Los Angeles County gets bragging rights this week as The Michelin Guide has awarded 8 new starts to area restaurants. With metrics considered such as quality of food, variety, and unique flair, the stars prove that a restaurant has surpassed its peers. Guests who visit a Michelin-star restaurant know to trust that it’s going to be good, so they only award them to the best of the best. So which of the LA County restaurants got the nod? CELEB takes a look. 

Los Angeles County Superstars

Michelin stars

Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Today, the Michelin Guide released its official list of the 27 California restaurants that have newly earned at least one of its coveted stars. From the California wine country and San Francisco to the Central Coast, Los Angeles to Orange County and San Diego, the lineup offers a range of cuisines that celebrate the agricultural and cultural diversity of the state.

Notably, none of the eateries were given the maximum three-star honor. Each place that made the new California list is considered by official Michelin guidelines to be either ‘a very good restaurant’ (one star) or, at the next level, ‘excellent cooking that is worth a detour’ (two stars).”

Even though it’s disappointing to have a total miss on three stars, there’s plenty to celebrate among the awardees. The following restaurants took honors:

  • Hayato: Brandon Go’s downtown LA destination earned two stars.
  • Mélisse: Josiah Citron’s Santa Monica restaurant also took two stars.
  • Phenakite: Minh Phan’s restaurant earned 1 star for its co-working space Second Home location.
  • Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura: Another 1-star winner in Beverly Hills.
  • Pasjoli: Another Santa Monica 1-star.
  • Sushi I-naba: A Manhattan Beach 1-star.
  • Morihiro: This Atwater Village locale also earned 1 star. 
  • Pasta | Bar: This Encino strip mall location earned 1 star. 

San Diego Takes Some Honors

Michelin stars

And these restaurants in San Diego earned new stars:

  • Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad
  • Soichi Sushi in University Heights
  • Sushi Tadokoro in Old Town.

It’s a promising next step for San Diego which lags behind Los Angeles in Michelin-star restaurants. Other nearby counties also celebrated new stars, as in Bell’s and Sushi | Bar in Montecito. 

Across all three counties; Santa Barba, LA and Orange, chefs celebrated their restaurants’ accomplishments. Per Daily News, “Michelin prepared a reactions reel to post on Instagram. Chefs receiving the news for the first time expressed their feelings, from Chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi applauding and high-fiving in Knife Pleat’s kitchen in Costa Mesa to a simple shout of ‘Banzai!’ from Chef Morihiro Onodera of Morihiro in Los Angeles.

Chef-owner Minh Phan of Phenakite in Hollywood squealed with delight, then gave credit to her staff. ‘It’s this team. It’s them, they work so hard every day,’ she said.”

The Process of Earning Michelin Stars

If you’ve ever been curious about how Michelin stars are award, it’s all about the food. The Michelin Guide doesn’t rely on reviews, but uses anonymous Inspectors who will visit a restaurant in secret 3 to 6 times to get a feel for things.

They’ll grade from 1 to 5 on quality and comfort, but the focus is on the food itself. Fine Dining Lovers explains, “The judging criteria is the same for each restaurant, focusing on the quality of the ingredients, cooking techniques and, most importantly, taste. Michelin stars are awarded solely on the standard of cuisine, so inspectors will not consider things like restaurant decor or ambience when awarding stars, although the comfort and quality is rated from 1 to 5 using a crossed fork and spoon symbol.”

The anonymous inspectors, who are expected to have extensive experience in the restaurant industry, will visit often to make sure the restaurant continues to earn its star or stars.

Even one Michelin star is a remarkable honor, and it’s impressive to see more and more California restaurants take the accolades.