Four San Francisco restaurants receive new Michelin Star honors


Four of San Francisco’s top eateries earned another Michelin star on Monday, December 5, at the 2022 edition of the Michelin Guide California ceremony in Los Angeles. A total of eighteen California restaurants were recognized.

San Francisco restaurants receiving their first coveted Michelin star include Nisei, Osito, San Ho Won, and Ssal. Press in St. Helena and Localis in Sacramento also received the prestigious recognition, where restaurants are rated by anonymous food inspectors who visit establishments for lunch and dinner at various times throughout the year.

Nisei Chef David Yoshimura was also honored with the Michelin Young Chef Award. According to Michelin’s anonymous superintendent, Yoshimura is a chef “full of personality” with dishes elevated by his personal culinary journey.

“Chef Yoshimura is just under 35, and I say, he embodies exactly what we look for in a young talent,” the inspector told SFGATE. “His cuisine represents a unique perspective and background and is reflected in his cuisine that is both ambitious and deeply personal.”

Nisei’s tasting menu is “equal parts tradition and invention, where a classic matsutake broth is in harmony with an all-original purple sweet potato dessert from Okinawa.”

Brianna Danner

In total, there are 89 restaurants with Michelin star status in California, and seven of those establishments achieved the three-star ranking. Michelin’s secret restaurant inspectors also awarded two new Green Stars, bringing the number of restaurants leading the way in sustainability to eleven. There are only two Green Star restaurants in other US states.

Green Stars are awarded to restaurants that are true leaders in gastronomy and role models for their guests and colleagues.

“That also shows that chefs here are true trendsetters and influencers and that California as a whole is definitely a culinary powerhouse,” said Michelin Guides International Director Gwendal Poullennec. “California really has something to say and now has a strong voice in the world of culinary conversations. It has a strong identity when it comes to the quality of its products. It really is part of California’s culinary identity.”

Poullennec added that the three-star Michelin level is the “creme de la creme” of gourmet restaurants in the US and abroad. There are 142 3-star restaurants worldwide, with 40 3-star restaurants in the US

“If we look at the number of three stars in the US, we now have seven in California, which is a lot,” he said. “If we look at the US as a whole, it is the number 3 destination in the world in terms of the number of restaurants with the three-star label.”

Chef Seth Stowaway sets his "heart, soul and even its nickname (osito means 'little bear') in this rustic, lodge-like place."

Chef Seth Stowaway puts his “heart, soul, and even his nickname (osito means ‘little bear’) into this rustic, lodge-style place.”

Molly DeCoudreaux

Of the 18 California restaurants recognized for new stars this year, eight are promotions. These were restaurants that were already part of Michelin’s highly regarded selections and inspectors kept a close eye on them throughout the year. The anonymous superintendent cited Ssal in San Francisco and Localis in Sacramento as examples of restaurants being promoted.

The Michelin Guide is all about consistency, according to Poullennec, who noted that the guide was founded in 1900 and hasn’t changed its approach and criteria since then. For more than a century, Michelin inspectors have followed the same methodology based on five universal criteria: “the quality of the food based on the quality of the products, the master of cooking techniques, the balance of flavours, the personality expressed on the plate , and finally consistency.”

Localis chief owner Christopher Barnum-Dann "brings unusual warmth to this intimate setting" in Sacramento.  This is the first recognition of a Michelin star by Localis.

Chef-owner Christopher Barnum-Dann of Localis “brings unusual warmth to this intimate setting” in Sacramento. This is the first recognition of a Michelin star by Localis.


Below is the list of San Francisco restaurants that took home the esteemed Michelin recognition with comments from the secret inspectors. Visit here for a full list of all 89 Michelin star restaurants in California.

San Francisco, Japanese/Contemporary Cuisine

“’Nisei’ refers to the American-born children of Japanese immigrants, which is Chef David Yoshimura; and the synthesis of that heritage forms the basis of this cuisine. The kitchen uses both boldness and subtlety in their cuisine, which is oozing with personality and technical finesse. The tasting menu is both tradition and invention, where a classic matsutake broth harmonizes with an all-original purple sweet potato dessert from Okinawa.

San Francisco, Contemporary Cuisine

“Chef Seth Stowaway puts his heart, soul and even his nickname (osito means ‘little bear’) into this rustic, lodge-style place where live-fire cooking takes center stage. The multi-course tasting menu is served at an extensive communal table and changes with the seasons. The food is both elemental and elevated, with a subtle scent of smoke wafting through the various courses, seen in dishes such as a lightly cooked king salmon with fennel and porcini mushrooms, or a slow-cooked brisket brushed at the table with an intensely savory mussel BBQ sauce. sauce. ”

San Ho won
San Francisco, Korean cuisine

“Combining the prodigious talents of heavy-hitter chefs Corey Lee and Jeong-In Hwang, it’s safe to expect the exceptional. The kitchen’s diligently refined technique deftly blends traditional Korean flavors with a sense of novelty, using impeccable ingredients to create dishes of superlative depth and purity of flavor, whether the simple kimchi or a thin piece beef.

San Francisco, Korean cuisine

“Hyunyoung and Junsoo Bae have extensive experience in fine dining, but were inspired to start their own business to fill what they saw as a void in San Francisco’s Korean restaurant scene. The result is this tasting menu based on familiar flavours, but distinguished by a sense of refined simplicity. Carefully prepared seafood shows a dedication to craft, as in black cod that has been partially dried before being grilled to achieve a skin so crispy it can be heard across the room. Beef ribs are something of a signature, gently cooked sous vide and then seared to form a sweet-savoury crust.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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