the Bay Area for reference.)
Below, the list of new additions — see the inspectors' blurbs here — with the full list to follow on Monday.
ASA South (Los Gatos)
Dumpling Home (San Francisco)
FOB Kitchen (Oakland)
Horn Barbecue (Oakland)
iTalico (Palo Alto)
Khom Loi (Sebastopol)
Los Carnalitos (Redwood City)
New Dumpling (El Cerrito)
Range Life (Livermore)
Routier (San Francisco)
Spinning Bones (Alameda)
Taquería El [email protected] (Oakland)
Tacos Oscar (Oakland)
Tony’s Seafood (Marshall)
Top Hatters Kitchen (San Leandro)
Um.ma (San Francisco)
Yue Huang (Sacramento)