In preview of Michelin’s 2023 update to its California-wide dining guide, the international gustatory compendium that ranks restaurants from one to three stars, added six new restaurants to the state guide this month.
In addition to stars, Michelin also awards businesses with nods for value and affordability (Bib Gourmands) as well as noteworthy openings; the six additions to the California guide — three of which are in the Los Angeles area — could mean they’ll garner any of these notations in the 2023 update.
Downtown’s yakiniku-style, wagyu-focused Japanese restaurant Niku X is now in the state’s Michelin guide; as is Leona’s Sushi House, a Studio City sushi bar, robataya and Japanese fusion spot from Matsuhisa and Asanebo vet Shigenori Fujimoto. City of Industry’s Sushi Yuen, which specializes in edomae sushi and ryori-style kaiseki, is also a newcomer. Other new entries include Laguna Beach’s Selanne Steak Tavern, San Diego’s Mabel’s Gone Fishing and San Francisco’s Basang.
Niku X executive chef Shin Thompson heard the news of his restaurant’s inclusion via a co-worker, then began seeing comments and congratulations pour in over social media.
“It’s great that we’re being recognized, it’s more eyes on the restaurant and what we do,” Thompson said. “I’m happy that they noticed that we’re here, and a lot of people read the Michelin guide and follow what they’re posting, so it’s great for us in terms of the business value that it brings.”
Thompson has seen the Michelin effect firsthand. His now-closed Chicago restaurant Bonsoirée garnered one Michelin star in both 2011 and 2012, and the chef says he noticed guests traveling from far-off locales to dine at the restaurant. He credits the dining compendium not only as a new source of exposure but also as a beacon for kitchen talent. Being acknowledged by Michelin, Thompson says, often helps to attract career-oriented, “high-level employees.”
The fully updated California guide is slated for release later this year.
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