California Cuisine: Four Chefs Leading Fine Dining Trends

The people of California have been known as the style and trendsetters of the country for years (at least as a source on the west coast). The chefs of California continue to lead the charge of defining dining trends that will spread across the country and around the world. It’s likely the beautiful weather which, in turn, helps food sources thrive and provides these chefs with the best ingredients. Here are our top four picks for chefs leading the fine dining trends.

Chef Tin Vuong


California Cuisine: Four Chefs Leading Fine Dining Trends
Photo courtesy of Heather Moch


Described as “buzzy and cheerful” by The Week magazine though they note that there is a “dark humor lurking beneath” that upbeat vibe. This is just the tip of the iceberg for accolades that Little Sister and its Chef Tin Vuong have received. They are all well-warranted.


Food that exercises your palate served in a relaxed environment that feels more residential than restaurant, as if you’re being invited into Tin’s home.


Their innovative Southeast Asian dishes such as grilled prawns with mango and lemongrass-cilantro are served daily. You can join them for dinner and on weekends for brunch and lunch in their Manhattan Beach and every day for lunch through dinner at their downtown Los Angeles location. This location focuses more on “digging a little deeper into regional Asian cuisine.”

Chef Javier Plascencia


California Cuisine: Four Chefs Leading Fine Dining Trends
Photo courtesy of Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro


Credited as being the creator of the Cali-Baja style, Chef Javier Plascencia continues to be a trendsetter with his restaurant Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro. His Cali-Baja style has permeated southern California and has moved north and to the east as well. He created the style by melding his Mexican heritage with his southern California culinary training. You’ll also find dishes inspired by this style at other restaurants. You will want to try the Mexican Street Bowl and Galaxy Taco, both in San Diego. You also don’t want to miss the Michelada-steamed mussels at Galaxy Taco.


A hidden culinary gem tucked away in beautiful Bonita California nestled between the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego. Mediterranean techniques and authentic Mexican recipes result in a rustic forward-thinking cuisine reflecting a unique menu that creates a flare with both locals and out of town visitors gaining recognition as San Diego’s Best Mexican Restaurant for three years in a row by San Diego Magazine.


Chef Jordan Kahn


California Cuisine: Four Chefs Leading Fine Dining Trends
Photo courtesy of Tartine Manufactory


With many fine dining establishments, the tradition has been to only open during the dinner service and possibly on weekends for brunch and/or lunch.  The new trend of all-day fine dining, however, has become more prevalent thanks to chefs like Jordan Kahn. His much-lauded Destroyer in Los Angeles and his partnership with Tartine in San Francisco to open Tartine Manufactory have paid off. Lovers of fine dining aren’t waiting until dinner to savor the offerings of these restaurants.


The Manufactory is an idea that grew out of Tartine and its ever-evolving philosophy on flavor, craft and human health. We hope the platform of collaboration allows many friends, thought leaders, chefs and farmers to challenge the industry, create beautiful food and improve the livelihoods of every link in the chain.


Chef David LeFevre


California Cuisine: Four Chefs Leading Fine Dining Trends
Photo courtesy of Fishing With Dynamite


Quite possibly the least trendy of our trends but perhaps one of the most important. Chef David LeFevre sees the need and leads the charge for taking sustainable seafood from an added benefit of  to an absolute requirement. His popular Manhattan Beach restaurant, Fishing With Dynamite, focuses on just that as he leads the charge. LeFevre’s accomplishments and accolades include the many awards he won with his first restaurant, Manhattan Beach Post (M.B. Post).


With Fishing with Dynamite – already named Best Oyster Bar by Los Angeles Magazine – LeFevre celebrates summers spent on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and SoCal’s vibrant beach communities with a menu that features only the most pristine seafood. Like M.B. Post, Fishing with Dynamite is a reflection of LeFevre’s roots, his travels and his three culinary touchstones – preparing food that is artisanal, soulful and handcrafted.


As trends spread across the country and around the world, new trends begin and many of them will originate from California cuisine. So, tell us, which is your favorite trend? If you’re a lover of a good trend and great fashion, you’ll want to read The Future of Fashion: Tech Trends We Saw on the Runway.

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California Cuisine: Four Chefs Leading Fine Dining Trends