Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica

A Very Special Dinner Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica!

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“To receive a guest is to take charge of their happiness
during the entire time they are under your roof.”
– Fernand Point

SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR DINING! And a Birthday Party for my Mom!

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A fancy restaurant, a private dining room, 13 good friends and family, champagne, wine, great food, gifts, love, conversation and congratulation, and a good time was had by all!

Saturday evening, we had a 7:00pm reservation for a private dinner party at Melisse restaurant for my mother’s birthday. And it was “FABULOUS”!

We drove over the hill on the 405 freeway and down Wilshire boulevard to 11th Street in Santa Monica. Then we drove around for 15 minutes looking for a place to park before we finally gave up and valet parked in the lot behind the restaurant ($8.50 + tip).

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We were the last to arrive at 7:20pm, and because we were asked to take pictures, that was the first order of business after saying hello to everyone. The pictures of the party guests and the Guest of Honor, some pictures of the restaurant, and pictures of the excellent food came out pretty good. We were worried because it was dark in the private dining room and we chose to use the flash on our cheap LG phone even though we had brought our mini iPad camera.

“Melisse is both a two Michelin Star Award winning restaurant and the recipient of Zagats highly coveted top rated restaurant in Los Angeles since 2003.” – Open Table

“Simply superb in every way”, this “refined” “gastronomical wonder” in Santa Monica from Josiah Citrin “defines fine dining”with “inspired”“artful” French-American tasting menus and “spectacular” wine pairings – all “seamlessly” presented by an “intuitive”“world-class” staff in a “chic yet soothing” setting; prices are “not for the faint of heart”, but the “state of bliss” that ensues is “worth every penny.” – Zagat (4.8 out of 5)

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GOOGLE REVIEWS: 4.5 Stars! (141 reviews)
#38 on LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s 2017 “101 Best Restaurants” list.

Seasonal French-American cuisine!

We have eaten here before and it was one of the most amazing meals we have ever enjoyed! Read about in our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse” (see the link below). And we were very excited about dining here for Mom’s “Big Birthday” party!
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On The Menu: 1993 Dom Perignon champagne, crab amuse bouche, egg caviar, Maine lobster, dry aged prime New York steak or Spanish turbot (fish), choice of fresh baked bread & butter, red & white wine, chocolate L’Opéra cake, lemon soufflé with fruit & vanilla ice cream and 4 different petit fors:

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A Vintage Vintage! 1993 Dom Perignon Champagne – Cheers!

Let’s begin with a Dom Perignon 1993 Champagne to toast the Guest of Honor!

We began with a champagne toast! Found a bottle of Dom Perignon vintage 1993 tucked away recently. Didn’t know if it would still be good after 25 years. Opened it for the party and it was excellent! So we toasted the Guest of Honor and then we made everyone pose for the “toast picture” (as seen above) taken by our Host.

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“On the nose, this wine opens with notes of red-fleshed peaches, rapidly evolving into cashew nuts and dried herbs. The aromatic experience finishes on a note of lightly toasted brioche. On the palate, it offers a host of well-orchestrated, precise and full-bodied tastes. The initial density becomes creamy, while the long finish ends on a note of glazed citrus fruit.” – Winemaker notes

The unique Dom Perignon style: a rich creamy mousse, fine bubbles, a spirited, crisp opening leading into a broad palette of aromas and tastes, the delicacy of substance itself. Each Cuvee Dom Perignon is cellar-aged for 6 to 8 years.

And then a bottle of fine Chardonnay (white wine) for the egg caviar and lobster courses.

NOTE: Melisse has a fantastic, world-class wine list, however the “Good Stuff” is very expensive (repeat, very expensive), so we brought our own bottles of wine and champagne and paid the corkage fee for each one we opened.

BIG THANKS TO CHEF JOSIE AND THE ENTIRE STAFF AT MELISSE! Everything was excellent. The food was 5 star quality and cooked perfectly. And the service was done with professional precision and attention to detail not found in most restaurants.

NOTE: The red wine, a Pra’ Amarone della Valpolicella (aka Amarone) is a rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried Corvina Rondinella grapes and other red grape varieties. Valpolicella is located in the province of Verona, in the Veneto region near Venice. Italy.

“Dark ruby. Very refined nose offers aromas and flavors of spicy dark plum, chocolate-covered cherry and minerals, lifted by strong floral accents (especially lavender and peony). Multilayered and very suave, boasting a long and tactile finish, leaving behind a strong impression of grace and refinement. A very elegant, smooth Amarone of noteworthy depth and complexity but also impeccable balance (you can’t tell this clocks in at 16.5% alcohol).” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous (scored a rating of 94)

Read our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse”
(Right click and “Open in New Window”> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/

Melisse Restaurant1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 melisse.com

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Chef Josiah Citrin, in his Santa Monica restaurant Mélisse. Citrin is celebrating Mélisse’s 15 year anniversary in 2014 (photo by Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)

NOTE: A meal at Melisse is a real dining experience and it’s expensive! $$$$$
If you can afford it, we recommend this restaurant as a destination in Los Angeles. The menu changes constantly and they have different tasting and course menus available.

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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NOTE: The photo of Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines is a fantastic gift!

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405 Freeway north into the Sepulveda Pass at night

Happy Chinese New Year 2018!

Happy Chinese New Year 2018!
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Friday, February 16 is the Beginning of the Lunar New Year & Spring Festival

2018 is the Year of the Yang Brown Earth Dog!
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The Lantern Festival is on March 2nd and is the climax of the new year celebration.

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Over 2000 years old, the Lantern Festival is a time for Moon watching, Lion dances, lantern lighting, social interaction and a celebration of freedom.

Happy-New-Year-Messages-2017

2018 is time to overcome obstacles and will be a challenge year for many people.
Take extra effort to reach your destination and use your wisdom to find a better way.
Consider necessity before spending money.
2018 will be a good year to save and increase your wealth.

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READ OUR PREVIOUS CHINESE NEW YEAR BLOG POSTS!

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Happy Year of the Brown Male Yang Earth Dog!
He’s such a good boy!

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Return to Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California: Part 3 Renaissance Faire Reunion 3-26-17

Return to Paramount Ranch Park in Agoura, California:
Part 3 Renaissance Faire Reunion 3-26-17
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

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NOTE: If you’ve been redirected here via a link from Agoura Renaissance Faire, please FOLLOW and LIKE this page and our facebook and Twitter pages.

See our other Blogs about the Faire and the Paramount Ranch for more pics! Use the SEARCH BOX at the top of the page and SEARCH: PARAMOUNT RANCH^^^^^^^^^

ARE YOU READY?
THEN, LET’S BEGIN! …The Renaissance Faire Reunion on March 26th, 2017!

Sunday in the Park!

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Gathering at the MainStage Clearing

On Sunday we went out to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, California for the annual Renaissance Faire Reunion and it was a beautiful day!

We saw old friends and walked the site.

We uploaded about 200 new pics of people and places from the past and from our Sunday adventure. Everything was very green! It was cloudy and then clear, so there are a lot of great pics from the gathering.

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Ride with us! Cornell Road to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura , California
Take a Sunday Afternoon drive from the 101 freeway to the parking lot>

Take the 101 freeway to Kanan Rd and go west towards the Pacific Ocean.
Go past Agoura Rd and turn left on Cornell Rd. Go past the Fire Station.
There are nice views of Phredd’s Meadow and the old Racetrack from Cornell Road.
When you arrive at the Paramount Ranch (just past the sign), turn right into the park.

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Paramount Ranch – Cornell Road and Phredd’s Meadow (view from Cornell Rd)

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

 

 

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Looking Down from “Top O’The Main” in 2014

 

Aerial Photos of the Paramount Ranch racetrack with Faire locations from long ago:

 

 

 

WESTERN TOWN and MADEA CREEK

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

 

 

 

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Paramount Ranch – Western Town Meadow with New Church Structure

 

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Paramount Ranch – Map of Western Town

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Paramount Ranch – Sleeping Elephant Silhouette – Sugarloaf Peak (Mt. Ganesh)

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

 

 

 

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Paramount Ranch – Finance Hill

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Paramount Ranch – Olde Oak Tree

A mighty oak tree
A reminder of the past
Standing tall and strong

 

 

 

 

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Paramount Ranch – Old Court Glade (view from Gaming Hill)

 

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GATHERING AT THE MAINSTAGE CLEARING (Too late to turn back now….)

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Lots of old friends! When we arrived at the MainStage Clearing there were already a lot of old Faire folks gathered together. Some people were seated and having picnics and others were standing and talking. We said hello to our friends as we walked up the hill and almost at the same time the musicians began to play old Faire songs while others grouped around them and began to sing along.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

 

 

It was wonderful to see so many old familiar faces and facebook friends in person!

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Friends of the Paramount Ranch – “Huzzah! The Glove is Up Again!”

Billy and Richard announced that they had created “Friends of the Paramount Ranch”

The “Friends of Paramount Ranch” is now a non-profit under Ernie Fishbach’s corporate umbrella and the Park Service wants to add the history of the Ren Faire to the official Paramount Ranch history (or something like that, watch the video – contact Billy Scudder or Richard Beard for all the details if you want to volunteer)

NOTE: There was some action, and then they went dark. Not sure what is happening with “Friends of the Paramount Ranch” as of February 11, 2018.

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Paramount Ranch – Olde Man Oak Tree

 

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Paramount Ranch – Twilziwop Tree and the Remains of the Washing Well

 

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Paramount Ranch – Procession Hill and the Remains of the Washing Well

There are also still concrete pylons, half-axles, cinderblocks, T-posts and old pieces of lumber from the Faire’s physical past.

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Paramount Ranch – Drench-A-Wench/Soak-A-Bloke Site

 

 

 

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Paramount Ranch – Reading of the Names – Memorial Under Olde Man Oak Tree

 

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Paramount Ranch – Carolyn and Blue on Horseback

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Paramount Ranch – Love and Hugs from Jenny B!

Check out our previous Blogs “Return to the Paramount Ranch”
for pics from 2013 and 2014.

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Paramount Ranch

NOTE: This Blog Post was written and then it sat waiting to be finished. It still is not finished, but we are posting the pics and what we have written. ENJOY IT!

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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Troll Hollow (Actor’s Camp)

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It was a beautiful day in the park!

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And we saw a Dragon! (Jenny B took this one)

50000 HITS! And 5 YEARS!

50000 HITS! And it’s the 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of this Blog!

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50000 HITS!

TIME TO CELEBRATE 50000 HITS and 5 YEARS!

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We reached a huge milestone last week!
50000 unique hits on our Blog without solicitation or advertisement!
(well, we did post links on our facebook and twitter pages, but never paid for it!)

And it’s also our 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WRITING THIS BLOG!
We started this Blog five years ago, as a way to share our thoughts and experiences with the “interweb”. We have constructed over 700 Blog Posts (most are available in the archive – see sidebar or use the Search Box at the top of the page) for our satisfaction and your enjoyment.

NOTE: THERE IS ANOTHER INTERFACE PROBLEM WITH WORDPRESS! The pages are slow to load and the text doesn’t keep up with the typing,

DANCE DANCE DANCE!

 

“We’re gonna have a celebration!” “Get down, get funky!” “Party hearty Marty!”

We passed 51000 Hits today! We’re seeing action from around the world, which is really cool and kind of amazing. So, it’s Monday (Jan 29) at 6pm and dinner is on the stove: spaghetti with meat sauce and roasted brussel sprouts. We just took a break to update this Blog Post and now we are waiting for our dinner guest to arrive to finish cooking and enjoy the meal.

Car chase and police standoff today (we wrote about these in a previous Blog), and it was a fine day for it…. the weather was perfect! Yesterday it was windy and warm, today it was just warm and sunny all day long in our neighborhood.


Picking this up again on Saturday morning (Feb 3). It’s been a beautiful week, weatherwise, here in the San Fernando Valley.

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How about this Southern California Winter?

Saturday 10:17am> In fact, it’s such a beautiful day, that I’m bailing for the outdoors and I’ll finish this Blog Post later! ———

Okay it’s Tuesday morning, February 6th and we’ll finish this Blog Post now.

February 2nd was GROUNDHOG DAY again! We watched “Groundhog Day” again.

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“BING!”

And Sunday was SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!
Too bad we didn’t care about either team.
But, we hate Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, so we were rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles! A very small party at the Home Office was the order of the day.

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Did we mention we really hate the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.
SPOILER ALERT! The Philadelphia Eagles won the game 41-33!

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On the Menu: Steak and cheese sandwich with sautéed onions, garlic shrimp, tortilla chips & guacamole, crudité (celery, carrots, cucumber and dill pickle), Doritos nacho cheese chips and pretzels, scotch, cran-raspberry-orange juice, iced espresso and the Eagles win made it all a little tastier!

Superbowl Weekend! Do you need recipes? READ THE BLOG>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/even-more-fun-cooking-recipes/

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NOTE: For more on the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day, see our previous Blog Posts!
SUPER BOWL! PYREX Red Primary mixing bowl with vintage NERF football:

And so Super Bowl LII is in the bag and the NFL Football season is over until August. Better figure out what to do next Sunday….

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51000 HITS!

GIVE THANKS AND HAVE GOOD THOUGHTS!

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50000 HITS! THANK YOU!




The Big Boy. RIP
I don’t have words right now.
He was a great dog.

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“May the Four Winds blow him safely home”

We got the bad news last week and I’ve been very sad about his passing. The Big Boy lived a great life for 12 years on the ranch in Oregon. He was the pack leader and protector, and my father & stepmom’s big baby and constant companion. He was my very good friend. I said goodbye last time I was with him and he will be missed.



BRAVO CHRIS LONG! (and FU Trump!)

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And I’ll just leave this here: Someone’s getting fired.
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