Los Angeles is known for its laid-back vibe, its beaches, its taco trucks. We do have some glitzy (read: expensive) restaurants in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, but those kinds of places attract more celebrity gawkers than food lovers. However, we are lucky to have a few gems, a few special occasion spots that happen to be worth the price tag. One such spot is Melisse, the two-star Michelin, French restaurant by Chef Josiah Citrin.

Melisse is rare in the sense that it would fit in just as well in New York City as it does here in Los Angeles. It’s one of our more formal restaurants, but not stuffy at all; in fact, the service was extremely warm and friendly.

It goes without saying that the food was fantastic - classically French, but with a slight Japanese influence from Chef de Cuisine Ken Takayama. I especially had fun cracking open the Opera dessert, but every course on the tasting menu was extremely creative and packed with flavor. Melisse is ranked #38 on J. Gold's list. See the full menu and pictures from Melisse below!

December 1, 2017 tasting menu:

1. Oyster and wagyu beef: uni panna cotta, jicama, green mango, cilantro


2. Rosemary scented sunchoke soup: rosa bianca eggplant, turnip, whipped black truffle


3. Egg caviar: soft poached egg, smoked trout, lemon creme fraiche, sturgeon caviar


4. Foie gras terrine: hachiya persimmon, pineapple, molasses, ginger and pistachio


5. Belgium endive: garnet yam, black trumpets, guanciale and sage


6. Santa Cruz island spiny lobster: parsnip, escarole, chanterelles, apple and fennel


7. Wild New Zealand John Dory: salsify, stinging nettle, mousserons, brown butter-truffle


8. Wild Scottish red partridge: San Danielle prosciutto, red cabbage, Bosc pear, foie gras sauce


9. Snake River Farms rib eye: Weiser Farms carrots, sword lettuce, mustard, bone marrow and Porcini


10. Petit Brie: black truffle, brioche, comte fonduta


11. L'Opera: dark chocolate, coffee and almond


12. Mutsu green apple: yuzu, Jasmine green tea


13. Mignardises

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Hungry for more? Watch my full review of Melisse here!