How We Evaluate Restaurants


Award winners are chosen from among restaurants that are located from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border. Evaluations were done by members during 2016. All were judged on food, service, ambiance and appropriate beverages according to the organization’s standardized score sheets which have a scoring range from 1 to 100 points.

Five Stars-Our highest honor is given to a chosen few, the grandest of the grand, which receive ninety five or more points and are elected by special vote of the members. In addition, individual awards are voted from among those nominated as Restaurateur, Chef, Maitre ‘d, Manager, Service Person and other categories that are determined by the membership on a yearly basis.

Four Stars-are presented to restaurants scoring ninety points or more.

Three Stars-are awarded to those restaurants scoring between eighty-five and eighty-nine points.

Two Stars-given to locations accumulating eighty to eighty-five points.

Restaurants opening or that have been substantially reorganized during the evaluation period and earning eighty points or more are categorized as Promising Newcomers. Restaurants with limited hours or other unique features may be recognized with a Special Value or Before Five certificate. Special recognition is given for outstanding Sunday Brunch. Corporate-owned restaurants called Multiple Locations are also listed. Restaurants that are located in the northern part of California are listed as Recommended without any star awards. 




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