2008 Michelin Guide San Francisco
THREE STARS (***)
THE FRENCH LAUNDRY - Yountville - Napa Valley
TWO STARS (**) (by neighborhood)
AQUA - San Francisco - Financial District
CHEZ TJ (NEW) - Mountain View - South of San Francisco
CYRUS - Healdsburg - Sonoma County
MANRESA - Los Gatos - South of San Francisco
MEADOWOOD, THE RESTAURANT(NEW) - St. Helena - Napa Valley
MICHAEL MINA - San Francisco - Financial District
ONE STAR (*) (by neighborhood)
ACQUERELLO - San Francisco - Nob Hill
AME (NEW) - San Francisco - SoMa
AUBERGE DU SOLEIL - Rutherford - Napa Valley
BISTRO JEANTY - Yountville - Napa Valley
BOUCHON - Yountville - Napa Valley
BOULEVARD - San Francisco - SoMa
CHEZ PANISSE - Berkeley - East of San Francisco
COI (NEW) - San Francisco - North Beach Area
CORTEZ (NEW) - San Francisco - Financial District
DINING ROOM AT THE RITZ - CARLTON - San Francisco - Nob Hill
FARMHOUSE INN & RESTAURANT - Forestville - Sonoma County
FIFTH FLOOR - San Francisco - SoMa
FLEUR DE LYS - San Francisco - Financial District
GARY DANKO - San Francisco - North Beach
K & L BISTRO - Sebastopol - Sonoma County
LA FOLIE - San Francisco - Nob Hill
LA TOQUE - Rutherford - Napa Valley
MADRONA MANOR (NEW) - Healdsburg - Sonoma County
MARTINI HOUSE (NEW) - St. Helena - Napa Valley
MASA'S - San Francisco - Nob Hill
ONE MARKET (NEW) - San Francisco - SoMa
QUINCE - San Francisco - Marina District
RANGE - San Francisco - Mission District
REDD (NEW) - Yountville - Napa Valley
RUBICON - San Francisco - Financial District
SUSHI - RAN - Sausalito - North of San Francisco
TERRA - St. Helena - Napa Valley
The guide also lists its reviewers favorite restaurants where you can eat two dishes and a glass of wine or a dessert for less than $40.
A 16 - San Francisco - Marina District
ANNALIEN - Napa - Napa Valley
BAR TARTINE - San Francisco - Mission District
BARBERSQ - Napa - Napa Valley
BAY WOLF - Oakland - East of San Francisco
BETELNUT PEJIU WU - San Francisco - Marina District
CAFE GIBRALTAR - El Granada - South of San Francisco
CELADON - Napa - Napa Valley
CLEMENTINE - San Francisco - Richmond and Sunset
COOK ST. HELENA - St. Helena - Napa Valley
CUCINA PARADISO - Petaluma - Sonoma County
DELFINA - San Francisco - Mission District
GAYLORD - Sausalito - North of San Francisco
HONG KONG FLOWER LOUNGE - Millbrae - South of San Francisco
INSALATA'S - San Anselmo - North of San Francisco
JUNNOON - Palo Alto - South of San Francisco
KOKKARI ESTIATORIO - San Francisco - North Beach Area
KOO - San Francisco - Richmond and Sunset
LE CHARM - San Francisco - SoMa
MAMACITA - San Francisco - Marina District
MIREPOIX - Windsor - Sonoma County
NAMU - San Francisco - Richmond and Sunset
NOPA - San Francisco - Civic Center
OLIVIA - Berkeley - East of San Francisco
OSAKE - Santa Rosa - Sonoma County
PERBACCO - San Francisco - Financial District
POLENG - San Francisco - Civic Center
PRES A VI - San Francisco - Marina District
RIN'S THAI - Sonoma - Sonoma County
RISIBISI - Petaluma - Sonoma County
RNM - San Francisco - Civic Center
SAUCE - San Francisco - Civic Center
SCOTT HOWARD - San Francisco - North Beach Area
SLANTED DOOR (THE) - San Francisco - Financial District
SLOW CLUB - San Francisco - Mission District
SOCIALE - San Francisco - Marina District
SOUTH PARK CAFE - San Francisco - SoMa
TABLESPOON - San Francisco - Nob Hill
TAMARINDO - Oakland - East of San Francisco
TOKYO GO GO - San Francisco - Mission District
Tommaso's - San Francisco - North Beach Area
TWO - San Francisco - SoMa
2223 - San Francisco - Castro District
Universal Cafe - San Francisco - Mission District
Vanessa's Bistro - Berkeley - East of San Francisco
Venticello - San Francisco - Nob Hill
Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar - Healdsburg - Sonoma County
Willi's Wine Bar - Santa Rosa - Sonoma County
Yank Sing - San Francisco - SoMa
Zuzu - Napa - Napa Valley
TWO STARS (**) (by neighborhood)
AQUA - San Francisco - Financial District - dissagree
MICHAEL MINA - San Francisco - Financial District - all evidence is to dissagree
ONE STAR (*) (by neighborhood)
ACQUERELLO - San Francisco - Nob Hill - agree
AME (NEW) - San Francisco - SoMa - agree
BOULEVARD - San Francisco - SoMa - agree
DINING ROOM AT THE RITZ - CARLTON - San Francisco - Nob Hill - agree, maybe **
FARMHOUSE INN & RESTAURANT - Forestville - Sonoma County - agree
FLEUR DE LYS - San Francisco - Financial District - agree, was ** quality 2 years ago
LA FOLIE - San Francisco - Nob Hill - agree
MARTINI HOUSE (NEW) - St. Helena - Napa Valley - agree
RANGE - San Francisco - Mission District - love it, but would put it on the list below instead
I also agree with almost all the $40/person restaurants that I have been to (A16, Betelnut, Delfina, Mamacita, Mirepoix, Poleng, Slanted Door) my one strike would be Yank Sing.
The Michelin Guide is pretty well-known for being a little nonsensical and more than a little inscrutable.
I prefer the Zagat Guide for just that reason. While I think it does tend to overrate once-top restaurants that have fallen from their prime, the wisdom in numbers utilized by their open-voting system seems to result in far fewer puzzling rating discrepancies.
Where does Applebees get a high rating in Zagat? From what I can tell, they're only rated in Las Vegas, Nevada and they rate a 13 for food...which is one of the lowest food ratings I've seen on the site. They rate a 12 for decor and a 16 for service. Basically, Applebee's gets torn apart on Zagat. They're not infallible....but they seem to have nailed that one.
They did a separate from their ratings national chain survey in conjunction with the Today show. In that chains only rating, Applebee's scored a 16 for food. And that's only compared to other chains.
I also disagree with the idea that Michelin is always right...we had an absolutely awful meal at Bouchon, but it got a star this year. As with most ratings, though, I think that both Zagat and Michelin are right more than they're wrong.
re: Scott M
I think One Market deserves their star. I've always had great, straighforward well prepared food there and I think that must be what the Michelin reviewers saw. I enjoy Myth, too, but the food is like alot of hipster trendy places that get too complicated with their menus. Michelin is different in that the restaurants earn their star within their category, not overall. Someone on another post said that Zagat is like Yelp or Craigslist in bookform and I completely agree. I never use either as they tend to get their reviews from trendoids who have different expectations. Kudos to One Market.
The Michelin Guide - Zagots for the French and people who love Jerry Lewis.
As a reference you keep in your car, sure it's helpful but I'd never pay for it.
Any way, I've been to 4 of 6 of the 2-stars and they think Chez Panisse is only one star? And 5th Floor got one-star even with all the negative reviews in the past 2 years? No doubt these places are good but I suspect the French reviewers bought into service and surface before food.
Neither Zagat's nor Michelin Guide are very trustworthy... I think they mostly take into account ambience & decor... because it certainly isn't food.
> Cyrus... 2 Stars? If that is really the case then I have no doubt the Michelin stars are dumbed down for San Francisco relative to what they mean in Europe. Cyrus should be a solid 1 Star.
> Michael Mina? Are you kidding me? Even my non-Chowish business associates weren't impressed.... and they think Steaks, Creamed Spinach & Roasted Asparagus is the end all of haute cuisine. Not star worthy at all.
> Sushi Ran? I liked my meal there... but there are a couple dozen better places in L.A.
> Osake... in the under $40 category? We are regulars there... but that is because we don't have many options in Santa Rosa... it would be an absolutely average neighborhood sushi joint in L.A.
I was pondering that same thing: it could mean the food was way outside of anything they wanted to eat. Which is not meant to draw any conclusions about either the people or the restaurant. If one is not chowish, I'm not sure why one would venture to Michael Mina.
I'm still entirely willing to believe that it's not worth a star, though.
I thought Michael Mina was very good to excellent (minus one misque). For the price (relative to similar places) it was reasonable and it (the tasting menu) was within range of French Laundry. I don't know how many stars it should get but my question is how it can get two stars and Chez Panisse only one. Okay, I know...CP is less formal and the Mich people probably don't dig that.
re: Paul H
Didn't know about the criteria...just the same, using those as factors, I still don't get it. I think CP would take MM 4 out of the 5, or all 5. It could be personal bias but I have a feeling it's also about the un-named. MM is much more elegant and grand place and more of a traditional French service model.
Okay, yes the SFH lobby is a cave and the way MM is laid out within it is a bit odd (don't know if that's original). Any way, my point is that maybe high ceilings, size, location and that sort of stuff impresses the Michelin people. I really can't think of other reasons why MM gets 2 stars compared to CP's I'm not even gonig to get into the discussion about if MM deserves 2...just that if gets 2, then so should CP.
Actually... what I meant was that the food was so boring & non-innovative... that it was similar to some of the chain steakhouse offerings.... and yet they still didn't think it was anything special. In fact... I heard a number of... the steak at Ruth Chris' or Morton's was much better etc.,
Totall agree with you Eat Nopal. Michael Mina is one star at best. The 3-ways style is pretty gimmicy and if you pay attention, it's basically the same item sauced 3 ways. It's not like a piece of fish is grilled, steamed, and poached. It's just pan fried and served with different sides/dressings.
It's not a complete loss. My dungeness crab raviolis with 3 different soups was very good (same ravioli, different sauce). My kobe beef entree and desserts were very mediocre and downright sucked if you take price into consideration.
"The 3-ways style is pretty gimmicy and if you pay attention, it's basically the same item sauced 3 ways. It's not like a piece of fish is grilled, steamed, and poached. It's just pan fried and served with different sides/dressings."
You want to know what is funny? At home I have been plating "3 ways" & multi-ways for years, so I like that style... but you are right Mina does it in a very superficial way with no identity whatsover.
Like you said, you can do it at home.
At least when some places offer a "duo of beef", it's pan-seared steak and braised short-ribs or the breast vs the thigh for chicken or duck, shoulder vs rib for suckling pig...something, so you can appreciate the difference in texture and taste.
Yeah... when I do it at home... it usually has a theme... like taking a classic Mexican dish and interpreting it three ways... Pre-Hispanic, Spanish or African.. and then the Classic version... or take a genre of dishes & interpret them in Oaxacan, Veracruzian & Pueblan styles... or 3 California takes on a dish etc.,
I didn't find Mina putting much thought into his 3 styles...
I don't think it's gimmicky at all. I've have had very enjoyable dinners at Micheal Mina. If the 3 -ways were 3 drastically different interpretations, then it would be three different dishes. It's the subtle differences between the 3 ways that makes it so great. The different sauces do make a difference. When I had my meal, it was not the same thing cooked identically with 3 different sauces. For example, the foie gras had pan seared as well as a terrine. If you really want more variety, go with the tasting menu instead.
re: Paul H
It would appear that Cortez was reviewed during 2006, and awarded the star for the 2007 guide. I, for one, have had wonderful meals (only two) at cortez, but not life-changing meals. One would think that with Daniel Humm leaving the star would be in jeopardy. Anyone eat there lateley? Has the quality dropped?