The Gourmet Galaxy of Stars

Travel Guide to California - - CONTENTS -


Alice Wa­ters and Paul Ara­tow helped launch what came to be known as Cal­i­for­nia Cui­sine at Chez Panisse, above, when they opened their restau­rant in 1971. Their ap­proach, us­ing the fresh­est pos­si­ble in­gre­di­ents from lo­cal sup­pli­ers, set the tone for the farm-to-ta­ble move­ment that would fol­low.

The re­sults are in

and it’s of­fi­cial: the Bay Area of the Golden State has fi­nally bested New York for the great­est num­ber of Miche­lin three-starred restau­rants, with seven now, com­pared to six in New York City and three in Chicago. For those who have made Star-bag­ging an of­fi­cial bucket list thing, this makes Cal­i­for­nia an even more com­pelling des­ti­na­tion for haute cui­sine.

While LA has long been known for its wide va­ri­ety of ex­quis­ite and di­verse restau­rants, San Fran­cisco boasts more restau­rants per capita than any other U.S. city. It comes as no sur­prise that of the 166 Miche­lin starred restau­rants na­tion­wide for 2018, a full third of them are San Fran­cisco es­tab­lish­ments.

Old stan­dards that have been around for decades, like Tadich Grill, es­tab­lished in 1849 and the old­est in Cal­i­for­nia, along with Sam’s Grill, est. 1867, still hold their own against in­no­va­tive new­com­ers. SF’S Mis­sion district has be­come a foodie haven and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties from Berke­ley to Palo Alto to Napa and Sonoma all bring fine food to the ta­ble.

Like ev­ery­thing else in Cal­i­for­nia from pol­i­tics to en­ter­tain­ment, food is a celebrity-driven busi­ness, to wit, SOMA dar­ling In­ter­na­tional Smoke, a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Michael Mina and Aye­sha Curry (wife of NBA su­per­star Steph). But star power in­spires, and many have fol­lowed the lead of gar­den-to-ta­ble pi­o­neer Alice Wa­ters.

As the birth­place of the farm-to-ta­ble move­ment that took the coun­try by storm, the culi­nary scene here is a mix of where to

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