I do this rant every year and will continue to do so until San Jose nabs a Michelin star restaurant. For the non-foodies out there, a Michelin star represents one of the highest achievements and forms of recognition that a restaurant can get. There are three different rankings:
One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.
I have gone ahead and made a Google doc listing all of the 2013 Bay Area Michelin star recipients as well as the recipients for each year since Bay Area restaurants started being evaluated in 2007. This data was surprisingly not that easy to aggregate since it was hard to find the lists of early recipients. If you open the doc, you will also notice a Stats tab on the bottom that shows how things have evolved over the years.
In 2007 the Bay Area received a total of 34 stars across 28 restaurants. Only 2 restaurants were in the South Bay (7% of the total). For 2013, the Bay Area received 52 stars across 42 restaurants and 5 were in the South Bay (12%). So there is definitely some improvement for the region as a whole, but unfortunately there is yet to be a single San Jose recipient. I have been to quite a few on the list below (13 of them in fact), and there are at least two San Jose restaurants that should definitely be there. Le Papillion and La Foret, which are sister restaurants and offer phenomenal food and service equal to many of the places on the list. I also have high hopes that new aspiring chefs will decide to open up restaurants Downtown that may one day qualify for a star.
You can check out the full Google doc here. The South Bay restaurants are highlighted in yellow and the Peninsula restaurants in northern Silicon Valley are highlighted in blue.
P.S. Hat tip to All Spice in San Mateo for being the first Indian restaurant to make the cut in the US as far as I know.