Where: Santa Monica
For: Ages 18+
For my birthday, Ethan surprised me by taking me to my first Michelin Starred Restaurant (two Michelin Stars). Melisse is a French restaurant with a preset menu crafted by Chef Josiah Citrin. Although it’s very expensive, it made for a night to remember.
With Melisse situated in Santa Monica, parking is hard to come by. I suggest you take an Uber or Lyft to the restaurant. I did see a valet service parking patrons’ cars in the back of the restaurant. When you walk in, you’re immediately treated like a VIP. The tables have white tablecloths and there is a setting with many utensils (I wasn’t sure which fork to use first). The restaurant exudes a chic ambiance of the French theme. Ornate décor and chandeliers with soft lighting sets the mood for your dining experience. The servers introduce themselves and every dish that you will be having that night. You must make reservations online or by calling the restaurant. I suggest making reservations as soon as possible, minimally three weeks in advance.
There are options of a four-course, seven-course and ten-course menu at Melisse. If you opt for the ten-course menu, expect to spend at least two hours in the restaurant. We had the seven-course menu and were in the restaurant for an hour and a half. The menus are constantly rearranged and updated, so be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date dining options.
Although the serving size seems small, the dishes at Melisse really fill you up. My favorite dish was the caviar egg that came out on an intricate platter. My other favorite was the pasta with truffles (the truffles are a significant amount more cost-wise). There were some plates that I generally would not order or try, but I ate everything that was put in front of me. I felt like each part of the meal was better than the last. I couldn’t even finish the dessert that was brought out. This is definitely a restaurant to go to for the complete fine-dining experience.
Everyone was dressed to the nines here. Men came in suits with ties and jackets. I wore my Christian Louboutin heels and cocktail dress. The age range is 18+ because of the atmosphere. The servers were very knowledgeable about every dish and wine pairing. They even bagged up our desserts to take home. Since we went for my birthday, they brought out a special dessert dish and tied our menu up in a sweet reminder of our date.
Since Melisse is a fine-dining restaurant, you should expect to spend a pretty penny. Each of us had the pre-fixed menu and two drinks (four total) with a receipt upwards of $600. I did order truffles (extra $50) on one of my dishes that pushed the bill up (although it was so worth it). I do know that the yearly DineLA menu includes Melisse for $99 per person (varies yearly).
1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Melisse, please comment on this post! Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org