Michelin Looks To California
Addison is San Diego’s only restaurant to receive a star
Posted on June 5, 2019
For the first time ever, the Michelin Guide has finally published a guide to the entirety of California. Previously, the French restaurant guide had only published a guide to San Francisco and the famed wine country to its north. It was announced earlier in 2019 that, thanks in large part to $600,000 that Visit California paid to the company, the Guide would release a book devoted to the entire state.
Ask many chefs what their ultimate career goal would be and the answer is often to gain at least one Michelin star for their restaurant. The Michelin Guide reserves its highest quality designation — a star — for those restaurants its inspectors consider the best of the best. One star denotes “a very good restaurant in its category,” two stars, “excellent cooking, worth a detour,” and three, its highest designation, “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”
Just about everyone in San Diego’s food community assumed that Addison, which is without a doubt the fine dining crown jewel of the county, would get at least one star. According to the rumors I heard being passed around, three was the general consensus. I assumed one and I was right — in addition to gaining San Diego’s first Michelin star, Addison was the only restaurant in town to receive any stars at all.
“We are honored to be recognized by Michelin during this seminal year in California,” says William Bradley, Addison’s director and executive chef. “Since opening Addison in 2006, we have devoted ourselves to the pursuit of excellence and will continue to find inspiration from that relentless commitment, offering each guest a superlative, personalized dining experience. Michelin’s acknowledgment of our team’s dedication to service and our craft is humbling, and we look forward to championing and aspiring toward the high standards the Guide represents in the year ahead.”
In addition to the exciting accolades that were bestowed upon Addison, eight San Diego restaurants received Michelin’s Bib Gourmand recommendation, out of 88 throughout California: Campfire, Cucina Sorella, Cucina Urbana, El Jardín, Juniper & Ivy, Kettner Exchange, Lola 55, and Solare. Though it might lack the caché of the star system, receipt of this designation is prestigious in its own right. It is highly sought after in many restaurants that are perhaps more casual than the type of fine dining that the Michelin star system recognizes.
The official definition says that one could dine at a Bib Gourmand restaurant and get out the door with dinner and two glasses of wine for $40. Several of the San Diego recipients don’t technically fit within those parameters, but it’s been long accepted throughout the industry that the category has become a catch-all for quality restaurants that don’t quite fit the bill for a star.
Though many were disappointed that Addison didn’t reach the highest echelon, to me it represents only room for growth and improvement — something San Diego’s dining scene could be inspired by across the board. Jackie Bryant
Food: Photo by Vincent Knakal