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2008 Michelin Guide San Francisco

a
alis Oct 22, 2007 11:55 AM

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

  1. s
    swillbill Oct 25, 2007 05:47 PM

    Madrona Manor in Healdsburg is wonderful. Im glad to see that they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. However Im afraid now that the word is out, it might more difficult to get a reservation!

    1 Reply
    1. re: swillbill
      s
      suzyqmit Nov 13, 2007 07:19 AM

      I agree - I had the tasting menu there last April and thought it was great. Service was excellent and the whole experience was wonderful. I too am glad they got their star!

    2. Benny Choi Oct 24, 2007 04:16 PM

      I have disagree with Michelin on Cortez. I went with a group about a year ago and we had a dreadful meal. Food, service, and price were all very disappointing. It's difficult to imagine them earning a Michelin star.

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/344327

      4 Replies
      1. re: Benny Choi
        Paul H Oct 24, 2007 05:19 PM

        Michelin didn't award Cortez a star a year ago, either. Perhaps something has changed.

        1. re: Paul H
          Mr Conlin Nov 12, 2007 04:29 PM

          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?

          1. re: Mr Conlin
            Paul H Nov 12, 2007 05:01 PM

            Daniel Humm left Campton Place, not Cortez.

            1. re: Paul H
              Mr Conlin Nov 12, 2007 07:44 PM

              My mistake. The chef at Cortez did leave, right? Or is the chef who crafted the star still there?

      2. pikawicca Oct 23, 2007 05:12 PM

        La Folie, Masa's -- Nob Hill?

        1. Eat_Nopal Oct 23, 2007 06:28 AM

          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.

          15 Replies
          1. re: Eat_Nopal
            b
            bruce Oct 23, 2007 04:11 PM

            "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."
            **

            Well, I'm not sure *that* changes my view of Michael Mina at all.

            1. re: bruce
              ccbweb Oct 23, 2007 04:23 PM

              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.

              1. re: ccbweb
                m
                ML8000 Oct 23, 2007 04:29 PM

                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.

                1. re: ML8000
                  Paul H Oct 23, 2007 05:04 PM

                  Michael Mina vs. Chez Panisse is easy to understand when you look at the five factors Michelin uses:
                  1. product quality
                  2. preparation and flavors
                  3. the cuisine's personality
                  4. value
                  5. consistency

                  1. re: Paul H
                    m
                    ML8000 Oct 23, 2007 06:44 PM

                    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.

                    1. re: ML8000
                      Eat_Nopal Oct 24, 2007 07:57 AM

                      "MM is much more elegant and grand place and more of a traditional French service model."

                      Are we talking about the same place at the lobby of the St. Francis hotel???

                      1. re: Eat_Nopal
                        m
                        ML8000 Oct 24, 2007 09:08 AM

                        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.

                2. re: ccbweb
                  Eat_Nopal Oct 23, 2007 05:01 PM

                  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.,

              2. re: Eat_Nopal
                Porthos Oct 24, 2007 06:07 PM

                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.

                1. re: Porthos
                  Eat_Nopal Oct 25, 2007 07:58 AM

                  "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.

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal
                    Porthos Oct 25, 2007 08:12 AM

                    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.

                    1. re: Porthos
                      Eat_Nopal Oct 25, 2007 08:48 AM

                      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...

                    2. re: Eat_Nopal
                      e
                      elainew Oct 25, 2007 11:01 AM

                      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.

                  2. re: Eat_Nopal
                    m
                    michparent Oct 25, 2007 10:33 AM

                    You should try Sushi Ran again. It is completely consistent and great.

                    1. re: michparent
                      Eat_Nopal Oct 25, 2007 02:41 PM

                      It was good but the fish was pretty ordinary. Maybe I was spoiled by Nick San in Cabo, and a few places in Oahu.... Sushi Ran seemed pretty flat.

                  3. m
                    ML8000 Oct 22, 2007 07:54 PM

                    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.

                    1. baron45 Oct 22, 2007 03:09 PM

                      How does One Market garner one star?

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: baron45
                        Scott M Oct 22, 2007 03:37 PM

                        My thoughts exactly!

                        One Market gets a star and Myth is completely absent.

                        1. re: Scott M
                          w
                          whiner Oct 22, 2007 03:39 PM

                          Yeah...

                          I also don't know how Fringale and Aziza don't make the $40 list...

                          1. re: whiner
                            grishnackh Oct 22, 2007 03:45 PM

                            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.

                            1. re: grishnackh
                              w
                              whiner Oct 22, 2007 04:16 PM

                              Actually, for some reason I tend to like Gayot's reviews...

                              1. re: whiner
                                ccbweb Oct 22, 2007 04:37 PM

                                I like Gayot as a helpful data point...they seem to be fairly internally consistent to me and that helps a lot.

                                1. re: ccbweb
                                  j
                                  justtryit Oct 24, 2007 05:54 PM

                                  Did anyone else notice that the French Laundry FELL OUT of Gayot's 2007 top 40??? http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/rest...

                                  How is that possible when it scored equally or better than some of the other's, including it's "offspring" Per Se and CityZen?

                              2. re: grishnackh
                                c
                                chazzerking Oct 22, 2007 09:31 PM

                                As for Zagat, I can't take seriously any guide in which a chain restaurant like Applebee's gets high ratings. Michelin may be "inscrutable" to some, but if they give a restaurant a star, it will be, at least, a good meal

                                1. re: chazzerking
                                  ccbweb Oct 22, 2007 09:42 PM

                                  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.

                            2. re: Scott M
                              d
                              deshard Oct 22, 2007 04:27 PM

                              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.

                              1. re: Scott M
                                m
                                michparent Oct 25, 2007 10:32 AM

                                I agree. Myth is great!!

                            3. w
                              whiner Oct 22, 2007 03:08 PM

                              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.

                              1. a
                                alis Oct 22, 2007 12:39 PM

                                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

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: alis
                                  k
                                  kresge86 Oct 22, 2007 02:04 PM

                                  I wouldn't describe Poleng Lounge as being in the Civic Center.

                                  1. re: kresge86
                                    oakjoan Oct 24, 2007 11:01 PM

                                    Nor Nopa.

                                  2. re: alis
                                    r
                                    Rapini Oct 22, 2007 05:23 PM

                                    On that list, I believe that Olivia in Berkeley is no more...

                                  3. o
                                    orezscu Oct 22, 2007 12:24 PM

                                    Here's the SFGate article on the new Guide:

                                    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: orezscu
                                      Shane Greenwood Oct 22, 2007 12:47 PM

                                      Note: the article says there are 6 new restaurants on the list with one star, but there are actually 7 (if anyone is keeping score at home).

                                      Ame
                                      Coi
                                      Cortez
                                      One Market
                                      Redd
                                      Madrona Manor
                                      Martini House

                                      1. re: Shane Greenwood
                                        f
                                        Fig Newton Oct 22, 2007 01:15 PM

                                        also, Bushi-Tei and Dry Creek Kitchen fell off the star list. They were 1 star last year.

                                        1. re: Fig Newton
                                          Carrie 218 Oct 22, 2007 07:14 PM

                                          Thank goodness. I enjoyed the there a year ago but a recent visit made me question their star. Bushi-Tei is definitely on my "downhill alert" radar.

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