Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

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Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide
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By Lauren Bray

The coveted Michelin Guide stars were announced in a new guide of California and Santa Barbara restaurants fell behind earning zero stars.

In March we reported the esteemed Michelin Guide announced it would review restaurants in Santa Barbara and other counties outside the San Francisco Bay area for their new California Guide.

Before this year, Michelin only rated California restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, which incorporated Napa, Sonoma, and San Jose. Now, the new Michelin Guide California 2019 in partnership with Visit California, expanded their horizons down the coast through Monterey, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

On Monday, Michelin announced the restaurants that earned the coveted one to three stars. California earned a total of 90 stars, 24 were given to Los Angeles area restaurants, expectedly the San Francisco Bay area received the majority of the love, Carmel in Monterey County received one, San Diego County also received one, Orange County received two, and Santa Barbara received zero.

It's unclear which restaurants were visited in the Santa Barbara area. 

Visit guide.michelin.com to see the full list of new Michelin-starred restaurants.

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 March 10, 2019 - Michelin Guide Comes to Santa Barbara

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bigone Jun 05, 2019 05:41 PM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

As usual, there are many comments here that have absolutely nothing to do with the actual article, and so many of them give me a big chuckle. The article was about the fact Santa Barbara received no stars and was "Snubbed", which is completely accurate based on what Michelin uses to award that level of achievement. The fact that local restaurant "XYZ" serves a "mean hamburger" and that restaurant "XYX" serves a piece of cherry pie that even Kyle McLaughlin would enjoy has absolutely no correlation to the article and to the sad fact we do not have even a One Star restaurant here. And the ubiquitous defeatist "If you don't like it here, why don't you move?" comments also have nothing to do with the article and Michel ratings. Obviously SANTABARBARAOBSERVER, BOSCO, and others get it, but the others who don't will continue to enjoy their ignorant bliss amid mediocre dining.

bigone Jun 06, 2019 02:02 PM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

To Mr. 08:38 AM: Personally, I'm making seared foie gras with carmelized pear glaze and grilled octopus with Salmoriglio dressing, served with a Daniel Rion 2008 Vosne Romanee Les Beau Bruns and Hubert Lamy 2014 St. Aubin Derrière Chez Edouard for the main courses tonight with my wife. Simple weeknight meal and you are welcome to join us if would like. Although, perhaps, you'd like to stay "down there" in your nice weather.

a-1582915407 Jun 05, 2019 01:01 PM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

It's Pane e Vino. The Dutch Garden is still in business, so I guess it was a major fluke that the absolute worst meal I was ever served in my hometown was at DG. (To be fair, that was about 8 years ago, but still memorably awful.) Does anyone local still eat at Opal? Opal, where the corkage fee (five years ago) was $25 per bottle?

SantaBarbaraObserver Jun 05, 2019 10:37 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

Its clear that most of the commenters here have never eaten at a Michelin star restaurant or have an understanding of the quality and caliber required to meet their star rating standards. Its not just the food they measure, but every single detail. And in fine dining, the details are endless... There have been only a few places in SB over the years that would be able to match the Michelin standards and none of them cater to the pedestrian or tourist crowd on State St. If the measure of your meal is its cost or its size, then you are not the target for such ratings. I will agree with the sentiment that the service in SB is lacking. Even the best restaurants are staffed with people who do not know basic serving manners and procedures. But like Hawaii, you take what you can get. In SB that usually comes with a few "dudes" or "Bro" or, "I mean, yeah, like, ums... ".

Factotum Jun 05, 2019 10:04 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

Some single low-brow favorites, off the top of my head to start a local list of favorites for eating-not fine dining: #15 Special at La Superica; Antipasto Misto at Ca'Dario; Coconut layer cake at Jane's; many items at Via Maestra 42; Renaud's Croissants ;Hamburger and chocolate mousse pie at Paradise Cafe; Pepper and Parmesan pasta at Biltmore; Johnnie Walker Blue pudding at Caruso's; Chicken Piccata at Chase; Happy Hour menu specials at The Boatyard; Teriyaki combo at SushiTeri; Old Amsterdam cheese with dried figs at home from Trader Joe's. The frozen dinner fish korma from Trader Joe's is pretty darn good too. Love to learn other's go-to local standards when they simply want to eat well; not dine finely . The one's people go back for over and over again and come away never disappointed.

Waterboy Jun 05, 2019 09:53 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

I largely agree with the Michelain assessment of Santa Barbara’s restaurants. It is time for our local restauranteurs to push their goals beyond the bottom line. Excellence is often its own reward and it give the community a reason to be proud.

Factotum Jun 05, 2019 09:51 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

If one goes out for good food and not dining, one can do very well in this town. Many classics and menu items done so well and so consistently at individual restaurants they are now well woven parts of the fabric of this town. One does not need to be trendy to win fans, there are consistent classics that also remain popular and unchanged all over town. And have nothing to do with Michelin standards - looking for "French" food outside of France. What we have is often good food; not just food fads. Glad to hear Sama Sama got its game back -started strong, hit a very disjointed low point and the place was filthy a few years back. Agree, out of town chefs who leave and lose control over their kitchen often passing it on to staff with no cultural background in the output product is a story of slow death in many an early splash restaurant. One more vote for local control and local love.

BlueHorseshoe Jun 05, 2019 09:10 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

And another thing. The servers act like the 25% tip is theirs before you sit down. It's become a social right for them to get paid no matter how much effort they give us. If everybody started tipping based on actual service quality, things would change. It's really up to us to decide the level of service we require in our town.

a-1582915407 Jun 05, 2019 01:08 PM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

BLUEHORSESHOE. Who on Earth tips 25%, unless the service was five-star? When we go out to dinner we typically tip 20% (more, if the service is top rate) and even then have friends and family rollling their eyes about us over-tipping.

biguglystick Jun 05, 2019 10:14 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

As a server, I take issue with this comment. I love my customers, and my top goal is to make sure they have a stellar experience. I don't know what restaurants you've been going to, but we try very hard to please our customers no matter what, and our service ratings every year for the past 25 years reflect that.

BlueHorseshoe Jun 05, 2019 09:08 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

Santa Barbara has some really high quality food, what they lack for the most part is quality service. These people think that opening a restaurant that was successful in LA can be a carbon copy in SB. What they fail to realize is that the x-factor that makes them successful in LA is them being there to train their people and manage the place. You can't be in 2 places at once. Lucky's, Arigato, Pane Vino, & Little Door are the only places in town that really tag the service side. I'm really impressed with the staff development at Little Door. The owner is there every night and puts an immense amount of effort into training his people and it shows. If you haven't been there, try it - bottomless mussels on Tuesday nights, & if you bring a bottle of wine, ask to have the Czech guy pour it, his system is fantastic.

bigone Jun 05, 2019 08:32 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

It came as no surprise that none of our local restaurants received a star, knowing the standards that Michelin adheres to. I have found their ratings quite dependable, especially when traveling in Europe. Those that speculated a few of our eateries would rank star obviously don't have the knowledge (or palate) of fine dining and service that Michelin requires. I would certainly trust a Michelin rating more than anything on Yelp, or other social media sites. That said, we do have a few good reasonably priced places in town that I enjoy on a somewhat frequent basis such as Black Sheep and Petit Valentien. Many of the other "touted" local restaurants are just too expensive and mediocre, and I am glad Michelin recognized that fact. For anyone that dismisses Michelin, if you are traveling in Europe or larger metropolitan areas that feature starred restaurants, try one or two of them so you can get a perspective of what it takes to receive that recognition.

biguglystick Jun 05, 2019 10:15 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

Petit Valentine was wonderful, because the owner was there and made up an entirely vegetarian meal for me because I couldn't eat most of what was on his menu. That was incredible, but the server there was slow and inexperienced. Still loved it.

a-1582915407 Jun 05, 2019 09:11 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

The headline and article is only talking about the Michelin Star, not the lower level recognitions that almost every other town receives. Until this week, Stars were ONLY given out in the San Francisco area. So it was big news last year that they were even considering coming to LA and Santa Barbara. Snubbed is telling those $150 per person restaurants in town that they need to lower their prices. For the record, the Michelin Star has been awarded to restaurants all over the world, some are even little huts in the Philippines that cost $1 but the food is that good.

Soccer-Fan Jun 05, 2019 07:57 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

As soon as the cooks in this town realize a meal in SB does not require a smothering of over -spiced red sauce an/or garlic to make it desirable we could be on the right track. And please - the addition of a large green pepper does not improve the French Dip sandwich!!!!

Soccer-Fan Jun 05, 2019 07:29 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

Good food depends on the expertise of the chef. Nowadays the messes placed in front of one in the name of excellence and the over- gourmet label can be just plain unappetizing, tasteless and puzzling. One recalls with sadness the days of Talk of the Town, Somerset, Green Gables and many more. When the music was soft, waiters unobtrusive but THERE, and never cranked out words such as " Are you still working on this?" Placing one suddenly in front of a jack-hammer.

Middle Ground Jun 05, 2019 12:04 AM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

Stars aren’t the whole shabang, Lauren. Bib Gourmand nods were given to Sama Sama and Mesa Verde as someone mentioned. They also have L'Assiette Michelin aka “Michelin Plate” which I know Lark received and I believe SushiBar Montecito. Probably have to buy the guide to see what SB restaurants got them if they don’t self-promote.

a-1582915407 Jun 04, 2019 04:27 PM
Santa Barbara Restaurants Snubbed by Michelin in New California Guide

We have some great food in town - don't get me wrong, but none of the SB restaurants would qualify for a Michelin star. And with that being said - you can be a restaurant with awesome food and no star. And the prices will be cheaper without the Michelin star. Go away Michelin :)

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