No. 32: Mélisse

Santa Monica

Photograph courtesy

The cultural pendulum is swinging back to formality—tasting menus and intimate spaces are the fat cat’s meow—which puts Josiah Citrin in a fortunate position. Since opening in 1999, the L.A. native’s Santa Monica respite has never wavered from its mission to provide a restaurant that celebrates the difference between eating and dining. That his trademark curl of pasta with lobster bolognese and the caviar-topped soft poached egg remain staples isn’t a sign of stagnation but evidence he got it right the first time.  

X-Factor: At Mélisse even your accessories are treated to a cushioned seat. The purse stools at the Santa Monica restaurant have become the stuff of legend—a thoughtful detail that reminds us why fine dining will never go out of style.

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