September 28, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Culver City Restaurants Restaurants Vie for Michelin Stars

Despite ongoing pandemic, a 2020 Michelin Guide will still be released 

By Toi Creel and Kerry Slater

The prestigious California Michelin Guide–which included two Culver City-area restaurants in its previous edition–will still continue in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Before the pandemic began, inspectors had already put together the information they needed. Michelin reps told the San Francisco Chronicle that despite the fact inspectors are currently visiting New York restaurants, they will not be making a return to California. This means many of the rated restaurants will be given acclaim based on indoor dining services that for the majority of eateries have not been offered since March. 

The guide functions off a rating system of one, two or three stars, with only the most prestigious of restaurants achieving the coveted three-star rating. The Michelin guide was first published in 1900 by the tire company as a way to get European travelers to drive and visit their local restaurants. It has turned into a well-known guide book with even a one-star rating being considered a huge accomplishment.

“restaurants may receive zero to 3 stars for the quality of their food based on five criteria: quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits,” Michelin said. 

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-area restaurants who made the cut in 2019. 

n/ naka
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.

Vespertine
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.

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