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Southern California Gets Its First 3-Star Restaurant in Michelin’s 2022 Guide

But it's not in LA.

Addison restaurant Courtesy of Addison Restaurant

Given that California is basically the size of a small country (with its own massive economy), you’d be forgiven for assuming this year’s Michelin guide would include dozens of new additions. The real number, however, is relatively modest.

On Monday night, the esteemed dining guide announced that 18 restaurants in America’s most populous state have been awarded new Michelin stars in 2022. Among those, just one—San Diego’s Addison—reached the highest honor of three stars, while the 17 others gained their very first star. With Addison’s win, it becomes the first three-star restaurant in Southern California.

“California is a foodie’s dream come true,” Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guide, said in a statement. “There are now 142 three-Michelin-star restaurants in the world, with the addition of the spectacular Addison. It is truly a landmark accomplishment for the Addison team, and they have much to be proud of.”

Chef William Bradley
Chef William Bradley, who founded Addison in San Diego Lauren di Matteo

At Addison, the chef William Bradley has been coveting three stars for a while now. In 2021, he told Robb Report, “It’s the Holy Grail, it’s the Mount Everest. . .A third star is a definite goal and dream of the restaurant.” Now that dream is a reality. The Michelin inspectors praised the chef’s Californian cuisine, which Bradley pivoted to after receiving just one star in 2019. Previously, Addison had been focused on French fare, but the chef didn’t think that would help him in his ultimate mission. Now he’s serving up chicken liver churros and Koshihikari rice with applewood-smoked sabayon and Regiis Ova caviar, two dishes the inspectors particularly enjoyed.

Elsewhere, the new one-star restaurants span up and down the state—and across cuisines. Like Addison, a number of the establishments have focused their menu on Californian cuisine. They include Caruso’s in Montecito, Citrin in Santa Monica (the sister restaurant of the Michelin two-star Mélisse), Cyrus in Geyserville, Localis in Sacramento, and The Restaurant at Justin in Paso Robles. Many Asian-influenced restaurants also made the cut, including the sushi spots 715 and Sushi Kaneyoshi, the Taiwanese-American Kato (which previously held one star but has since moved to a new location, technically making its star “new”), the Japanese-American Nisei, the Korean San Ho Wan and Ssal and the Southeast Asian–French Camphor.

LA Kato restaurant wagyu
A wagyu dish from the January 2022 tasting menu at Kato Jeni Afuso

“Being able to share my passion and a taste of my personal background in a space where creativity thrives is so meaningful to us, and to be recognized by the Michelin Guide represents the notion that we are on the right path,” Lijo George, the co-executive chef at Camphor, said in a statement.

In total, California now has 89 Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s a hefty list, but notably one that still only spotlights 15 different cuisines, in a state that represents all sorts of cultures in its dining establishments, to delicious effect.

Here are the 18 restaurants that received new Michelin stars this year:

Three stars:

  • Addison

One star:

  • 715
  • Camphor
  • Caruso’s
  • Citrin
  • Cyrus
  • Gwen
  • Hatchet Hall
  • Kato
  • Localis
  • Manzke
  • Nisei
  • Osito
  • Press
  • The Restaurant at Justin
  • San Ho Wan
  • Ssal
  • Sushi Kaneyoshi

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