SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — While Michelin decided to postpone its annual award of stars to California restaurants this year due to the pandemic and wildfires, undercover eaters did find several "discoveries" across the state.
The new-found culinary delights were announced as part of Michelin Guide's "Family Meal" livestream to celebrate the resilience of restaurants and raise money for the California Association of Food Banks.
In San Diego, five restaurants pleasantly surprised guide inspectors were Tuetano Taqueria in San Ysidro, Morning Glory in Little Italy, Dija Mara in Oceanside, Soichi Sushi in University Heights, and Sushi Tadokoro in Old Town.
Inspectors said Tuetano Taqueria Chef Priscilla Curiel’s guisados "are every inch the equal of Baja’s—down to the fair prices and hefty portions (and without the long traffic lines on your way home)." The guide also hailed the restaurant's beef birria that is topped with a bone filled with buttery marrow on top of the taco.
Morning Glory's soufflé pancakes are "worth waking up for," according to the guide, and dishes like fried rice with pork belly and eggs and potatoes au gratin are "a great riff on tradition."
Indonesian stop Dija Mara serves up creative cocktails and delicious nasi goreng (fried rice with shrimp, pork belly, chicken, and the yolk of a sunny egg) and charred eggplant with smoked tomato sambal and crispy fried shallots, inspectors said.
Soichi impressed with its sushi offerings, including its pike mackerel, kampachi, and sea bass dishes. Michelin says Soichi's shirumono fish soup is also a must before trying out the restaurant's green tea ice cream.
Inspectors say Sushi Tadokoro's omakase is a must-try, especially the sushi joint's oysters and scallops. Tadokoro's sea urchin topped with ikura eggs and golden eye snapper with kombu also "hits all the right notes," according to the guide.
Donations to the California Association of Food Banks can be made here.