Santa Monica, CA 90401
Anne Fishbein Cheese cart
- Sun.-Fri., 5:30-9:15 p.m.; Sat., 5:45-9:45 p.m.; pre-theater menu, Tue.-Fri., 5:30-6:15 p.m., $65 for three courses. Tasting menus $135-$195, more with supplements.
- Vegetarian Friendly, Banquet Facilities, Business Dining, Catering, Coat Check, Private Party, Prix Fixe
- Full bar
- Street Parking, Valet Parking
- Reservations Recommended, Reservations Accepted
It's easy to become jaded about luxury fine dining, to forget the pleasures of eating in an elegant room with formal service (Captains! Sommeliers and assistant sommeliers! Runners who swoop in to drop food or bus your tables as if they're performing ballet!). If what's so great about dining in this manner has slipped your mind, it really is worth a trip to Mélisse, Josiah Citrin's modern French restaurant in Santa Monica, to refresh your memory. Revel in extravagances such as caviar service, or a tableside filleting of Dover sole or carving of truffle-stuffed chicken, or Citrin's "10" menu, which spans 10 courses and will cost you a cool $195 per person. It's an investment, but it's worth using the excuse of a special occasion to see what Citrin is capable of — his soups so much silkier than anyone else's, his sauces so much more refined. For being one of the most expensive restaurants in the city, Mélisse has an exceedingly reasonable wine list — don't get me wrong, you can easily spend a month's salary on booze here if you want, but there's treasure to be found on the lower end as well, and a staff that's happy to guide you. For about double what you'd spend at many of our trendier eateries, you'll leave with the warm glow of a rare experience, one that has been perfectly calibrated from the second you stepped through the door and finishing with the gorgeous plate of petit fours delivered with your check.—Besha Rodell
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly guide to events in Los Angeles, and never be bored again. With suggestions for every day of the week, our recommendations will keep you busy on any budget.
Related Stories (24)
The 10 Best Special-Occasion Restaurants in Los Angeles
Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 9:55 a.m. by Besha Rodell
In this week's review of 71Above, I begin with a question: "As the great middle ground takes over dining in L.A. and beyond, we're left with an odd conundrum: Where can you go for a truly special occasion?" It's one of the questions...
10 Best Restaurants in Santa Monica
Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 8:05 a.m. by LA Weekly
Santa Monica, the city famous for its beaches and shopping, its healthy residents and fantastic quality of life, is not quite as renowned for its restaurants. Yet there are a ton of great places to eat, if you know where to look. We...
5 Splurge-Worthy Tasting Menu Deals for DineLA Week
Monday, January 18, 2016 at 8:37 a.m. by Heather Platt
For two weeks every summer and winter, we all have an excuse to visit restaurants we might not otherwise venture into. The discounted pre-fixe menus featured during DineLA encourage everyone to go out and live-it-up. But for ma...
20 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles
Monday, October 26, 2015 at 6:53 a.m. by Besha Rodell
Essentials. Favorites. Bests. There are all kinds of ways to rank restaurants, and we do just about every one of them here at LA Weekly. One thing we haven't done, until fairly recently, is rank the best restaurants in L.A., st...