1104 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Thurs, 06/04/2015, 6:30pm appointment
Chef and owner of Melisse Josiah Citrin has put together a sophisticated and chic restaurant in Santa Monica. The two Michelin star restaurant forks out contemporary French cuisine. The menu is prix fixe based on fresh ingredients for the week, with some signature items remaining on the menu. The staff handpick the ingredients to offer the best possible dishes for the night. Additionally, Citrin shows confidence in his chef de cuisine Ken Takayama to create dishes that would be suitable to the fine diners.
|Chef de Cuisine Ken Takayama hard at work|
As soon as you walk through the door, you are taken on a two-three hour journey of scrumptious food and superb service. The ambiance is simple, elegant, with a large chandelier as the main decor. Intricate details make this experience memorable. If you're celebrating a birthday or anniversary, you can expect a little gift courtesy of the restaurant.
|The interior dining room|
|The staff finishing up with the garnishes|
|The pastry chef hard at work|
|Black truffles!! I found the stash!|
|SALMON ROE WITH GELEE: This remarkable salmon eggs had bursts of flavor in your mouth. It was smooth, juicy and was comprehensively a nice dish. If you like the texture of popping boba (but salty), you'll love these little balls!|
|CORN SOUP: This decadent soup is made to its finest. Served with a creme fraiche, it is creamy, luscious, slightly sweet and full of flavor. Extremely delicious.|
Overall, Melisse presents dishes that are beautifully plated and sophisticated on the palate. There is a lot of work that goes into dishing out a menu like Melisse. The menu is well thought out with precision in each and every dish. Melisse does not offer one simple menu each night, but various ones from vegetarian to their four course meal and all the way to a ten course meal all distinct from each other. What I love about this restaurant is the fact that the majority of the staff have been with Citrin for 15 years plus. The staff is aware of the ins and outs of this exceptional establishment. The fact that the runners/waiters are the ones expediting the food, not the executive chef is unique to most restaurants. Citrin trusts his staff and vice-versa. Would I come back again? Definitely! Word of advice: It can be a bit pricey and it's not an everyday affair to fork out $500+ for two people (but it was well-worth it)!
Notable dishes: Egg Caviar and the Wagyu Beef Tartare
Check out my experience in the kitchen of Melisse restaurant with chef de cuisine Ken Takayama: