1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 393-0881
Bike Parking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Cuisines: Fine Dining, Family Style, American, French, European, Seafood, Continental
Alcohol: Full Bar
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
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10/12/2011Provided by Citysearch -
Just hung up with the restaurant and they could not accommodate my wife's garlic allergy. All their food is pre-made and it all contains garlic. At their prices they should be able to cook something to serve when someone has an allergy, even Daniel in New York and several other wonderful restaurants will accommodate my wife's allergies, it is hard to believe that a little restaurant in Santa Monica cannot do it.
06/12/2011Provided by Citysearch -
We had a devastating experience here last night. This was my second visit to Melisse; the first was in 2007, and every morsel that came out of the kitchen blew my mind. When we left for the restaurant I was actually clapping my hands with excitement. Initially we were treated beautifully, especially by the wonderful sommelier, who is frank, funny, and full of character. We ordered the 10-course menu and settled in with anticipation.
But it soon became clear that something was amiss in the kitchen. Courses began arriving more and more slowly, and two hours after our order went in, we politely inquired of the waiter whether everything was okay. We had received only four of our courses, which are tiny, even by French standards -- by then we had eaten an amuse consisting of a preparation of two halves of a cherry tomato; a soft-boiled egg; a half-ounce sliver of fish; an espresso-sized cup of corn soup; and a piece of foie gras no larger than a golf ball. Although we had arrived only mildly hungry, we were now starving; also, inexplicably, the servers had also removed our bread plates, and we were just sort of waiting, staring, beginning to feel neglected.
The waiter acknowledged that the kitchen was slow tonight. Twenty minutes later another course finally emerged. And then it was nearly 40 minutes until the servers put the meat course on the table -- two postage-stamp sized slices of wagyu beef. I looked around for the waiter -- was he not going to come over to talk to us about the course, perhaps review the ingredients in the garnishes or discuss the nature of the preparation or provenance of the ingredients? No; we were left to try to figure out what each thing was by taste. By now we had also finished our wine and the bottle had been removed from the table, but nobody inquired as to whether we might like something new to drink, We started wondering what was going on.
Then the maitre d' appeared and asked if we liked the course. I nodded, not wanting to mention the absent waiter, but my partner spoke up, quietly and politely reflecting that something strange was happening, because the service had slowed to a crawl. The maitre d' said that yes, it was a busy night. And I said, again politely and quietly, ""you might want to know, it was over 35 minutes waiting for just this course,"" gesturing at my iphone sitting on the seat next to me, which is the only clock I have.
His response was not to apologize or soothe. He shot back, ""You want to go back into the kitchen and see how hard they are working?"" and then turned on his heel and left our tableside. This was not a polite invitation to tour the kitchen, which I have done elsewhere, most recently at French Laundry. It was a defensive response. We were bewildered and consumed the course with our now-warm glasses of water. It was now over three hours since we arrived at the restaurant.
Moments later, Chef Citrin appeared at our table. I stupidly thought that perhaps he was there to help get our experience on the right track again. No. He raised his voice to us. He berated us for having a ""bad attitude."" Then he angrily told us to leave his restaurant.
I was dumbfounded. We tried to explain what had been happening, but he did not want to hear any of it. He was rude and insulting. I burst into tears, and the sommelier and the waiter milled around in the background, shooting me sympathetic glances. We got up and left, me crying my way out of the restaurant on what was to have been a special night.
Once or twice I have seen belligerent and abusive patrons be asked to leave a restaurant. We are not like that kind of patron, and this was nothing like what happened last night. We are seasoned, polite, appropriate adults who arrived eager to spend $1000 on an amazing meal and worship at the altar of a brilliant chef. Instead, we were abused, and 24 hours later I continue to feel as if I have been kicked in the face. I s
My 10 year old daughter and I went to Melisse on a whim just before her birthday. I was not dressed appropriately and exhausted. The staff at Melisse made us feel like the most attractive celebrity in the room. My daughter had the best night, tried the duck, and left suggesting that we start a fine dining club! Our wait person helped her with her cutlery and manners and made fine dining a great experience for my child.
Could not have been a better experience to teach my daughter to shine in a very grown up and elegant environment and enjoy an amazing meal.
I cannot lie, this restaurant costs a pretty penny and then some... But it is the most memorable and stunning dinner I have ever had. If you decide to eat here go into it knowing you are going to spend $250+ for only two people and let yourself simply enjoy the food. If you're not a huge foodie and not sure what you should order I highly recommend going with one of the prefixed multi course menus. The food is complex, the ingredients fresh and perfectly cooked, the presentation is beautiful, each dish has so much thought in it down to the smallest detail. No flavor is unplanned and you cannot help but have the highest level of respect for the chef Josiah. Perfection!
02/01/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I'm a really lucky girl. Really. I always think to myself I live the best life ever. Jesus and I aren't even tight like that but he never fails to hook me up like crazy. If you believe in karma, don't. cuz truthfully. I kinda suck as a person.
After a disappointing meal at Bazaar, I was excited to find out that my best friend in the world was taking me to Melisse as his departing present. I've been eyeing Melisse for half a year now so I am excited to finally try a 2 Michelin star restaurant.
Dinner was at 8 and I didn't think it'd be adequate time for us to do the chef's carte blanche tasting. I would want to reserve a least a couple hours for the full experience plus Happy Wednesday doesn't call for THAT extravagant of a celebration especially when it's not on my dime.
We started with the wild mushroom ravioli and the maine diver scallops. Upon first taste, I understand why Melisse is lauded as one of the best restaurants in LA. After tasting mushroom ravioli at Jiraffe, I'm already in love with mushrooms in general but Melisse blows it out of the water. I just can't understand how something so simple can have so many levels of flavors. Amazing. The scallops were fresh and cooked perfectly. To be honest, there's really no way I can use words to describe the food aside from telling you...go now.
HIghlights - the lobster thermidor. I love lobster. Melisse does this dish so well. It's creamy, its rich, it's heavy but not overpowering. The portions are generous. I can say its the best lobster I've had. Bold statement i know.
For our mains, I wanted to get the duck (its a habit i know) but i also wanted to get the steak because i really messed up last time at Anisette and missed out on the best rib eye ever. Luckily my dining partner was OK with getting the duck so i could try it. HA WIN! I wish we had a third so they could get the truffle crusted lamb and i could steal bites off that. MWHAHAHAHAHA. (creepy. i'll stop). As soon as my plate came, I knew I made the right choice. Getting a good piece of steak is so important, it was cooked to perfection. Nice and bloody. The sauce was a bit strong but didn't detract from the meat.
While the duck was delicious, I'm glad I went with the cow. I didn't really enjoy the sauce accompaniment (tastes like Maison Akira's) though i must point out getting the skin crispy is something not every place can do well (2117 does it well too).
We ended with the passion fruit parfait. I'm not a big dessert person so I thought it was ok. Nice, light end to a satisfying meal. Oh perfection.
To my credit, I'm pretty sure I must have saved handicaps from rolling into swimming pools in a past life.