1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.024522 -118.491570
Tuesday - Thursday: 6pm - 9:30pm
Friday: 6pm - 10pm
Saturday: 5:45pm - 10pm
Neighborhoods: Mid-City, West LA
Cannot Accommodate food allergies – Just hung up with the restaurant and they could not accommodate my wife's garlic allergy. All their food is pre-made and it all contains garlic. At their prices they should be able to cook something to serve when someone has an allergy, even Daniel in New York and several other wonderful restaurants will accommodate my wife's allergies, it is hard to believe that a little restaurant in Santa Monica cannot do it.
Treated abusively – We had a devastating experience here last night. This was my second visit to Melisse; the first was in 2007, and every morsel that came out of the kitchen blew my mind. When we left for the restaurant I was actually clapping my hands with excitement. Initially we were treated beautifully, especially by the wonderful sommelier, who is frank, funny, and full of character. We ordered the 10-course menu and settled in with anticipation.
But it soon became clear that something was amiss in the kitchen. Courses began arriving more and more slowly, and two hours after our order went in, we politely inquired of the waiter whether everything was okay. We had received only four of our courses, which are tiny, even by French standards -- by then we had eaten an amuse consisting of a preparation of two halves of a cherry tomato; a soft-boiled egg; a half-ounce sliver of fish; an espresso-sized cup of corn soup; and a piece of foie gras no larger than a golf ball. Although we had arrived only mildly hungry, we were now starving; also, inexplicably, the servers had also removed our bread plates, and we were just sort of waiting, staring, beginning to feel neglected.
The waiter acknowledged that the kitchen was slow tonight. Twenty minutes later another course finally emerged. And then it was nearly 40 minutes until the servers put the meat course on the table -- two postage-stamp sized slices of wagyu beef. I looked around for the waiter -- was he not going to come over to talk to us about the course, perhaps review the ingredients in the garnishes or discuss the nature of the preparation or provenance of the ingredients? No; we were left to try to figure out what each thing was by taste. By now we had also finished our wine and the bottle had been removed from the table, but nobody inquired as to whether we might like something new to drink, We started wondering what was going on.
Then the maitre d' appeared and asked if we liked the course. I nodded, not wanting to mention the absent waiter, but my partner spoke up, quietly and politely reflecting that something strange was happening, because the service had slowed to a crawl. The maitre d' said that yes, it was a busy night. And I said, again politely and quietly, "you might want to know, it was over 35 minutes waiting for just this course," gesturing at my iphone sitting on the seat next to me, which is the only clock I have.
His response was not to apologize or soothe. He shot back, "You want to go back into the kitchen and see how hard they are working?" and then turned on his heel and left our tableside. This was not a polite invitation to tour the kitchen, which I have done elsewhere, most recently at French Laundry. It was a defensive response. We were bewildered and consumed the course with our now-warm glasses of water. It was now over three hours since we arrived at the restaurant.
Moments later, Chef Citrin appeared at our table. I stupidly thought that perhaps he was there to help get our experience on the right track again. No. He raised his voice to us. He berated us for having a "bad attitude." Then he angrily told us to leave his restaurant.
I was dumbfounded. We tried to explain what had been happening, but he did not want to hear any of it. He was rude and insulting. I burst into tears, and the sommelier and the waiter milled around in the background, shooting me sympathetic glances. We got up and left, me crying my way out of the restaurant on what was to have been a special night.
Once or twice I have seen belligerent and abusive patrons be asked to leave a restaurant. We are not like that kind of patron, and this was nothing like what happened last night. We are seasoned, polite, appropriate adults who arrived eager to spend $1000 on an amazing meal and worship at the altar of a brilliant chef. Instead, we were abused, and 24 hours later I continue to feel as if I have been kicked in the face. I still can't quite believe it.
phenomenal!!!!! – fancy restaurant ever,great service ,great environment,I would come by oftenly, if i got money.
Best Food in Town! – So I ate at Melisse about, 2 months ago and it was fantastic! On Wednesday there is a deal going on on Preferdine(dot)com ($50 for $100 at Malisse) that I’m really excited for – I love a good deal at a restaurant that I had a good experience with.
Oh, the French. – I'm a really lucky girl. Really. I always think to myself I live the best life ever. Jesus and I aren't even tight like that but he never fails to hook me up like crazy. If you believe in karma, don't. cuz truthfully. I kinda suck as a person.
After a disappointing meal at Bazaar, I was excited to find out that my best friend in the world was taking me to Melisse as his departing present. I've been eyeing Melisse for half a year now so I am excited to finally try a 2 Michelin star restaurant.
Dinner was at 8 and I didn't think it'd be adequate time for us to do the chef's carte blanche tasting. I would want to reserve a least a couple hours for the full experience plus Happy Wednesday doesn't call for THAT extravagant of a celebration especially when it's not on my dime.
We started with the wild mushroom ravioli and the maine diver scallops. Upon first taste, I understand why Melisse is lauded as one of the best restaurants in LA. After tasting mushroom ravioli at Jiraffe, I'm already in love with mushrooms in general but Melisse blows it out of the water. I just can't understand how something so simple can have so many levels of flavors. Amazing. The scallops were fresh and cooked perfectly. To be honest, there's really no way I can use words to describe the food aside from telling you...go now.
HIghlights - the lobster thermidor. I love lobster. Melisse does this dish so well. It's creamy, its rich, it's heavy but not overpowering. The portions are generous. I can say its the best lobster I've had. Bold statement i know.
For our mains, I wanted to get the duck (its a habit i know) but i also wanted to get the steak because i really messed up last time at Anisette and missed out on the best rib eye ever. Luckily my dining partner was OK with getting the duck so i could try it. HA WIN! I wish we had a third so they could get the truffle crusted lamb and i could steal bites off that. MWHAHAHAHAHA. (creepy. i'll stop). As soon as my plate came, I knew I made the right choice. Getting a good piece of steak is so important, it was cooked to perfection. Nice and bloody. The sauce was a bit strong but didn't detract from the meat.
While the duck was delicious, I'm glad I went with the cow. I didn't really enjoy the sauce accompaniment (tastes like Maison Akira's) though i must point out getting the skin crispy is something not every place can do well (2117 does it well too).
We ended with the passion fruit parfait. I'm not a big dessert person so I thought it was ok. Nice, light end to a satisfying meal. Oh perfection.
To my credit, I'm pretty sure I must have saved handicaps from rolling into swimming pools in a past life.
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy – I had one of the best dates at Melisse last Valentine's Day. Our table was super cozy and tasting all the little courses was a romantic treat.
great dining experience – Even though it's pricey--my business collegue suggested this place for lunch--apparently the restaurant just had a nice remodel--so the decor was beautiful and made me feel like I was on vacation having lunch.
The food was superb...
terrible service, mediocre food – what a disappointment!
After hearing the rave reviews, I had high expectations of this Michelin 2 star restaurant.
The sommelier was next to awful. Usually not one to note these things, but his appearance is as unprofessional as his snarly attitude. He also didn't seem to have a clue about what wine he was pouring.
If you are going to be an arrogant p****, then at least know your stuff!
I'm not sure who he thinks he is, but we were the ones paying for a $600 meal, not working.
Food was pretty mediocre. Aside from the caviar egg, it was poorly seasoned and over salted.
NEVER AGAIN, NOT WORTH THE $$
spoiled now for all other restaurants – Like some other reviewers. I did once have a less than stellar evening at Melisse. Fortunately this was after several other flawless dinners enjoyed there. I now compare all other restaurants to Melisse and no other food has measured up. Our weekends at the "best" restaurants in Las Vegas are now shadowed by our experience of Melisse, like the apple in the Garden of Eating from the tree of knowledge. If the prices were not so very, very high and the recession so fierce in our pockets, I would only ever eat at Melisse. And that poor evening that I mentioned, there were some serious flaws in the service but they were remedied, apologized for and a week later we received a generous gift card from the restaurant.
In my opinion, the only way to go at Melisse is to share the tasting menu and wine pairing with at least a party of four. Each getting something different and tasting from each others' plates and glasses. If you are not a "foodie' with knowledge and love for food preparation and service, then you will not appreciate Melisse and I advise you to save your money. Melisse is for the connoisseur. If you love foie gras, their's is the best.
Not as good as the hype. – I had been looking forward to trying Melisse for months. I mean, they have 2 Michelin stars AND a vegetarian tasting menu. That’s my kind of place! Sadly, Melisse really didn’t meet my expectations. Reading the reviews and seeing people complain about the price at first made me somewhat annoyed. You can look up the menu and see how much it will be. Plus, it’s a Michelin-starred French restaurant, so we aren’t talking Applebees prices, here. However, I can now say that they are spot on – the food just isn’t worth what they are charging for it.
First, we were seated in a small room in the back with about 4 other tables rather than the main dining room. The atmosphere was stark and sort of lonely. I felt like I was waiting in a doctor’s office rather than a restaurant. We ordered a cocktail and a glass of champagne to start. Okay, but not great. The cocktails at Cut and Providence are much, much better. We got the tasting menus, of course. I like the idea of sort of choosing your own tasting menu. You can pick one starter, one appetizer, one main course, and one desert. You can also supplement cheese before dessert for an extra charge. The vegetarian menu, unfortunately, had only one choice for each, but you can substitute any other dish from the rest of the menu. The vegetarian menu is also $10 cheaper and comes with a cheese course without the supplement. Since it was black truffle season and I noticed they had a vegetarian pasta dish listed under their truffle specials, I decided to substitute that for my regular pasta. The rest of my menu was artichoke soup and gnocci. Well, they brought the truffle pasta first. Then they tried to give me the regular pasta dish as well… Um, I don’t want 2 pastas and a gnocci. It’s nice that they are trying, but there’s more to vegetarian cuisine than that. They did eventually bring the soup as my second course, though.
The truffle dish was the best of the night. My boyfriend had the fois gras two ways, and liked one but not the other. His lobster was way too salty, as was my gnocci. We got wine pairings, which were just okay. The sommelier was really not that good, nor that plesant. The cheese course was great. Our server gave us about 10 choices. But it was a $30 supplement, I think, for my boyfriend to get the cheese course.
Then the bill came. We don’t mind paying for good food, or paying for wine pairings, obviously. But we realized that, in addition to the $50 supplement for a truffle dish, they charged me the regular price for the tasting menu. Our server explained that when you substitute a dish, it reverts to a regular tasting menu. Even though I substituted a vegetarian dish with another vegetarian dish – and paid $50 extra to boot? Okay. I can kind of see that, but it wasn’t mentioned to us before the bill came. I know it’s $10 out of a $500+ meal, but it just seemed really petty.
Basically, I’ve been to better restaurants. We didn't have anything horrible happen to us, but our time and money is worth more than this.Try Providence, with great service, a great sommelier, and great cocktails. I won’t make a point to go back to Melisse.
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