California's Michelin-Starred Restaurants: All the Additions for 2021

For chefs, Michelin stars are the ultimate accolade. Michelin gives them only to the best in the business—and restaurateurs in California have plenty to celebrate after the group unveiled its latest guide to the state on Tuesday.

Across the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County and beyond, 22 restaurants have been given a Michelin star for the first time this week. Five other restaurants received their second star.

There are 90 restaurants in California that have at least one Michelin star. Just six have the coveted three stars, including The French Laundry in Napa—the restaurant that played a supporting role in Governor Gavin Newsom's recall crisis.

The 2021 additions to the guide range from sushi bars to steakhouses, and celebrate cuisines from all over the world. Newsweek gives you the lowdown on the new Michelin-starred restaurants across California.

Bay Area and Wine Country

Adega, San Jose

Adega is a Portuguese restaurant with a focus on seafood. The team at Michelin name the butter-poached Arctic char with watercress crust as a stand-out dish.

Niku Steakhouse, San Francisco

Dustin Falcon's steakhouse uses red-hot binchotan coals to give American cuts of meat a touch of Japanese flair.

Avery, San Francisco

East meets West at Avery, which is run by chef/owner Rodney Wages. It offers American food with Asian influences, as well as what Michelin calls a "lovingly curated champagne and sake list."

Central Coast

Sushi Bar Montecito, Santa Barbara

One of a number of Californian sushi restaurants to receive their first star, Montecito adds original touches such as sourdough breadcrumbs and sweet corn "pudding" to Japanese favorites.

Los Angeles

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura, Beverly Hills

Bottura's name is on the door, but it is head chef Mattia Agazzi whose work has brought the restaurant to Michelin's attention. The menu includes perfectly formed tortellini and a huge mix of desserts.

Pasjoli, Santa Monica

Pasjoli is a French bistro, offering elevated versions of classic dishes such as beef tartare and French onion soup. The menu also includes seasonal elements, such as ratatouille to bring a flavor of summer.

Orange County and San Diego

Jeune et Jolie, Carlsbad

This is another French favorite. The Michelin guide praised the cooking and presentation of dishes such as summer squash with ricotta dumplings.

Other Additions and Promotions in the Michelin Guide

Five restaurants were promoted to two stars in the 2021 guide. They are: Birdsong in San Francisco, Harbor House in Elk, Hayato in downtown Los Angeles, Mélisse in Santa Monica and Addison in San Diego.

The other restaurants with one newly awarded Michelin star are:

  • Barndiva, Healdsburg
  • Marlena, San Francisco
  • O' by Claude Le Tohic, San Francisco
  • The Shota, San Francisco
  • Knife Pleat, Costa Mesa
  • Soichi, San Diego
  • Sushi Tadokoro, San Diego
  • Selby's, Atherton
  • Sushi Shin, Redwood City
  • Bell's, Los Alamos
  • Six Test Kitchen, Paso Robles
  • Morihiro, northeast Los Angeles
  • Phenakite, Hollywood
  • Pasta Bar, Encino
  • Sushi I-NABA, Manhattan Beach
Waiter with food
Stock image of waiter carrying food. In the latest Michelin Guide for California, 22 restaurants have been added to the one-star list. Getty Images