25 Southern California restaurants added to Michelin Guide in 2023

25 Southern California restaurants added to Michelin Guide in 2023

Southern California foodies looking for their next bite can now take a look at the Michelin Guide’s collective picks for 2023.

As the year inches closer to its end, only a select few establishments across the country were officially recognized, including more than a dozen restaurants across SoCal.

Here’s a 2023 recap of the region’s must-go-to spots, according to suggestions from the Michelin Guide:

New One-Star Rated Restaurants

These ratings are given based on the Michelin star system. Simply put, stars are awarded to restaurants offering outstanding cooking.

Five universal criteria are taken into account when rating restaurants. According to the Michelin Guide, this includes the quality of the ingredients, the harmony of flavors, the mastery of techniques, the personality of the chef as expressed through their cuisine, and consistency both across the entire menu and over time.

Heritage (Long Beach)

The guide noted, “On offer is a single multicourse tasting (priced quite reasonably) that highlights top-notch ingredients, including produce sourced from their nearby farm. The cooking has a California accent, and seasonal fruit may form a common thread, as in preserved kumquats paired with roasted beet and impeccably cooked dry-aged duck breast, and yet again in the guise of a frozen yogurt, in a summery dessert of charred strawberries and herbaceous yuzu granita.”

Valle (Oceanside)

The guide noted, “Diners can enjoy an eight-course tasting in the dining room or a chef’s table experience in the kitchen. Dishes strike a winning balance between tradition and creativity, as in a tetela made with heirloom corn masa and hoja santa, filled with juicy chanterelle mushrooms and creamy goat cheese, and paired with a complex salsa of morita chiles—at once earthy and bright.”

New Bib Gourmand picks

These picks are selected based on “best value for money.” As explained by the Michelin Guide, restaurants listed in this category offer three-course meals at a reasonable price. This section varies and has no set formula.

Cobi’s (Santa Monica)

The guide noted, “Discover Thai and Malaysian delights along with other influences on this broad Southeast Asian menu. Start with dumplings, satay or curry puffs, those crispy triangular shells filled with curried split peas and potatoes sided by pickled onion and tamarind ketchup.”

Eat Joy Food (Rowland Heights)

The guide noted, “It’s a wonder anybody can find this place. Right off the Pomona Freeway, hidden in the back of a Rowland Heights shopping center stacked with restaurants, this Taiwanese favorite lives up to its name.”

Villa’s Tacos (Highland Park, Los Angeles)

The guide noted, “This brick-and-mortar marks a milestone for a chef who first started serving out of his grandmother’s house. The signature queso taco is instantly recognizable, built on a blue corn masa tortilla stacked with refried beans, onion, cilantro, guacamole, cotija cheese, crema and a melted skirt of Monterey Jack.”

Carnes Asadas Pancho Lopez (Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles)

The guide noted, “Humble doesn’t even begin to describe this open-air restaurant, which has no walls and is seemingly built out of corrugated metal. But what comes out of the kitchen is anything but simple.”

Mabel’s Gone Fishing (North Park, San Diego)

The guide noted, “A focused menu highlights excellent local seafood with a simple-yet-satisfying approach that blends Californian and Iberian cuisine, and the results are undeniably delicious.”

New Green Stars

This category highlights restaurants that have sustainable practices, meaning ethical and environmental standards are at the forefront of operations. For instance, these spots tend to work with sustainable producers and suppliers to reduce waste.

— Heritage (Long Beach)

Also a One Star recipient, this Green Star establishment received accolades for its home-grown produce and other sustainably sourced ingredients, according to the Michelin Guide.

Providence (Hollywood)

The guide noted, “The tasting menu blends classic technique with a modern sensibility, and sources the freshest and most sustainable seafood, often wild-caught from American waters, and at no point during the meal will you doubt its impeccable quality.”

New Additions

For additions, Michelin Guide “inspectors” spend all year on the road uncovering what they deem the best restaurants to recommend.

Baroo (Downtown Los Angeles)

The guide noted, “Silky, soy-braised wild black cod is served in the center of a wide-rimmed bowl that is filled with a creamy buttermilk sauce that’s poured tableside. Finally, wood sorrel bingsu, shaved to order, is refreshingly tart and a nice contrast to the creamy panna cotta tucked beneath.”

Cento Pasta Bar (West Adams, Los Angeles)

The guide noted, “The menu leans Italian-contemporary, with selections including antipasti, mole-braised ossobuco made with yogurt-marinated lamb, but as the name suggests, pasta takes center stage”

Dear Jane’s (Marina del Rey)

The guide noted, “This spot pours it on with large portions and over-the-top flourishes (caviar makes a regular appearance) while keeping things grounded with strong cooking. Shrimp Louie, done tableside, is sized to share, as is the wedge, which brilliantly subs in vinaigrette in place of creamy dressing.”

Dunsmoor (Eagle Rock, Los Angeles)

The guide noted, “With embers glowing, flames snapping and smoke billowing, two ferocious ovens serve as the twin hearts and hearths of this Glassell Park hot spot. Much of the Southern-inspired menu must pass through them — oysters, cornbread, rib eyes and pork chops. Nearly everything here offers some kind of hearty, no-nonsense kind of comfort.”

hibi (Koreatown, Los Angeles)

The guide noted, “The menu is modern Japanese with Korean influences and is comprised of small plates and larger main dishes designed for sharing. Winning dishes include sliced raw hamachi in a flavor-packed broth of tomato juice and shiro dashi, and maitake mushrooms, grilled over binchotan and topped with an egg sabayon sauce that’s treated to a cured egg yolk microplaned tableside. To top it off, miso butter bar with a scoop of black pepper ice cream is a delicious alternative to the sweet finale.”

Juliet (Culver City)

The guide noted, “This gorgeous space has a contemporary French aesthetic with as much seating outdoors on the posh patio as indoors. The open kitchen buzzes all day, but dinner is where this team shines. Oysters, tartare or tuna carpaccio could kick off the meal, but the mousse au foie de volaille, with its delicate tart filled with chicken liver mousse, toasted hazelnuts and an apple gelee, is an auspicious beginning.”

Kaori Sushi (Fullerton)

The guide noted, “An entire menu is dedicated to the restaurant’s well-regarded “rolls,” but stick to the classic sashimi and nigiri to savor slices of fish like golden eye snapper; thick saba sitting over shiso and rice; beautiful toro sided by wasabi; or a delicious duo of ika topped with yuzu kosh.”

Poppy & Seed (Anaheim)

The guide noted, “Poppy & Seed epitomizes the SoCal lifestyle with a lounge and bar nestled inside a greenhouse, and outdoor dining surrounded by citrus trees, herbs and flowers.”

Taira Sushi & Sake (Garden Grove)

The guide noted, “Young duo Chef Ben and Ayako Sato have penned a love letter to Japan here, where great care is paid to details (the menu is written by hand nightly) and warm hospitality makes everyone feel welcome.”

Artifact at Mingei (Balboa Park, San Diego)

The guide noted, “Like the museum itself, the culinary offerings are proudly eclectic and international, ranging from carefully pleated rock shrimp gyoza with a yuzu-flavored dashi, to lamb kibbeh with quinoa tabbouleh.”

Leona’s Sushi House (Studio City)

The guide noted, “Chef Shigenori Fujimoto has teamed up with Frank Leon and Evan Ross on a Japanese fusion menu that never misses a beat. Dishes are often irreverent, as in rich and savory udon carbonara with paper-thin smoked pork belly, creamy egg and parmigiano; and the sticky-sweet oxtail-stuffed bao is craveworthy.”

Niki X (Downtown Los Angeles)

The guide noted, “Classic yakiniku-style dishes are cooked over state-of-the-art robatayaki grills, enlivened with contemporary techniques. Beef is the focal point, whether it’s certified Japanese A5 wagyu, or wagyu-breed cattle sourced from the States (including the group’s own California ranch), enhanced with on-site dry aging.”

Olivia (Koreatown, Los Angeles)

The guide noted, “The vegetarian menu displays both Korean and Mexican influences in dishes like breaded, deep-fried oyster mushrooms with a gochujang dipping sauce and fried squash blossoms filled with fully vegan macadamia ricotta, served on a bed of a pumpkin seed sauce. Nut-based white sauce and slow-roasted tomatoes add terrific flavor to the crispy and airy pizza.”

Paradisaea (La Jolla)

The guide noted, “The kitchen turns out simple, contemporary cooking featuring local ingredients with Asian and tropical inflections. Case in point? Coconut shrimp, though here it’s grilled over a robata and served with a coconut-lime dipping sauce. Northern halibut is fried to a crispy, golden brown and served over a thin slice of watermelon radish and lettuce with green curry aioli and a sweet chili sauce.”

Selanne Steak Tavern (Laguna Beach)

The guide noted, “Steak is revered in this place and it lives up to its promise with tender, well marbled meat, but the kitchen ratchets it up with expert cooking (and dousing it in butter never hurts). Thick seared mushrooms in a Madeira reduction are a nice touch, and creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are a must, but don’t monkey around when it comes to dessert—Selanne’s monkey bread can’t be missed.”

Sushi Yuen (City of Industry)

The guide noted, “If sushi has become a bit too pricey for your pocket, you haven’t been to Sushi Yuen. This simple dining spot delivers many surprises, including a well-priced, much-loved lunch (walk-ins only). However, it’s the upscale, ultra-fresh ingredients coupled with skilled chefs that are the best surprise.”

The year of 2023 is almost over, but these Southern California restaurants are pressing on with some bragging rights after being recognized on the Michelin Guide.

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