At Long Last, the Michelin Guide Will Return to Los Angeles
Major news in the Michelin universe: At some point before the summer, the tire company will introduce a long-rumored California guide. At a March 5 press conference in Sacramento, California, Michelin plans to announce its return to the state. This marks the first expansion of the guide since the Washington, D.C. edition was announced three years ago.
“Michelin recognizes California as a booming culinary destination which is setting the dining trends for the future,” International Director Gwendal Poullennec said, per an L.A. Times story on the news. A statewide edition “will enable Michelin to extend its reach to new areas, and in doing so engage with a broader audience of foodies who love the high-quality, laid-back dining scene.” (There's been an annual San Francisco Michelin Guide since 2007.)
The Michelin Guide hasn't been in Los Angeles for nearly a decade, and the institution's non-recognition of L.A.'s culinary rise has been a bit baffling, considering the richness of the city's restaurant scene.
"Before we get into all the reasons Michelin should come back, let’s acknowledge that L.A. doesn’t really need the Michelin Guide," F&W writer Andy Wang wrote in a 2018 article. "If anything, it’s Michelin that needs L.A. if it wants to be taken seriously as an arbiter of taste in the twenty-first century."
He continued, "L.A. is doing just fine, as ever, with its stellar taco trucks and vibrant Koreatown and extraordinary cash-only San Gabriel Valley dumpling joints. It’s the best food city in America largely because it’s so diverse and packed with great restaurants that don’t care at all about fine dining. But the city’s evolving, and there are more and more excellent chefs in L.A. who are making big efforts to run Michelin-level restaurants."
This marks the first U.S. state to merit a whole guide, rather than for just a single city. Here's why the move is long overdue.