The results are in: we now know which restaurants were issued Michelin stars in California. The star announcements came at a live event held December 5 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Michelin’s update to its California guide added 18 restaurants: one new three-star restaurant and 17 new one-star restaurants across the state. Seven of those single star restaurants are located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
While, for many chefs, Michelin stars are still considered the ultimate prize in fine dining, the Michelin Guide’s importance is debatable in a time when restaurants are frequently contending with staffing and labor challenges, inflation, and supply-chain issues. Still, for diners with the cash to chase after starred-dining, the guide remains a who’s-who of chefs and restaurants, continuing to recognize fresh new faces alongside the titans of fine dining. The all-California guide is a relatively new one, debuting in 2019 and placing seven Northern California restaurants at the helm of its prestigious three-star ratings, most of whom have become fixtures of the category, like the French Laundry, Atelier Crenn, Single Thread, Benu, and Quince.
One noticeable thread among the Bay Area’s 2022 Michelin star recipients is a shift away from French cuisine and toward personal, ambitiously creative cooking. Chef Seth Stowaway’s live-fire cooking at Osito is a breathtaking commitment to communal dining, and chef Corey Lee’s work at San Ho Won brings much-craved dynamism to the city’s Korean barbecue scene. In that spirit, Ssal’s co-owners and life partners Hyunyoung Bae and Junsoo Bae are proving they know how to push Korean food into the 21st century. Geyserville’s Cyrus, with chef Douglas Keane at the helm, just opened in September and was awarded a star; St. Helena favorite, Press, was also newly awarded one star. Sacramento’s Localis was also awarded one star, run by former electrician and musician Christopher Barnum-Dann.
Chef David Yoshimura, meanwhile, took home Michelin’s 2022 Young Chef Award. The guide’s announcement included a profile on Yoshimura which said the chef embodied the idea of Nisei — inside his restaurant and out — which is really “the basis of this cuisine. The Michelin Guide also honored Press in another way: Beverage director (and master sommelier) Vincent Morrow was awarded the Sommelier Award for his work at the St. Helena restaurant.
The Bay Area put a number of contenders on the California Michelin guide, but mostly as recommendations and Bib Gourmands. The seven Northern California restaurants added to the recommendations include Bird & Buffalo (Oakland), Hi Felicia (Oakland), Itria (San Francisco), Ken (San Francisco), Yuji (San Francisco) in addition to Cyrus and Osito. Jo’s Modern Thai in Oakland, as well as Hilda and Jesse and Good Good Culture Club in San Francisco, all made it to the Bib Gourmands list.
For the guide’s full descriptions and explanations of the newest restaurant additions, head to the Michelin site.
Addison (San Diego)
No new restaurants have been awarded two stars this year
- Cyrus (Geyserville)
- Localis (Sacramento)
- Nisei (San Francisco)
- Osito (San Francisco)
- Press (St. Helena)
- San Ho Won (San Francisco)
- Ssal (San Francisco)
Update: December 7, 2022, 3:28 p.m.: This article was updated to include Press and beverage director Vincent Morrow among the list of Michelin winners.