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Michelin-Starred California

Michelin-Starred California
Benu live jellyfish, beef bouillon and thyme blossom (Eric Wolfinger)

Ah, beautiful Northern California. From charming Los Gatos to historic San Francisco to the lush vineyards of Napa Valley, Los Angeles travelers seeking to enjoy the finest foods and wines in a picturesque destination should head north.

The French Laundry

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The restaurant serves up classic French cuisine in a beautiful rustic stone cottage built in 1900. Yountville, a small Napa Valley town with about 3,000 residents, is a prime destination for foodies. It's not only the home of the French Laundry, owned by Chef Thomas Keller, but also two other top-rated Keller restaurants: the causal American eatery Ad Hoc, and Bouchon, a one-star Michelin French Bistro.

The Restaurant at Meadowood

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Like Yountville, St. Helena is a quaint little town in Napa Valley where there are hundreds of vineyards on thousands of acres. St. Helena offers true wine country hospitality with its award-winning restaurants, spas, boutiques, gourmet markets, wine-tasting venues and luxurious resorts like Meadowood. The Restaurant at Meadowood is led by Chef Christopher Kostow.

Manresa

Los Gatos is home to Manresa, Chef David Kinch's American farm-to-table restaurant, but there's much more to this historic town. Located about 60 miles south of San Francisco, Los Gatos incorporated in 1887 and retains its historic charm while boasting lots of shops and Victorian-era homes in the historic Downtown Los Gatos district. For a greenery fix, take a stroll along the scenic Los Gatos Creek Trail.

Benu and Saison

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These two restaurants in San Francisco offer gourmet Asian food with California flair. While enjoying San Francisco, explore areas that highlight Asian culture and fresh California seafood, such as Chinatown, the Japanese Tea Garden located inside Golden Gate Park, and Fisherman's Wharf.

Amy Bentley, LA Times Custom Publishing Writer