Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

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Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara
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By edhat staff

The esteemed Michelin Guide announced it will review restaurants in Santa Barbara and other counties outside the San Francisco Bay area.

Currently, Michelin only covers California restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, which incorporates Napa, Sonoma, and San Jose. As part of the new Michelin Guide California 2019, they will expand their horizons down the coast through Monterey, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

The announcement is in partnership with California’s state tourism board, Visit California.

“With access to many of the world’s best farms, food producers and vineyards, California cuisine is respected worldwide not only for the quality of its ingredients but also due to the creativity displayed by its chefs," according to Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides. 

Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta also stated: “California and Michelin are a perfect pairing, joining forces to show the world the innovation and breadth of the Golden State’s culinary landscape. The diversity and abundance of dining opportunities here, including an unparalleled array of ethnic dining, women chefs, and limitless agricultural bounty, sets California apart from any other destination in the world.”

With a bevy of quality restaurants in Santa Barbara, it makes us curious which ones might snag a star or two from the prestigious tire-making travel guide.

What local restaurants do edhat readers think will receive a Michelin star?

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yin yang Mar 14, 2019 10:00 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

I don't think it will affect reviews, myself. Too much space between the tourism board and the meals individual reviewers eat. ===================================== "The $600,000 will “underwrite the hard costs of expanding the presence of Michelin inspectors throughout the state,” according to a statement from Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. It will sponsor Michelin California for one year, although there are expectations for Michelin to continue to inspect statewide beyond the initial June release. Food industry newsletter the Family Meal first broke the news of the financial agreement. The California deal is the first of its kind in the United States, but tourism boards paying Michelin to create a guide in their region is not unprecedented. In 2016, Michelin headed to Seoul for the first time, and the state-run Korean Tourism Board pays approximately $350,000 to commission the book annually, as reported by the Washington Post. The Tourism Authority of Thailand reportedly spends $880,000 per year for Michelin credentials, according to CNN."

yin yang Mar 14, 2019 09:55 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

San Francisco Chronicle: "Sending anonymous inspectors from the world’s top dining guide to eat at all of California’s best restaurants and emerging gems isn’t cheap — it costs at least $600,000. That’s the figure that tourism board Visit California is paying the Michelin Guide to expand its coverage beyond the Bay Area to the entire state. Michelin’s distinctive red books are often seen as the top marker of prestige in the international restaurant world, with star ratings drawing audiences to fine-dining destinations such as the French Laundry in Yountville and Benu in San Francisco." ============================= Article: https://www.sfchronicle.com/restaurants/article/What-s-behind-the-600-000-California-tourism-13683187.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=briefing&utm_campaign=sfc_baybriefing_am

a-1575629638 Mar 12, 2019 07:30 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

If there were any Michelin star worthy food at restaurants in SB, they would lose stars for terrible service.

LocalMatt Mar 11, 2019 09:05 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Who really cares anyway? A Michelin star? It's an award. The true stamp for greatness is making money and staying profitable. That is a true award.

bigone Mar 11, 2019 08:50 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Good food and ambiance at Angel Oak but incredible salty when I have eaten there. Don't count on MIchelin giving any stars if their investigator experiences what I have.

a-1575629638 Mar 11, 2019 03:45 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

I'd have to agree with the comments that not to many here will or could get a Michelin star. There is definitely good food in SB but nowhere near 5 star Michelin style. Not compared to Manhattan, places in Europe or San Fran. Take Pascucci's for example - sure, it's tasty but the way ppl rave about it, you'd think it was top notch and sorry but, having grown up italian and been to Italy and had 5 star Italian Pascucci's isn't it. It's good - but not THAT good. I'd have to really think hard, even Holdren's I don't think would make it. Maybe - MAYBE - Cafe Stella?

a-1575629638 Mar 12, 2019 08:30 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

As a foodie, yes I know about Michelin stars my reference to 5 star restaurants was to make a point, not to refer to the Michelin stars. If you read my comment, it refers to 5 star italian compared to a restaurant here. But thanks for the attempted correction -

a-1575629638 Mar 11, 2019 08:49 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

The highest Michelin rating for restaurants is three stars, not five. You are referring to hotels which receive various "5 Star" rankings from other publications, but those are not from Michelin. A restaurant in Michelin can receive a five "fork and spoon rating", however, but that is even below a Michelin one star rating. We will probably see a few local restaurants with the "F&S" when the guide is published.

NikSinghLambet Mar 11, 2019 02:52 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Petit Valentien should deserve one.. Absolutely the best food in town (try the Kale Ceaser Salad). The food has always been amazing there.

andrewbaker77 Mar 11, 2019 01:04 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Yoichi's. For sure. Guessing the reason they are coming. How many stars? Who knows who cares. Easily one of, if not the, best meals you will ever experience. -AB

Factotum Mar 11, 2019 11:36 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Oyster Loft in Pismo Beach is a hidden gem. The Central Coast has a surprising number of destination worthy dining establishments, often modest but offering consistent quality and value. No stars, but plenty of worth a journeys.

bigone Mar 11, 2019 11:07 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

I'd have to agree that no restaurant in Santa Barbara and environs is good enough to rate even one star. We have a few decent restaurants which might rate a "crossed knife and fork" mention, but none of them meet the standards Michelin utilizes for its star ratings. I would be VERY surprised if any of our local restaurants meet their criteria for rating a star. However, the new pairing with "Visit California" makes me suspicious about how the ratings will be affected. I have not eaten at Silver Bough yet, but they could possibly be in the running if the food and service match the cost. And what's with some of the comments in this post that no women have received a Michelin rating? The last time I looked, at least four were included in the "most decorated ("starred") Michelin chefs."

a-1575629638 Mar 11, 2019 10:03 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

There is no restaurant in the SB County or Ventura County area that could possibly be given Michelin star status. This area has some of the worst options, among the worst service, ridiculously priced and poorly presented food in modern world. We have eaten from Adelaide to Amsterdam, from Capetown to Dubrovnik, and from Mendoza to Manhattan and certainly from LA to Seattle. There is no place where the servers evidence more entitlement, the food is more abused and the costs are less relative to the original product than right here. We have mediocre places that are OK for the purpose of eating out but no place that is a celebration of food. Closest is in fact in the Bay Area.

yin yang Mar 14, 2019 10:19 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

I respect your opinion and have some food knowledge and have never eaten in a starred restaurant. However, if you have eaten in all those cities, I assure you that your resources and life ARE exceptional. I'm being realistic, you should try to be also.

FondofSB Mar 11, 2019 02:04 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Entirely agree with you. How sad given the availability of great food to make something special. But obviously (and sadly) : not here !

SantaBarbaraObserver Mar 11, 2019 10:33 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Haha. I mostly agree having been fortunate to have eaten at many Michelin rated restaurants around the world. However, when making such a claim, one must cater to the audience. And to many here, fine dining includes paper napkins and a side of envy. I havent tried Silver Bough yet (needs to be a special occasion), but based on the word of others whom I trust, it is as good as anyplace, anywhere.

a-1575629638 Mar 11, 2019 10:18 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

10:03 here: "The air" up here is fresh, clear of brainwashing chemicals and allows honest non Jingoistic comment. Not absolutely sure of your intent but suspect you are implying somehow I am "entitled" but I assure you my resources and life are not exceptional. I just try to tell the truth and sometimes puncture pomposity.

mtndriver Mar 11, 2019 09:04 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

The Michelin guides include many restaurants that aren’t star-rated. There are moderately priced places that get recommended, a crossed knife and fork icon instead of a star, a simple mention. And really, the whole Michelin star thing is joining the dinosaurs. Several famous three star chefs have taken themselves out of competition in order to have a better quality of life and also the ability to offer some more simple food if they so desire. Having a three star rating means you never get to sleep.

SantaBarbaraObserver Mar 11, 2019 08:22 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Reading some of these suggestions makes me giggle. While a few of your suggestions may be fine food establishments, they are nowhere near the caliber needed to achieve a Michelin star rating. Of our town's fine dining establishments, there might be 3 that could qualify for a single star and only one that could go higher. Here are my guesses for the single star: 1) Stone house 2) Bouchon. The latest addition to our are, and the only one that is likely to draw 2 or possibly 3 stars, is the incredibly opulent and ridiculously expensive Silver Bough.

SantaBarbaraObserver Mar 11, 2019 12:57 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

That's why I put the caveat "might"... As mentioned by Factorum, Yoichi's may also be a contender but to many, traditional Japanese is a bit out of their norm.

a-1575629638 Mar 11, 2019 11:14 AM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Can't agree about your #1 and 2 mentions - at least based on my experiences there. They are ok, but no where near the level to rate a star.

sbmh2015 Mar 10, 2019 09:59 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Zero restaurants here. This article title is misleading. Seems like guide is only coming here. Basically Michelin is expanding in California out of the Bay Area. Going to Central Coast and Southern California. I'll be shocked if any restaurant in Santa Barbara gets a Michelin mention

a-1575629638 Mar 10, 2019 07:24 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Lilac Patisserie, on State Street, is co-owned, husband and wife. The restaurant is completely gluten-free, because the female owner is a celiac.

SoapBox Mar 10, 2019 05:53 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

I hate feeding the trolls, but I’ll bite. The restaurant industry has a history of denying women their fair slice of the pie due to its history of serving up a culture of gender discrimination with a side of sexual harassment and misconduct. I am happy to see this guide actively recognizing and highlighting women chefs as a key ingredient to our local and regional cuisine. It’s only a small part of what is needed to create more fair and balanced meals.

Abc109 Mar 10, 2019 06:04 PM
Michelin Guides Comes to Santa Barbara

Read it again - the sentence includes "diversity". It's a nod to women becoming more recognized in the professional culinary world where, on average, women are the recipients of awards or accolades only 20% of the time. Further, there are zero - yes, zero - women on the World's 50 Best Chefs list who don't share the honor with a father, husband or boss. This article implies that the number of female Chefs in Santa Barbara is growing. But you could have probably figured ALL of that out, were you not so busy being contrary. You probably googled "International Men's Day" last week.

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