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

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Friends of Paramount Ranch 2017 – Agoura, California

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“This is What Happens Larry!”

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Saturday Morning…>
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Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc 

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

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F*CK YOU MORELS LAS VEGAS (at the Palazzo)

F*CK YOU MORELS LAS VEGAS! (at the Palazzo)

YOU SERVED THIS SH*TTY BREAKFAST TO A TRAVEL AND FOOD BLOGGER!

This sh*tty breakfast cost $23 at Morels with a french pressed coffee included:

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Breakfast at Morels Las Vegas at the Palazzo

WE WERE SERVED THIS SH*TTY BREAKFAST LAST AUGUST AT MORELS LAS VEGAS AT THE PALAZZO AND WE ARE STILL ANGRY!

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Coffee with Breakfast at Morels Las Vegas at the Palazzo

 

Complain to them about sh*tty food on Twitter and you’ll get BLOCKED!
How’s that for customer service and care?

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So we wrote a REVIEW ON FACEBOOK and gave them 1 STAR:
(because no stars was not an option)

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Screenshot of Our Review on facebook

Emily wants to know “Why’d you block him?” on March 31st.
And there was NO RESPONSE.

DON’T EAT HERE. There are many other good choices in Las Vegas!

Morels is inside the Palazzo Las Vegas. One more reason not to go there.

NOTE: We started this Blog before the Mass Shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, where 50 human beings were murdered and 53 other people were injured. This horrible event, combined with the reaction to the event, and the constant INSANITY of Donald Trump, we thought we’d channel our negative energy into something positive and finished this negative Blog about a negative experience.

 

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

A rainy Wednesday night and it was someone’s birthday! (not mine)

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

We were going to have Indian food and a party at the house, but I suggested Dinner at Cafe Bizou instead! We made a reservation last week for a party of nine at 6:30pm. When we arrived the table was ready and waiting. Of course, we didn’t arrive all at once…

They have convenient Valet Parking on Ventura Blvd and there’s also parking in the rear. It’s also possible to find street parking because they’re not in the middle of restaurant row and I’ve parked in the bank lot across the street after hours on occasion.

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter is that it’s in a house that’s been remodeled as a restaurant. There’s a nice bar but the bar area is small, also functions as the waiting area, and the path of service runs through the bar to the dining room. The large dining room is divided into two spaces and each has a difference ambiance, but also the same.

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

They also have a “patio area” in front, which is enclosed, covered and heated at night. It’s a very nice place for an intimate and/or romantic dinner.

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Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks – “Patio Area”

The food is great. The food is reasonably priced. They have a good selection of wine at a fair market price and a very reasonable corkage fee if you want to bring your own bottle(s).

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On the Menu: Steak & Shrimp au poivre with baked potato, fried calamari, caesar salad, bread & butter, creme brûlée, chocolate covered profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and a coke. Also had a couple lamb chops that were orphaned and a taste of tiramisu.

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Fresh Baked Bread and Butter

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Fried Calamari

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Caesar Salad

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Steak & Shrimp with Baked Potato

And for Dessert: They brought the flourless chocolate cake with a candle for the birthday girl and half of us ordered dessert. I love their creme brûlée! I also had a little taste of the profiteroles and tiramisu, but passed on cappuccino or coffee.

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Creme Brûlée

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Chocolate Covered Profiteroles with Vanilla Ice Cream

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Tiramisu

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Flourless Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream

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We really like Cafe Bizou! It’s a very comfortable environment and the dress code is casual to dressy without comment. Diners in jeans, shorts and t-shirts sitting next to executives in coats and ties is perhaps too common an occurrence, but the restaurant really all about the great food and pleasant dining experience.

The service is excellent! The wait staff and busboys are constantly in motion, well trained and pretty attentive to the tables and guests’ needs. Refills and requests are handled promptly and the courses are timed out for dining at a relaxed pace.

Again, it’s very reasonably priced for fine dining and they have a nice selection of food! (Check out the menu above)

They are open for Lunch, Brunch and Dinner.
Reservations in advance are recommended because “you never know”.

Cafe Bizou
14016 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423  (818) 788-3536

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Terror in Paris!

Terror in Paris!

I haven’t posted since the attack. There’s been too much coverage. And I haven’t been attentive to other postings because I’ve been overwhelmed by our crazy world this week.

Vive La France! - French Flag

Vive La France! – French Flag

The horror! The shock! Terror in the civilized western world with many dead. This has even greater impact when you have immediate family visiting the city and in the vicinity of the attacks. Thankfully they are safe and now back in the USA.

fb post from my Mother in Paris, France the day after:
“Thanks to all who wrote. Lew and I are shaken but safe. We can’t wait to leave Paris and be home. We are sick about the terror and loss of innocent life, the grief so close and overwhelming.”

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel ToweI

I watched as the reports of the attacks came in and followed the news into the night. There was a short time between the news of the attacks and the text message from my mother telling me they were shaken but unharmed. They were in their hotel room when they heard news of the attacks. Their hotel was about 10 minutes from the Bataclan and they had been near the restaurant that was bombed earlier.

They were at the end of their trip and spent the next day in a locked down Paris before facing the crowds at Charles de Gaulle airport and returning to the USA.

It’s been 24 hours of terror everyday since on the news. Details and updates and raids on terrorists. Female suicide bomber, France bombs ISIS, Russia bombs ISIS, yeah that “mastermind” blew up real good and they identified him by the stains on the wall, the US bombs ISIS and they got Jihadi John with a drone strike, and the Republicans want to stop the United States from taking in Syrian refugees, and the French like to sing Le Marseilles, and the Syrian passport was forged, and Iraq told the French about the attack before it happened, and there were bombings in Lebanon and Kenya, and Anonymous declares cyber war on ISIS, and there was a video threatening New York, and a police dog was killed, and there are many tributes and memorials, and people changed their facebook profile pic and there were hashtags…. and everyone is afraid.

I’m going to post the blog at this point. Sat, Nov 21 at 6pm pst. Just saw a news item on a twitter page created by Mashable “En Memoir” to honor the victims of the Paris attacks.

Eiffel tower fireworks on July 14th Bastille Day

Eiffel tower fireworks on July 14th Bastille Day

Justice for the Victims! Never Forget! Peace & Love!

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Happy Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day! Vive La France!

Vive La France! - French Flag

Vive La France! – The French Flag – Red White & Blue

The French National Day commemorates the Fête de la Fédération on 14 July 1790 and is celebrated on 14 July each year to commemorate the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille and the unity of the French Nation ending the French Revolution.

The Eiffel Tower 1944

The Eiffel Tower 1944 – U.S. Jeep – Spraeken ze Deutche?

In the United States over 50 cities conduct annual celebrations.

Want to know more? Visit France! http://www.france.fr/en.html

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The Eiffel Tower 1940

The Eiffel Tower 1940 – Remember when?

Think it can’t happen again?

TODAY! 14 JULY 2014 NEWS: Violent Anti-Jewish Riots Rock Paris!

An anti-Israel demonstration at the city’s Bastille Square quickly turned violent with protesters seeking out and attacking Jewish targets and screaming “death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right”…. Hundreds of Parisian Jews were trapped in a synagogue while rioters threw stones and bricks. The group was initially thought to be held hostage and was freed to leave the center only after police intervention at 9 p.m. A Jewish owned store on rue de la Roquette was trashed by 50 men with iron bars and a young man was hospitalized nearby, according to reports. Another synagogue in Paris was also attacked and a source told The Algemeiner that a similar demonstration in Marseille also turned violent.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/13/violent-anti-jewish-riots-rock-paris-activist-says-french-jews-are-in-serious-danger-video/

Dinner at Le Sanglier French Restaurant

Sunday Birthday Dinner for my Stepfather at Le Sanglier French Restaurant

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Wine List:

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

White Wine:

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Red Wine:

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

On The Menu: Traditional French Fare and everything was EXCELLENT!

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

What shall we have for dinner?

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Big Board: Starters, Specials and Desserts to order in advance:

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Fresh baked bread and butter:

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

French Onion Soup! Served piping hot.

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Filet Mignon with three peppercorn sauce:

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Potato, cauliflower puree, celery and cheese side dish

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Endive salad with Roquefort cheese:

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Duck l’orange:

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bouillabaisse

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Rue and truffle toast for Bouillabaisse

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Vanilla Creme Brûlée with sliced strawberry

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Chocolate Souffle’ with whipped cream and chocolate sauce

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Cappuccino.

Enjoying my coffee. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Enjoying my coffee. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier French Restaurant5522 Crebs Ave, Tarzana, CA 91356 818-345-0470 http://www.lesanglierrestaurant.com

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