The /*Michelin Guide*/ has set high standards and chefs seek those stars.
"Really we have to get the right products and the chef knows how to cook them and how they keep the flavors to insure the greatness and properly cooked. After that we're looking for style -- not on TV or in a book, really in plate," said Jean-Luc Naret from the Michelin Guide.
It's about consistency -- famously anonymous inspectors visit restaurants several times.
Yountville's /*French Laundry*/ gets the highest mark, three stars. San Francisco's Coi on Broadway earned two stars for the seasonal tasting menu.
"We do the same thing we always do. We try to get the best ingredients and take care of them in the kitchen," said Coi Chef/Owner Daniel Patterson.
Joining Coi are Cyrus, Manresa and the restaurant at Meadowood.
Thirty-four restaurants received one star for highly consistent food and among them is Luce, which has been open a little more than a year and a half.
Chef Dominique Crenn's contemporary cuisine includes seasonal vegetables.
"Coming from France, being French, knowing the story of the Michelin Guide and following them all my life, eating at all those wonderful restaurants, and then you get a star. It's like wow," she said.
Sixty-two restaurants were cited in the Bib Gourmand category -- known as inspectors' favorites for good value.
One of them is Dosa.
"To be in a category such as Bib Gourmand during a recession is an added bonus," said Dosa owner Emily Mitra. "We set out to open the perfect neighborhood restaurant that had the typo of food you would find in someone's home in South India."
There are also some San Francisco finds.
"You've got this incredible place with little restaurants with very good food," said Naret.
Like Henry's Hunan in the Castro. It's been open for 10 months.
"The main chef in the kitchen, mom, has been working for Henry for the last 27 years," said Jeff Zhu from Henry's Hunan.
From farm to table, Bay Area restaurants are like a night at the theatre.