Without a doubt, L.A. is one of the best dining cities in the world. Angelenos already knew it, but this year, Michelin only confirmed it when the famous dining booklet returned to shower our restaurants with those highly competitive stars. And the little red restaurant rating book was full of surprises in its first-ever statewide guide: Some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles unsurprisingly made the cut, while previously-starred spots such as Spago lost their accolades since the last time Michelin stopped through a decade ago.
The restaurant guide and tire company also released its 2019 California Bib Gourmand awards, which included more than 60 L.A. restaurants classified as budget-friendly—but for star chasers, the annual list of higher-echelon restaurants are the must-tries.
So how does it all go down? The star ratings, while controversial, are inarguably some of the most prestigious awards a restaurant can ever receive: One star denotes “a very good restaurant,” two signifies “excellent cooking that is worth a detour” and three stars, most coveted of all, translates to “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.” Michelin’s anonymous inspectors visit and judge restaurants according to quality, atmosphere, service and even nominal details, such as how far apart the tables are spaced.
Given all of this, here’s how Los Angeles fared in the 2019 Michelin Guide. You’ll notice we received zero three-star spots, but hey—there’s always next year (and we know we’re three-star–quality regardless).