The world’s restaurant bible has named a champion of Mexican cuisine.
San Francisco’s Californios has become the first and only Mexican restaurant in North America to receive the illustrious two-star designation from the Michelin Guide, a restaurant rating system that makes or breaks fine-dining spots. Two stars is the second highest accolade.
Michelin revealed its 2018 guide to spots in the Bay Area on Wednesday. The region, which includes San Francisco and wine country, received a total 55 Michelin stars — including seven three-starred restaurants.
Here’s what it’s like to eat at Californios, the best Mexican restaurant in the US.
San Francisco is full of casual taquerias where you can eat a gut-busting Mission-style burrito. But Californios puts a fine-dining spin on the city's most beloved cuisine.
The restaurant is small and intimate, with only 22 seats. Warm leather banquettes, white tablecloths, grayed-out windows, and intensely coloured art create a private, upscale feel.
Chef Val Cantu takes familiar Mexican flavours but veers away from traditional combinations. 'I want to create something totally new,' Cantu told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2015.
The name Californios borrows a term for Californians of Mexican descent. 'They were people who left Mexico to find something, and do something special,' Cantu told the Chronicle. 'I thought that was a pretty accurate description of what we're trying to do.'
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