Best Restaurants: Ever since Mélisse opened its doors in 1999, Chef-Owner Josiah Citrin has pushed for excellence in every element of this fine-dining experience – and has succeeded admirably. His restaurant is the kind of place where patrons dress for dinner, the silver is real and every dish is precisely made to the exacting standards of French haute cuisine. Constantly showered with accolades, Mélisse led the way toward seasonal menus sourced via local farmer's markets (Citrin is a fixture at the famed Santa Monica market) and continues to innovate. Try the legendary Dover sole made tableside in the summer or share the Cote de Boeuf Roti for two, made with a beef rib dry aged for 35 days. Make sure to pair your whole meal with wine, as Melisse has one of the best cellars in the city.
Santa Monica's Best Restaurants: Mélisse is one of the top fine dining restaurants in the United States, let alone Los Angeles, and has been awarded with two Michelin stars. The menu is traditional French thanks to the owner and chef who studied culinary arts in France, and it changes with the season in order to use fresh ingredients. Mélisse offers a la carte options as well as tasting menus, including vegetarian ones and a carte blanche option. The ambiance has a romantic vibe with deep purple walls and white tablecloths. This may very well put you in the mood for a glass of top-notch wine, and Mélisse's excellent wine list can help with that.
French: Traditional French decor and high-end tableware complement the cuisine at Mélisse and foster elegant, memorable dining. The menu changes frequently to take advantage of seasonal produce, and entrées may include dry-aged cote de boeuf roti for two with potato-leek torte or roasted squab with seared foie gras and citrus jus. For dessert, try a chocolate soufflé or crème brulee. The wine list is exceptional, and several selections are available by the glass. Dinner tasting menu $95 with no wine pairings; carte blanche menu $145 without wine pairings.
Local Expert Gina Douglas Tarnacki Says:
Santa Monica's Best Restaurants: "When available, splurge for the truffle menu items, which come at a surcharge, but are worth it."
Best for Santa Monica's Best Restaurants Because: Mélisse is a 2-star awarded Michelin restaurant that features French cuisine and is an excellent spot for a special occasion.
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