Three years ago, I first told you about a Josiah Citrin (Melisse, Charcoal) project moving into the old Santa Monica Electric Co. at 2428 Main St. Since then, furtive signs of work have continued on and off for Dave’s Doghouse, which led me to believe that the restaurant was still in progress. I know that many of you have been checking for updates on this project, but it appears it may have been abandonned. The review signs and ABC application have been taken down, and the space was being inhabited by a pop-up shop selling goods for an elephant charity prior to the shutdown. If you have any information, let me know…
Many of you have been asking for answers about what is happening behind the construction at LA’s legendary fine dining space Melisse. This just landed in my inbox: Josiah Citrin’s highly anticipated new restaurant is named Citrin and will open on December 12th at the Melisse location (1104 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica). The food is being described as “modern Californian” and the space a “fun, welcoming, and approachable room” with a large bar and an a la carte menu. Reservations are now being accepted here. And we’re being told to expect a new “Melisse experience” soon. I’ll keep you posted…
LA fine dining legend Melisse closed it doors at 1104 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica back in March with a vague promise of reopening soon. At the time, there were a lot of unanswered questions (including whether or not the name of the establishment would continue to be Melisse), and Chef Josiah Citrin wasn’t spilling the beans. But things appear to be moving forward. A note on their website promises a Fall 2019 opening and a “whole new menu and concept”. And late last week a new ABC application appeared, hidden in the front entrance, that continues to name the business as “Melisse“. I’ll keep watching…
Recently, I saw that there was a notice of pending design review taped to the inside of the window of the erstwhile Santa Monica Electric Co. at 2428 Main St. in Santa Monica. Immediately, long-time LA restaurateur Josiah Citrin’s (Melisse, Charcoal) name stood out. Upon closer inspection, the notice’s artist’s rendering lets us know that this humble building will soon be the home of a branch of hotdog specialists Dave’s Doghouse. The ABC application confirms it.
If you’ve ever had the good fortune of dining at Paris’ Michelin three-starred Hotel Le Bristol, I’m certain you remember it well; the richly paneled ambiance of the dining room, those incredible floral arrangements, the jaw-dropping array of bread stacked in the middle of the room, the harpist creating the perfect mood, and the amazing food (I once had a salad with a solid layer of Perigord truffles artfully arranged on top that was, in a word, heaven). Hotel Le Bristol is the very epitome of French elegance. And now is your chance to sample that experience closer to home. LA’s closest thing to those grand Parisian dining rooms, Melisse in Santa Monica, is hosting the chef from Le Bristol, Eric Freshon on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday October 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. Chef Freshon will be offering an elaborate seven course tasting and the cost is $195 (Mon Dieu… but it’s cheaper than a flight to Paris). Snag your reservation by calling (310) 395-0881 or following the links here, but I would move rapidement if I were you…
Here’s a rare and golden opportunity: Three of LA’s most revered and legendary chefs will be coming together for one evening only, Monday September 15th. Jaochim Splichal (Patina) and Wolfgang Puck (Spago) will be at Josiah Citrin’s Melisse in Santa Monica for a harmonic convergence of greatness to celebrate Melisse’s 15 year anniversary. First seating is at 6:00pm and the cost for six courses is $185. You know this is going to book up quickly so don’t just sit there, reserve your space just as fast as your little fingers can dial (310) 395-0881 or follow the links here.
About this time of year, do you find yourself waxing nostalgic when the grand European Perigord Truffle season is but a distant memory? Did you know that since the 1990s, Australia has been cultivating these culinary gems and that their season, the opposite of its European counterpart is about to begin? To celebrate, Melisse in Santa Monica has invited Chef Peter Gilmore from Quay Restaurant in Sydney, Australia to help host a “celebration of the commencement of Australian Perigord Black Truffle Season” on Friday June 13th. There will be two seatings; one at 5:30pm and the second at 8:15pm. Cost is $185 and reservations are bound to go like hotcakes, so secure yours by dialing (310) 395-0881 just as fast as your little fingers can or click here.
The controversial Starbucks on the corner of 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica opened for business today. And while the opening of a new Starbucks isn’t exactly headline-making news, this particular one is notable because it became a poster child for Santa Monica’s inexorable drive toward over-development and loss of local character, even garnering a petition drive to retain the previous tenant, Farrah’s Florist. But the coffee giant has prevailed, and now sits firmly in command of the prominent corner across from Melisse.
With the dearth of elegant restaurants in LA, Chef Josiah Citrin has never been one compromise. His posh Mélisse in Santa Monica has long held the banner of a truly great destination restaurant. Recently, he has upped the ante with a series of exclusive dinners he calls “Something Different in the Augie Room“. On Wednesday, September 4th, the series will showcase Spain and commemorate the founding of LA on September 4th, 1781 by the Spanish. But the multi-course menu (costing $125) will be available to 10 diners only, so you’d better hurry if you want a chance to experience Citrin’s creativity firsthand. Reservations: (310) 395-0881. melisse.com
Few restaurants in LA are as prestigious as iconic Mélisse. And, they’ve been carrying the baton of Haute French for a full 14 years now. To celebrate, Mélisse is offering a special 5 course “Dine Mélisse” tasting menu during special dates over two weeks: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday July 16-19, and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday July 23-26. Cost is $75. Reserve your table by calling (310) 395-0881 and be sure to specify “Dine Mélisse”. melisse.com
Those succulent little heralds of Spring, white asparagus, have arrived from Provence in all their plump, sweet glory and are currently featured as the stars of the menu at Josiah Citrin’s Melisse in Santa Monica. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try them in their signature dish, White Asparagus “Cocotte” with Morel Mushrooms and Yellow Wine Sauce as well as other preparations. Time is extremely limited so move fast… melisse.com
Mélisse in Santa Monica, in keeping with its visiting chef series, is hosting a special event with Chef Sinichi Sato of Passage 53 in Paris. Sinichi, who hails from such luminaries as Gagnaire, L’Astrance and Aida, and is the first Japanese chef in France to receive 2 Michelin stars, will be presenting his modern French Ten Tasting Menu for two nights only: Tuesday, November 27th and Thursday, November 29th. To score a reservation, call 310.395.0881 just as fast as your little fingers can dial…
Alas, we find ourselves woefully between truffle seasons. But those desperate for the fabulous fungus can rejoice: Melisse in Santa Monica has procured a stash of Australian black truffles (fully in season) and is offering an 8 course truffle tasting menu for $345. But they are also offering their signature dishes à la carte as well including: Fresh Tagliatelle (grated black truffles, parmesan brown butter truffle froth), Truffle Risotto (carnaroli rice, mascarpone, shaved black Australian truffles), Sweet White Corn Ravioli (brown butter truffle sauce, shaved black Australian truffles), or the classic Truffle Egg with toasted brioche. melisse.com.
It’s no secret that Josiah Citrin is against the upcoming July voter-approved ban on foie gras. Last night, May 14th, Citrin’s Santa Monica Michelin two-starred restaurant Melisse (melisse.com) held a $200 six course fundraising foie gras dinner with part of the proceeds going to C.H.E.F.S. (Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards), an organization of local chefs dedicated to fighting the California ban. In response, a number of animal rights organizations including the Animal Protection & Rescue League (www.stopforcefeeding.com) held a peaceful protest outside and a media circus ensued. Present were a number of local television stations, Santa Monica police, about 30 protestors, and a few bewildered patrons. Here a few photos of the melee:
This Sunday, April 29th, begins the “5 X 5” Guest Chef collaborative that introduces guest chefs to 5 restaurants in LA. Melisse kicks off the series of dinners over the course of the next few months by hosting a special dinner on Sunday with Chef Ludo Lefebre, who will provide a course “in the style of the Host Restaurant”. The other participants in the 5 X 5 program are:
Monday, May 21, 2012: PROVIDENCE, with Guest Chef Jeremy Fox Monday, July 16, 2012: ANGELENI OSTERIA, with Guest Chef Michael Tusk
Monday, August 20, 2012: BOUCHON, with Guest Chef to be announced
Sunday, September 16, 2012: ink., with Guest Chef Chris Cosentino
Cost is $150 per person plus gratuity and tax and a portion of the proceeds goes to Special Olympics. Make a reservation at Melisse by calling (310) 395-0881, and make future reservations at the home restaurant.
Josiah Citrin’s new book, In Pursuit of Excellence, is just about to be released. To celebrate, Josiah will be hosting a function at his flagship restaurant Melisse on Sunday December 4th from 4pm to 7pm. Hot off the press, the books will be available for signing, as well as food and drink. Space is extremely limited… But if you’re a fan of Citrin’s, why not try your luck by sending yours and one guest’s name to Jannis Swerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, California 90401 (310) 395.0881
For those of us who make reservations instead of cranberry sauce and pie for Thanksgiving, good news! It’s that time of year when LA restaurants roll out their holiday menus. The first to catch my attention is Josiah Citrin’s elegant Melisse in Santa Monica. His three course menu offers a variety of traditional and non-traditional choices, and at least one vegetarian option available for a main: wild mushroom, sweet onion and burrata torte with a choice of sides including praline pecan yams, szechwan green beans, fresh cranberry sauce. Dessert choices include an apple pie, a pecan pie, a chocolate souffle cake and a pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream and sauce “terre et mer” (“land and sea”… your guess is as good as mine). Cost is $89 for adults and $42 for kids 8 and under. Dinner is served from 3:00pm to 7:30pm on Thanksgiving, November 24th. Make your reservations by calling (310) 395-0881. More information at melisse.com.