Whether you’re a true believer or just a TikTok fan, astrology is pretty much everywhere these days. Open up your favorite social media app and you can find your zodiac sign as a classic diner dish, favorite wedding food, or frozen treat. But since this week brings the debut of the 2023 Michelin Guide California, it seems appropriate to place some of Northern California’s glittering restaurants within their most appropriate constellations. Without further ado, we present a quick and playful guide to Northern California’s Michelin-starred restaurants as zodiac signs.
Aries: Lazy Bear
It’s been more than a decade since lawyer-turned-chef David Barzelay turned his pop-up into a full-fledged restaurant. These days Lazy Bear holds a reputation for deftly straddling the line between being both a damn good time and technically consistent. The team’s studied nonchalance belies the Herculean effort that goes into every service, which is exactly the kind of thing a competitive and audacious Aries would appreciate.
Taurus: State Bird Provisions
More than a decade into its existence, chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s State Bird Provisions remains one of San Francisco’s dining stalwarts, maintaining a Michelin star and earning a nod for being one of the most important restaurants of the decade. The restaurant is steadfast in its quality and its chefs are as humble as they come, making this a perfect fit for bullish Taurus.
Gemini: Mister Jiu’s
Is there any chef with a Michelin star to his name who’s doing more things at once than Brandon Jew? On top of his beloved Chinatown restaurant, he also operates lunar-inspired cocktail bar Moongate Lounge and Chinese American mini-chain Mamahuhu, and recently authored a James Beard Award-winning cookbook — in other words, doing everything at once in full Gemini style.
Cancer: Harbor House Inn
There’s perhaps no better place to get cozy over dinner than at Harbor House Inn, chef Matthew Kammerer’s two-Michelin-starred destination perched high on the cliffs above the Mendocino coastline. The menu is an ode to the region’s local and seasonal ingredients including abalone, lichen, and bay laurel — making a perfect fit for this water sign — and the restaurant is attached to a charming hotel so sensitive crabs can retreat to their rooms after the meal.
Leo: The Kitchen
Leos love to live it up and make themselves the center of attention and no one does that better than the crew at one-Michelin-starred the Kitchen in Sacramento. Dinner here is a boisterous affair during which guests can get up, wander into the back of house, and even take turns plating dishes with chef Kelly McCown holding court at the center of it all.
Owner and chef Douglas Keane brought back his Michelin-starred wine country destination Cyrus with the goal of creating a fine dining restaurant that puts the well-being of its staff first. The team’s commitment to both efficiency and culinary excellence showcases Virgo-like methodical thinking and dedication to helping everyone in their circle.
Libras love the high life, and nothing says luxury quite like Saison, the two-Michelin-star restaurant where the $298 tasting menu starts with caviar and ends with wagyu steak — with the restaurant’s famous and decadent uni toast in between. The expansive wine list also offers plenty of rare and high-end bottles to please the palates of sophisticated Libra connoisseurs.
Chef Val Cantu’s brings incredible passion to his two-Michelin-star restaurant Californios, elevating Mexican cuisine and ingredients to new heights with flawless technique. The elaborate tasting menus spin blue corn masa, queso Oaxaca, and nopales into complex dishes, all served in a black-walled dining room that feels appropriately moody for a Scorpio.
Guests gather around a literal hearth at chef Seth Stowaway’s Osito, where live-fire cooking earns a Michelin star for being both honest in its seasonality and sourcing, as well as ambitious. Confident and friendly Sagittarius won’t mind chatting through the meal, which is hosted around a single communal table in the rustic space.
Capricorn: Sushi Yoshizumi
Chef Akira Yoshizumi spent years perfecting his skill in crafting Edomae sushi, a fitting display of Capricorn-esque determination. It’s hard to get a spot at this eight-seat sushi counter, but fans praise the Sushi Yoshizumi experience for its purity. There’s an undercurrent of stubbornness, too: “Don’t waste your time and money,” the restaurant warns those who come with incorrect expectations.
This dark and moody newcomer to the San Francisco dining scene, courtesy of chef Peter Hemsley, leans into the innovative and socially-minded territory that Aquarius calls home. At Aphotic, Hemsley goes out of his way to source fish directly from local fishermen and doesn’t shy away from somewhat out-of-the-box dishes like skate wing with green garlic and oyster ice cream.
Pisces: Atelier Crenn
An empathetic Pisces should feel nicely aligned with chef Dominique Crenn’s three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn with its deeply personal menu, which is also a poem, and commitment to sustainability measures like going plastic-free. From the first bite, inspired by a kir Breton cocktail Crenn’s mother used to serve, to the last, it’s an exceptionally artistic meal.