How We Evaluate Restaurants for Awards:
Award winners are chosen from among restaurants stretching from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border that were evaluated by our members during 2011. All were judged on food, service, ambiance, and appropriate beverages, according to the organization’s standardized score sheets, which have a scoring range of 1 to 100 points.
The highest honor, Five Stars, is given to a chosen few, the grandest of the grand, which receive 95 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.
Five Stars-Our highest honor, requires a special vote of the membership and the restaurant must have received an accumulative total of nine-five points or above to be considered.
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 eight-four 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.