Whether you’re in the restaurant biz or simply obsessed with food like all of us on the SBP team, the most anticipated time of year is finally here: Michelin star season. If you aren’t familiar, the Michelin Guide was created back in 1900 as a means of getting travelers to explore restaurants within different regions by car…which, of course, still remains true in Los Angeles today. All traffic aside, though, the Michelin Guide awards the best, most coveted restaurants across the globe, and we’re lucky to have countless world-renowned eateries right in our backyard. Check out this year’s newest Michelin-star restaurants below and join the SBP team in an absolute reservation frenzy.
Believe it or not, you can teleport to Paris by hitting up Main Street in Santa Monica. From acclaimed Chef Dave Beran comes Pasjoli, a French bistro that elevates traditional dishes like caviar, duck confit and chocolate soufflé to an entirely new level. “Listen, when you have to order a dish before you even get there, you know it’s gotta be good,” Founding Partner F. Ron Smith said. “I’m making a reservation soon to try the pressed duck, at $165 it has a hefty price tag but I’ve been promised it’s worth it.” Awarded with a brand-new Michelin star, Pasjoli has become an undeniable mainstay in Los Angeles’ restaurant scene.
F. Ron’s Drooling to Try: Canard à la Rouennaise à la Pressewith roasted duck breast, salad of market lettuces and crispy duck skin, duck leg bread pudding and a sauce of roasted duck juices with cognac and red wine.
When it comes to culinary innovation, Chef Minh Phan of Phenakite pretty much wrote the manual. The new Michelin-starred restaurant features an Asian-inspired tasting menu that, in the words of this year’s Michelin Guide, “takes a journey of the land, sea, and air, juxtaposing introspection, expression and transformation.” Enough said, right? Expect their food to be just as poetic and ethereal. “I worked in the ever-demanding restaurant industry in New York City so I have a sixth sense for sniffing out truly innovative upscale cuisine,” Associate Partner Tyler Drinkwater said. “And from what I’ve read, Phenakite is an absolute must for the culinary curious.”
In the mood for a Michelin-starred omakase meal? Dumb question, but look no further than Morihiro in Atwater Village. The brainchild of superstar sushi chef Morihiro Onodera, Morihiro offers a full-course sushi bar experience with an up-close view of chef Mori doing his thing, a multi-course table experience and a four-course prix fixe menu. In the words of Associate Partner Trevor Edmond, “It’s always a great day to have amazing sushi.”
Trevor’s Drooling to Try: Sushi Ten four-course prix fixe menu with 10 pieces of nigiri plus one cut roll with seasonal appetizers, miso soup and dessert.
Sometimes a simple, straightforward name is all it takes when the food is out of this world. Chef Nate Tauer and owner Phillip Frankland Lee have earned one Michelin star for their tasting-menu concept at Pasta Bar in Encino where, you guessed it, pasta takes center stage. Expect a California twist on Italian favorites like squid ink garganelli with marinated squid, lemon and smoked chili and mushroom duxelles cannolo with crème fraîche and caviar. “Pasta Bar has been on my list for a minute. A pasta tasting menu? Count me in!” Associate Partner Bobby Neely said. BRB, drooling.
Alas, a Michelin star has made its way to the glistening shores of Manhattan Beach. With only a handful of seats and a sushi counter reminiscent of what you’d find in the streets of Ginza, Sushi I-Naba is an incredible and intimate omakase joint where Chef Yasuhiro Hirano is “able to master dishes that other, more established pros haven’t — and to such a precise, creative and polished effect,” according to this year’s Michelin Guide. “Is there anything better than life-changing sushi by the beach?” Associate Partner Sewit Eshetu asked. “Consider my reservation confirmed!”
It should come as no surprise that one of the best burgers not only in LA, but the world, is handcrafted by Gucci. Yes, it’s $38, and also yes, it’s worth every penny. Helmed by the philosophy of chef Massimo Bottura in Beverly Hills, Gucci Osteria earned one star in this year’s Michelin Guide by virtue of its modern Italian fare and innovative culinary experience. “It was creative, fun and very well worth it,” Founding Partner David Berg shared. As for the ambiance itself, Associate Partner Hannah Pilkington says it’s just what you’d expect from Gucci: “The staff wears the finest Gucci outfits and they truly master every little detail. The table setting and menu set such a polished tone for what to expect as far as presentation and artisanal plating.”
David’s Recommendation: Emilia Burger with beef ribeye, cotechino, salsa verde and balsamic mayonnaise.
Hannah’s Recommendation: Spring is Coming with white asparagus, burrata, buckwheat, seaweed. “Fun fact: the chef came out and told us he got the inspiration for the asparagus from the Walt Disney Concert Hall by Frank Gehry,” Hannah said.