Top Local Restaurants Receive AAA Four, AAA Five Diamond Ratings

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Forty-one Southern California restaurants have received the AAA Four or AAA Five Diamond Award®, the travel authority’s highest rating, over the past 12 months, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.  

The Auto Club also announced AAA Four Diamond restaurant ratings, including The Steakhouse in Rancho Mirage, which earned its first AAA Four Diamond rating.  

Just 0.2 percent of the more than 32,000 AAA Inspected & Approved restaurants are Five Diamond-rated restaurants. To qualify for the rating, a restaurant will consistently provide leading-edge cuisine of the finest ingredients, uniquely prepared by an acclaimed chef and served by expert service staff in extraordinary surroundings. High-end restaurants are adopting simple, streamlined décor and thanks in part to the popularity of cooking shows and competitions, some continue to highlight lively open kitchen designs that allow guests to watch and even interact with culinary staff. 

“Attaining the AAA Five Diamond rating is an impressive accomplishment,” said Patty Marenco, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Approved Accommodations program.  “Guests want to be wowed on multiple levels, so exceptional service is also important but they’re not necessarily looking for all the formalities that were once synonymous with fine dining.”

 While some Five Diamond restaurants still have lavish surroundings, others feature counter seating or chef’s tables overlooking or surrounding the cooking area. And many Five Diamond restaurants, including most of those new to the list this year, have tasting menus offering a frequently changing array of intricate small dishes prepared from the finest ingredients and presented in an interactive environment.

 Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments and inspector insight in AAA trip planning products: the eTourBook® guides and AAA Mobile® app for tablets and smartphones, the TripTik® Travel Planner and Travel Guides on AAA.com and AAA TourBook® guides available at AAA/CAA offices.

 The AAA Diamond rating system provides consumers with the broadest coverage of any U.S. rating system, geographically and by number of properties rated, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. 

Those at the Four Diamond level, just 2.1 percent of AAA inspected & Approved restaurants, are also an exclusive group. They offer a distinctive fine-dining experience, employing creative preparations that are skillfully served amid upscale ambience.  This year, there are 656 AAA Four Diamond restaurants located across North America, including 39 additions this year (including The Steakhouse in Rancho Mirage..) 

 The Auto Club’s full-time inspection staff reviews Southern California restaurants. The inspectors bring prior hospitality industry experience to the association to give members effective, consistent evaluations that can be used to select the restaurant that meets their travel desires.

Southern California restaurants rated as AAA Five Diamond with year first rated:

Community and Restaurant

 

 

Year Rated

 

 

 

 

Beverly Hills

 

 

 

The Belvedere

 

 

1995

(in The Peninsula Beverly Hills)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Diego

 

 

 

Addison (Fairmont Grand Del Mar)

 

 

2008

 

Southern California restaurants that received the AAA Four Diamond Award and year first rated:

Location

Name

Year Rated

Los Angeles County Restaurants

 

 

Beverly Hills

 

 

 

Cut by Wolfgang Puck (Beverly

2010

 

Wilshire A Four Seasons Hotel)

 

 

The Blvd (Beverly Wilshire A Four Seasons Hotel)

2011

 

Spago Beverly Hills

2004

 

 

 

Calabasas

Saddle Peak Lodge

1997

 

 

 

Los Angeles

Culina Modern Italian (Four Seasons

1995

 

Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills)

 

 

Patina

1991

 

 

 

Malibu

Nobu Malibu

2016

 

 

 

Pasadena

The Raymond Restaurant

2005

 

 

 

Santa Monica

Melisse

2012

 

Valentino Santa Monica

1995

 

 

 

Orange County Restaurants

 

 

Anaheim

Napa Rose (Disney's Grand Californian 

2010

 

Hotel & Spa)

 

 

 

 

Dana Point

Raya (The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel)

2012

 

 

 

Fullerton

The Cellar

1990

 

 

 

Laguna Beach

Studio (Montage Laguna Beach)

2008

 

 

 

Riverside County Restaurants

 

 

Cabazon

Cielo (Morongo Casino Resort & Spa)

2011

 

 

 

Palm Springs

Le Vallauris

1993

 

 

 

Rancho Mirage

Wally's Desert Turtle

1993

 

The Steakhouse

2018*

 

 

 

Riverside

Duane's Prime Steaks & Seafood (Mission

1995

 

Inn Hotel & Spa)

 

 

 

 

Temecula

Great Oak Steakhouse (Pechanga Resort

2012

 

and Casino)

 

 

 

 

San Diego County Restaurants

 

 

Alpine

The Grove Steakhouse (Viejas Casino & Resort)

2015

 

 

 

Carlsbad

Argyle Steakhouse

2012

 

Vivace (Park Hyatt Aviara Resort)

1999

 

 

 

La Jolla

A.R. Valentien (The Lodge at Torrey Pines)

2004

 

Donovan's Steak & Chop House

2010

 

George's At the Cove

2000

 

 

 

 

The Marine Room

2013

 

 

 

Rancho Santa Fe

Mille Fleurs

1991

San Diego

Avant

2017

 

Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop

2017

 

Grant Grill (The US Grant)

2007

 

Mister A's

1994

 

Veladora

              2017

 

 

 

Santa Barbara County Restaurants

 

 

Santa Barbara

Angel Oak

2017

 

Bouchon

2014

 

 

 

Santa Ynez

Willows (Chumash Casino Resort & Spa)

2005

 

 

 

Solvang

The Gathering Table (The Ballard Inn)

2005

 

 

 

Ventura County Restaurants

 

 

Ojai

Olivella (Ojai Valley Inn & Spa)

2015

 

 

 

Westlake Village

ONYX Restaurant (Four Seasons Hotel,

2016

 

Westlake Village)

 

Media Contacts

Elaine Beno
(714) 885-2324
Beno.Elaine@aaa-calif.com
Doug Shupe
LA-based media contact
512-659-1632
shupe.doug@aaa-calif.com