There are few food scenes in the world like San Francisco, where each Fall the release of the annual Michelin Guide plays out like a Greek Tragedy. But the fact that a city of little more than 800,000 residents has as many 3-Star eateries as NYC, with a population of 8.4 million, alas cements it as the epicenter of fine American dining. Here's what you should know, and where you should be eating right now.
Chef Michael Tusk's newly Three Star Quince joins the ranks of Benu, Saison, The French Laundry, The Restaurant at Meadowood and Manresa. According to the French Guide, a Three Star Michelin rating defines “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” The only Italian-focused eatery of the bunch, Quince offers a refreshed, sophisticated dining room that out-staffs the rest while adding a stylish feel to very formal dining. David Barzelay's Mission restaurant Lazy Bear was upped to Two Stars for its ticket-based dining room that started as an underground dining scene while Mister Jiu's, by Brandon Jew, has made California-Cantonese and Chinatown cool again, complete with a new One Star rating.
Few tears were shed this year over lost stars, as even Coi retained its Two Star rating despite the loss of chef-owner Daniel Patterson - thanks to new chef Matthew Kirkley, depending on how you look at it. Mosu was our favorite Asian-influenced winner with its daringly minimalist dining room of ingenious dishes by chef Sung Anh. We were sad to see Cala by Mexico's Gabriela Camara not get its due, with unrivaled Latin cuisine often overlooked by the The Red Guide. Given U.S. Michelin still has no Three Star female chefs, we had hoped that Cala and its star chef Dominique Crenn would earn a third Michelin-star, but alas the stars did not align - at least not this year.