Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

NEWS: Michelin Stars 2009 Announced


In a press luncheon at Gordon Ramsay at the London today, Jean-Luc Naret and Michelin revealed the 2009 Los Angeles and Las Vegas guides hot off the presses. The guides go on sale tomorrow with this year's restaurant and hotel listings and the coveted star awards. So what about all the stuff you really want to know?

1. Still no three star restaurants in Los Angeles: Los Angeles still doesn't make it to the world stage with any three star restaurants. I am not surprised at this, really, nor am I that sad. Los Angeles is a town that caters to celebrities, and that means that in some of the more high-end restaurants, the focus is a little different than it is in luxury eating destinations in other cities. Any restaurant that was good enough to be a three star restaurant here would probably be inaccessible to most people, even if you wanted to save up for a special trip.

2. Providence moves up to two stars:
I was really happy to hear this announced. I love this restaurant very much and Michael Cimarusti seems like quite a nice person. Cimarusti was the most excited chef to get his call, according to Mr. Naret. He was in the car and had to be told to calm down before he got into an accident. I'm really happy for him, since he's given me some fo the best meals I have ever had. I really think he deserves it.

3. New stars: Bastide, Gordon Ramsay at the London, Hatfield's, Osteria Mozza, and Sushi Zo:
Bastide earns a star this year, despite the constant reshuffling. Gordon Ramsay gets a star despite being relatively new on the scene. Osteria Mozza gets a star and are you really surprised? I didn't think so. Hatfield's also earns a star, which is another one I think is well-deserved. Hatfield's is more of a cozy experience than high gourmet but what they do, they do very well and these are two very fine chefs who deserve the recognition.

Sushi Zo is the relative unknown. It's an unassuming strip-mall sushi place in Palms, which is of course, the sushi dilemma in Los Angeles. These places dot the landscape and you can never tell if they are hidden geniuses or just another sushi place.


4. Lost Stars: Joe's, Matsuhisa, Saddle Peak Lodge:
Not much was said about those places that dropped off the list, as one might expect. In general the attitude of Mr. Naret is that restaurants that lose stars generally either change chefs, have a too-absent chef, or lose focus while the chef concentrates on other projects. But those who lose stars can always get them back, so hopefully those who dropped out of the running this year will show us something dazzling in the next year, which can only benefit us, so let's hope they all try to earn their stars back.

5. Still no love for Suzanne Goin, what's up Michelin?:
I'm sorry, I know it's up to the inspectors, but really ... Suzanne Goin is my favorite, so I just have to say I'm going to be perpetually disappointed when she doesn't get a star.

6. Michelin's guest explorer for Los Angeles:
I also got to meet and be introduced to a new concept, the Michelin "guest explorer" Mika Takeuchi, who also has her own blog, Food Fashionista. Her task for Michelin is to explore the restaurants in the guide and write about them on her blog and on Michelin.com. On her blog, you can read about her adventures at the events the rest of us only see on Getty Images the next day, as well as her explorations for Michelin.

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