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LA Michelin Stars 2019

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Michelin has a better feel for LA restaurants in their Bib Gourmand selections.

It seems that in awarding stars their inspectors are placing more emphasis on ambience, "welcome," place settings and the like than most LA eaters do.

https://guide.michelin.com/us/en/new-york-state/new-york/article/news-and-views/michelin-guide-california-2019-bib-gourmand-selection#

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“The Michelin California Guide Rush “ and the recent sordid history of Michelin Guides you will find on my new site devoted to Michelin bashing.

 

www.michelinscars.com.

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Michelin has a better feel for LA restaurants in their Bib Gourmand selections.

It seems that in awarding stars their inspectors are placing more emphasis on ambience, "welcome," place settings and the like than most LA eaters do.

https://guide.michelin.com/us/en/new-york-state/new-york/article/news-and-views/michelin-guide-california-2019-bib-gourmand-selection#

 

This raises the interesting question of how much Michelin ought to tailor its ratings to local styles and sensibilities.

 

I feel that in NYC, they went way too far in the other direction, giving star ratings that are incomprehensible to anyone familiar with the Michelin system as it's existed.   I can't help but feel this does a disservice to European travelers whose expectations must be upended by reality when they get to these starred restaurants.

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“The Michelin California Guide Rush “ and the recent sordid history of Michelin Guides you will find on my new site devoted to Michelin bashing.

 

www.michelinscars.com.

Ouch.

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But cheap eats isn't what Michelin DOES.

 

I'm not saying that there's some hierarchy in which fine dining is inherently superior to cheap eats.  I'm just saying that each is a beat, and although it's conceivable that someone (like Jonathan Gold, for instance) could capably cover both, that isn't what Michelin has traditionally done, at least in its starred ratings.  It covers fine dining (cheap eats go into the Bibs).

 

It's like you wouldn't go to Chowhound, or even the splendid Dave Cook, for fine dining recs.

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Pretending that Michelin actually has the budget to do what it purports to do and to visit the restaurants it purports to visit (let alone the number of times it purports to visit them), in a pure sense, Michelin should not be tailoring to local sensibilities or the sensibilities of Eater, but doing what it has always done - evaluating restaurants based on a quasi-objective system based on the internal standards of French haute cuisine or haute cuisine more broadly. Economically, it can't do that, or won't risk doing that, but that is really the only sensible way for the guide to operate. 

 

This is not a value judgment about fine versus non-fine dining and the big mistake is when people think that the Michelin stars are saying that and then get all bent. 

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I'm not saying Michelin should solely tailor their assessments to local sensibilities, I'm saying they are not consistent.  To take one example, Son of a Gun is a Bib under their current ratings.  It's not cheap.  And it's the equal of one stars in France.

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What Adrian said.

 

Not to argue with Holly’s counter-example which I know nothing about.

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I'm not saying Michelin should solely tailor their assessments to local sensibilities, I'm saying they are not consistent.  To take one example, Son of a Gun is a Bib under their current ratings.  It's not cheap.  And it's the equal of one stars in France.

 

Look, it's been some years since I've been to Son of a Gun, and I really liked it when I went and it's quite a nice restaurant, but, lol, no, it's not a French one star restaurant. Saturne struggled for years to get a star and there was an order of magnitude difference, and SoaG was not playing in the same universe as a Table or a Chateaubriande. A quite nice restaurant like L'Ami Jean - which I thought was better than Son of a Gun - is not a one star and it is not part of the conversation to have one star. 

 

This is kind of the exact problem - when you start trying to parse why Spotted Pig got a star but Son of a Gun didn't, it all stops making sense. The other listings, as Addison points out, are where the guide could give a better impression of the city. But it's all opaque (because it is probably a fraud) and trying to give an impression of a city is probably not the strength of a guide like this anyway.

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