Friday, July 18, 2008


Wow...where do I begin with my review...well, I guess I'll start with how I was able to dine here with my measly salary. When one gets the opportunity to dine for free, one needs to pick Melisse, and that's what I did!

When we (Shaz, B & I) arrived, the maitre de was on the phone, but he immediately set the phone aside to take care of us -- I like this place...oh, and you're not allowed to talk on your cell phone, I'm really liking this place. Our hostess pointed out a little ottoman next to our chair where we can rest our purses. How cute!

I was hoping that we could have 2 tasting menus because I didn't mentioned my boss that I was going to bring B...(sigh), no, everyone had to order a tasting menus or none at all. Obvious you get more for your bucks if you order the tasting menu as opposed to ala carte, and believe me at Melisse you have to get all you can for your $$$$ or someone's else $$$$$.

Shaz and B had the regular tasting menu ($105) and I had the vegetarian ($85 --trying to save some bucks). Here's a list of what we ate in order:

Shaz: olive bread (my favorite out of the 3)
bf : bacon bread (subtle taste of bacon on the finishing, oily)
Me: basil brioche (was expecting the basil to have a stronger taste)

Shaz: foie gras with poached peach and huckleberry sorbet (didn't try the foie gras but the poached pear was yummy)
B : heirloom tomato salad, olives, basil, zebra tomato gazpacho, roncal pannini (had a strange clear gelatin thingy...nonetheless, the salad was delicious)
Me: tomatoes soup with raspberry sorbet (I didn't write it down, on-line menu is different. presentation is amazing, they pour the soup in front of you)

Shaz: john dory "st. pierre," purple artichokes, scallion mousseline, shellfish sauce (didn't get to try that because I'm allergic to crustacean )
B: line caught wild king salmon, summer bean ragout, rich tomato broth (salmon on the raw side...liked the tomato broth)
Me: carnaroli risotto chanterelle mushrooms, macerated sweet cherry tomatoes, basil (yummy! my favorite dish, risotto has a nice buttery taste)



Shaz: liberty farms duck breast, glazed radish, wilted spinach, cherry sauce (not a duck fan but damn that duck was tasty!)
B : prime rib eye and short rib stuffed tomato, fourme d'ambert, potato boulangere, whole grain mustard chutney (potato was beautifully thinly sliced and stacked, rib eye - perfect)
Me: buratta cheese, tomato and mushroom tarte herb emulsion, summer ragout (Yum! Love buratta cheese and mushroom!)

SELECTION OF FINE CHEESES (waiter was really generous and gave us 3 goat cheeses, gouda, swiss (I think) and one of those weird gym locker soupy cheese in a container because it melts really fast -don't pick this one)


Shaz: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate (my favorite!!! came with some kind of a chocolate Popsicle, chocolate mousse, mocha mousse/ice cream, and I think another item...mocha was the best)
B & me: charentais melon parfait, lemongrass sorbet, tapioca and (it was good, but something was off...maybe it was the lemongrass???)


I had the Pinot Bianca ($19/glass). If you're a Pinot Grigio/Bianca drinker, don't order it (I don't know what it's called...but they only have (1) Pinot Bianca by the glass) because it's too sweet -tastes more like a Riesling.

The service was A+. I've never dined with the Queen or President, but I imagine my dining experience at Melisse is pretty darn close. For each course, you had the entire restaurant staff taking your dishes out (ok, not really, just half) and someone explaining what each dish was.

I love Melisse! Wonder what the boss will say when he sees the receipt...

Address: 1104 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 395-0881
Rating: 5 out of 5

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