By Keldine Hull
The inaugural Michelin Guide California is officially out, blessing California residents with the first ever statewide ranking from the prestigious guide. 657 restaurants received recommendations, 90 of which were ranked with Michelin stars. Since the early 20th century, the Michelin guide has evolved into one of the most trusted sources for travelers and foodies both near and afar. Over time, the revered guide has grown to reflect different trends in dining but continued to rely on the five criteria used by inspectors for its consistent rankings.
Needless to say, it’s an exciting time for California foodies. According to Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, “Michelin is honored to reveal the 2019- star selection and to celebrate the talented California chefs and their teams included in the first statewide Guide in the U.S.” Poullennec added, “California’s trendsetting, laid-back and health-conscious culinary scene continues to boom, and as a result is an amazing showcase for the great local produce.” For the first time in nearly a decade, the City of Angels has made its grand return to the guide with 24 Michelin ranked restaurants. Even though LA restaurants didn’t make the coveted and rare 3- star ranking, 6 new restaurants were awarded 2- star rankings and 18 more were awarded 1-star rankings. Here’s a look at the Culver City restaurants who made the cut.
3455 Overland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Chef Niki Nakayama’s upscale kaiseki restaurant, which first opened its doors in 2011, is one of the most prominent of its kind in Southern California. Los Angeles Times critic, the late Jonathan Gold wrote that “the sheer level of cooking in this modest bungalow eclipses what you find in grand dining rooms whose chefs appear in national magazines.” Kaiseki is a more than just a cuisine; it’s an experience and the pinnacle of Japanese dining. In addition to Michelin’s 2- star rating, n/ naka also earned Zagat’s number one spot in Los Angeles. n/ naka is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, reservations only.
3599 Hayden Avenue
Culvery City, CA 90232
Chef Jordan Kahn’s Verspertine is a 22- seat tasting menu restaurant that is a self- described “gastronomical experience seeking to disrupt the course of modern restaurant” according to its website. Located in Culver City’s Hayden Tract, the reservations only dining experience will set you back at least $250 per person for a (rumored) 18- course meal. Shrouded in mystery, the 2- star restaurant is one of those you- have- to- see- it- to- believe- it establishments complete with an original score and unique menu you won’t see anywhere else.