California Michelin Guide adds new affordable LA, OC restaurants to list – Orange County Register

Michelin Guide judges have added 15 new Bib Gourmand restaurants to their Michelin Guide California selection, highlighting 10 restaurants in LA County and one in Orange County, that offer good food at an affordable price in an announcement Tuesday, Nov. 29.

The full list of additions to Michelin Guide California’s Bib Gourmand list, which includes 141 restaurants so far, will be revealed in LA next week, along with which restaurants will receive Michelin stars. The other four restaurants added to the Bib Gourmand list are located in the Bay Area and Solvang.

Some restaurants added to the Bib Gourmand category were recently featured as “new discovery” restaurants, a list that was released earlier this month.

The Bib Gourmand list features restaurants that offer full menus — starter, main course and dessert, but are priced so diners can enjoy two courses with wine or a dessert for less than $49 (not including tax or gratuity).

Here are the list of local additions, with previews of the inspector notes for each restaurant:

Orange County

Ramen & Tsukemen TAO (Buena Park; Japanese-Ramen cuisine): “This unassuming spot in an easy-to-miss location in an open-air mall belies the wondrous steaming bowls found within. The small dining room with space for 20 is strictly no-frills but it’s of no concern, since you’re here for the soul-stirring comfort food made with passion and dedication. The concise menu features a few appetizers, although ramen clearly steals the show.”

Los Angeles County

Chef Jonathan Whitener and Lien Ta, who own a restaurant in Koreatown, opened All Day Baby, a restaurant, bakery and cocktail bar in Silver Lake. (Photo courtesy of Michelin Guide/Photo by Albert Ocampo)

All Day Baby (Silver Lake; American cuisine): “On a sun-soaked corner of Sunset Boulevard, find one of the city’s most compelling reasons to wake up early. Anyone can throw together a breakfast sandwich, but few compare to the one at All Day Baby. A tower of softly scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and American cheese arrives under a cloak of strawberry jam stacked between a fluffy cathead biscuit.”

Caboco (Downtown LA; Brazilian cuisine): “Chefs Rodrigo Oliveira and Victor Vasconcellos bring both modern and authentic Brazilian fare to their adopted home of Los Angeles. This airy, industrial-chic space welcomes guests with a well-rounded menu of deeply flavorful and enjoyable dishes. Entrees are designed for sharing, and you can easily make a meal out of a variety of small plates.”

Chulita (Venice; Mexican cuisine): “Tacos are served all day at this spot where Oaxacan-style, California-influenced fare rules. Slake your thirst with a tequila or mezcal, then tuck into a starter, such as the quesadilla de calabaza, made from dark masa, filled with Oaxacan queso and garnished with pipián de calabaza. It’s even better when filled with tender barbacoa.”

Flavors from Afar (Little Ethiopia; International cuisine): “A kitchen on a mission, Flavors from Afar works with refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants to highlight recipes from their native countries. Eritrean, Lebanese, Navajo, Guatemalan, Haitian — the rotation is constant, and the culinary reach of the effort is vast. This is authentic homestyle cooking in the best of ways, a spotlight on undiscovered talent and a striking reminder of the many flavors the world has to offer. A portion of proceeds benefit the Tiyya Foundation, which supports immigrants and displaced Indigenous communities.”

Ipoh Kopitiam (Alhambra; Malaysian cuisine): “Chef Kenji Tang has something of a hit on his hands, and day or night, the line to get in can be as dense as the takeout tickets that pile up on the front counter. Tang fills a void with a fairly succinct menu of well-known Malaysian favorites that stand out in a region known more for its Chinese restaurants.”

Lalibela (Little Ethiopia; Ethiopian cuisine): “Chef/owner Tenagne Belachew and her daughters are congenial fixtures in a simply adorned setting that feels like a humble abode. They are content to let the food do the talking and offer a dazzling selection of vibrant Ethiopian classics with vegetables and meat alike arriving on oversized silver platters lined with injera.”

Moo’s Craft Barbecue (Lincoln Heights; Barbecue): “High school sweethearts Andrew and Michelle Muñoz are living a dream come true. What started out as a backyard hobby smoking meats on weekends has transformed into a full-fledged restaurant in Lincoln Heights. Smoky, salt-and-pepper-crusted brisket and snappy, spicy sausages packed with cheddar and jalapeños pay homage to the barbecue traditions of Austin, Texas.”

Pijja Palace (Silver Lake; Fusion cuisine): “Indian Sports Bar” is not a phrase you hear often, if at all, so it’s no surprise that this quirky hotspot at the base of a Comfort Inn defies labels. Large flatscreen TVs showing the day’s game hang on every wall, and people do indeed come here to cheer on their team. The food is equally original, riffing on classic bar dishes but elevating them with astute seasoning and careful preparation.”

Pizzeria Bianco (Downtown LA; Pizza): “Those who think Los Angeles can’t compete with New York when it comes to pizza obviously haven’t been to Pizzeria Bianco. There is a reason long lines snake through ROW DTLA and queue up at the takeout window with diners hankering for a taste of Chef Chris Bianco’s pizza.”

Saffy’s ((East Hollywood; Middle Eastern cuisine): “Crackling flames, heat radiating from the coals, the constant kneading and stretching of dough — the visceral nature of Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’ latest restaurant is impossible to ignore. Lamb and pork kebabs cooked on long metal skewers are the main event, but appetizers easily hold their own. There might not be a better, creamier hummus around; this one boosted with smoked paprika, toasty pine nuts and an herby green zhoug.”

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