Congratulations to Kali Restaurant, conveniently located in our neighborhood at the top of Larchmont Blvd. and Melrose Avenue (5722 Melrose), on winning a coveted star from the famous Michelin Travel Guide. Kali posted the following on its Instagram feed:
“Something very special happened at Kali Restaurant tonight. You could say that the stars aligned and blessed the team with a Michelin Star 🌟.Chef and Drew are proud to take this home to our amazing team and families. None of this could have happened without their continued support and understanding. We have been blessed with the most amazing dining guests and a top notch team. This 🌟represents all the work and focus that goes into the show we perform everyday with our all star cast. Tonight we celebrate with our fellow chefs, tomorrow we get to work with a new strategy. A new focus and sense of responsibility is among us, and we are up for the challenge. Thank you LA & thank you@michelinguide we are humbled and look forward to serving you all soon.”
“I feel relieved,” chef Kevin Meehan told the LA Times after his Hancock Park restaurant, Kali, was awarded a star. “I’ve worked with mostly Michelin restaurants my whole career, so I’m glad to be part of the club. It’s a huge honor.”
The stars were announced earlier this week by Michelin, which has given stars to 90 California Restaurants, 24 in Los Angeles. The tire company’s publication, which began as in 1900 a guide for roadside travelers, is funded by local tourism boards and has become one of the world’s most prestigious arbiters of fine dining. The company pulled out of LA during the financial crisis, though it stayed in San Francisco. Thanks to a $600,000 investment from the state’s Visit California Bureau, there’s now a California Guide that covers the whole state. According to the Times:
“Michelin’s star ratings are considered among the most coveted honors a restaurant can earn, along with the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and the James Beard awards. The release of a statewide guide is a nod to California’s strength as a premier food destination, guide officials said.”
The Michelin stars are a really big deal, but Eater LA’s Farley Elliot and Mathew Kang also shared their thoughts on what the Michelin Guide got right, and – more interestingly – what it missed in LA’s robust restaurant scene. Their opinion:
“Boy oh boy, what a non-surprise. The much-hyped return of the Michelin Guide to Southern California came nearly a decade removed from the company’s bitter words of departure after three years here, with the then-director saying on the way out the door that “the people of Los Angeles are not real foodies… they are not too interested in eating well.” The return to greater LA, as part of Michelin’s new all-California guide, seemed for a brief moment as though it could actually land its own fanbase of diners who know the name from elsewhere and wanted to see it applied locally. Except, well…Michelin didn’t actually seem to care much about how Angelenos actually eat here.”
While not everyone agrees on the efficacy of the Michelin Guide, it’s easy to see why Kali won such prestigious recognition. And it’s still a pretty cool distinction for our neighborhood restaurant.