1104 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Best Of
Melisse +

Anne Fishbein Cheese cart


  • Tue.-Thu., 6-9:30 p.m.; Fri., 6-10 p.m.; Sat., 5:45-10 p.m.
  • $$$$
  • Vegetarian Friendly, Banquet Facilities, Business Dining, Catering, Coat Check, Private Party, Prix Fixe
  • Dinner
  • 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 the great things about dining in this manner have slipped your mind, it really is worth a trip to Mélisse, Josiah Citrin’s modern French restaurant in Santa Monica, to refresh your memory. Here, you can revel in extravagances such as caviar service, or a tableside filleting of Dover sole, or carving of truffle-stuffed chicken, or Citrin’s “carte blanche” menu (available by request only), which spans 15 courses and will cost you a cool $275 per person. But even if you don’t have quite that much cash to throw around, it’s worth using the excuse of a special occasion to come here for one of the less extravagant tasting menus and 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 are treasures 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 until you finish with the gorgeous plate of petit fours delivered with your check. —Besha Rodell

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