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

JoshWillTravel’s 600th Blog Post!

JoshWillTravel’s 600th Blog Post!

http://www.JoshWillTravel.wordpress.com Blog! February 2013 – October 2016

600-posts

THANK YOU LOYAL READERS!

THANK YOU VISITORS!

THANK YOU FRIENDS!

JoshWillTravel

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600 Blog Posts! Celebrate!

Use Categories/Tags below to SEARCH for Blogs (use the Search Box top of page^^^^^^)

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600

—————————————————————-

**Goodbye 2013! Hello 2014!** – My Year in Review.

Happy Holidays!  Season’s Greetings!  Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!

Mr C. Hotel - Beverly Hills (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Happy New Year!  The Champagne is Chilling! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Another year in the history books, and since it’s my blog, here’s my past year in review.     (RIGHT CLICK the links and OPEN A NEW WINDOW to read my blog stories and see more pictures from each event!)

In December 2012, we got a new Cavachon puppy, so all year long it was the Year of the “Little Fuzz Ball”, as she grew up, was loved, learned to be good dog, caused (mostly minor) trouble, and was just plain adorable everyday!

My new puppy - 10 weeks old

My new puppy the “Little Fuzz Ball” – She’s 10 weeks old here and just too cute for words! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

January – New Year’s Eve 2013: I kicked the new year off with a champagne toast at the annual New Years Eve Party with a few old friends in Burbank, California!

Champagne Toast - New Years Eve 2012-2013

Champagne Toast – New Years Eve 2012-2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

January 11th – I saw a shooting star! I was outside and looked up at the clear night sky and thought “Gee, it would really be cool to see a shooting star”. And as if on cue, the most amazing shooting star I have ever seen came blazing from the heavens exactly where I was looking.  It was awesome and it kind of freaked me out too.

January Trip to Ashland, Oregon https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/my-january-trip-to-ashland-oregon/

Leaving on a (prop) jet plane!  Since this is a travel blog, I’m going to share my travel experiences from the past year.  Horizon Air – Alaska Air (codeshare) LAX to Medford, Oregon for a winter visit.  There was a little snow in the morning the first day I was there.

Horizon Air - Alaska Airlines at LAX (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Horizon Air – Alaska Airlines at LAX (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland, Oregon Visitor's Map

Ashland, Oregon Visitor’s Map – https://www.facebook.com/theatreinashland 

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland is incredibly beautiful in the winter.  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival runs February to November, so in December and January it’s relatively “tourist free”.

To kick off the New Year in 2014, I’m officially launching my new facebook page Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland, Oregon with JoshWillTravel: Visit https://www.facebook.com/theatreinashland for more info!

FebruaryBIG NEWS! NEW JOB. 

Travel Advisor, Independent Travel Consultant & Travel Agent

I spent most of this year learning the travel business, working, meeting new people, making new contacts, traveling, and enjoying my new career and all the wonderful perks!

Launched the JoshWillTravel brand and started this BLOG in February 2012!

email: joshwilltravel@yahoo.com http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel – http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravelhttp://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

From February until July, I posted a regular “Pic of the Day” featured photo on my blog daily, please look back and see them in my older posts!

Trade Day at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/trade-day-at-the-la-times-travel-show-2013/

Los Angeles Times Travel Show 2013 at the L.A. Convention Center

Los Angeles Times Travel Show in February 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Badges?  We don't need no....oh, yes you do!

Badges? We don’t need no….oh, yes you do!

Mom’s 70th Birthday Party at the house in Bel Air

Skyline - Century City and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Skyline view from Bel Air – Century City and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California
(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I baked a cheesecake! Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I baked a cheesecake! Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A private performance by Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A private musical performance by Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys in the living room (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

March – A month of education that continued throughout the year: The Willett Travel Academy winter class of 2013 three nights a week, continuous online learning and webinar training, a lot of reading, and events and seminars to increase my industry and product knowledge.  I studied hard and earned special Travel Specialist designations with many of our suppliers, vendors, and other travel partners this year. RIGHT CLICK to see my new credentials: https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/about/im-a-travel-agent-luxury-travel-advisor-independent-travel-consultant/

AprilOpening night of “Assisted Living” at the Odyssey Theater and dinner at Nan Ban Kan in West Los Angeles  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/dinner-show-nan-ban-kan-assisted-living-opening-night-odyssey-theater/

"Assisted Living" starring Paul Dooley & Winnie Holzman

“Assisted Living” starring Paul Dooley & Winnie Holzman

The Hollywood Expo (Hollywood Chamber of Commerce) at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/tuesday-night-at-the-hollywood-expo-in-hollywood/

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel - Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Blvd  Darth Vader, an Imperial Stormtrooper and Bumblebee the Transformer on The Walk of Fame in front of the Chinese Theater and the Disney El Capitan Marquee (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Blvd – Darth Vader, an Imperial Stormtrooper, & Bumblebee the Transformer on The Walk of Fame in front of the Chinese Theater and the Disney El Capitan Marquee (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I also attended great Hollywood Chamber of Commerce events at Fabiolus Restaurant in Hollywood, Spoonful Restaurant in Universal City, and the Infusion Lounge at Universal Citywalk in 2013.

Fabiolus, Cucina Italiana Verona - Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Fabiolus, Cucina Italiana Verona – Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Universal CityWalk Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Infusion Lounge at Universal CityWalk Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Return to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, California https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/return-to-paramount-ranch-01-apr-13-part-1-western-town/

Paramount Ranch Park - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A trip to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California to see old friends.

Old Friends at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Old Friends at the Renaissance Faire in Irwindale (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and The Brewery Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/pic-of-the-day-29-apr-13-brewery-art-walk-downtown-los-angeles/

The Brewery Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Brewery Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“A Comfortable Skin” Multimedia Art by Kristine Schomaker: www.kristineschomaker.net

Brewery Art Walk - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk – Downtown Los Angeles  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

MayWillett Travel Academy Graduation Celebration at The Six in Studio City  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/celebration-at-the-six-restaurant-in-studio-city/  Six of us graduated, and at the end of the year only two remain (myself and Lena).

Celebration at THE SIX - Studio City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Graduation Celebration at THE SIX – Studio City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Road Trip to San Jose – Ann’s Birthday and UC Santa Cruz Friends Reunion https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/do-you-know-the-way-to-san-jose-reunion-roadtrip/

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Do you know the way to San Jose?  Road Trip! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Annie's Birthday Cake! Santa Cruz Gang Reunion Party!

Annie’s Birthday Cake! Santa Cruz Gang Reunion Party!

Santa Cruz Gang Reunion 2013

Santa Cruz Gang Reunion 2013

My 30th High School Reunion at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood.

The Oakwood School 30th High School Reunion

The Oakwood School Reunion in North Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

the Southern California Hotel and Lodging Conference in the City of Industry at the Palm Pacific Hotel Resort  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/trade-show-time-socal-hotel-and-lodging-conference-at-the-palm-pacific-hotel-resort/

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and Memorial Day Weekend  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/pic-of-the-day-27-may-13-san-fernando-valley-sunset-memorial-day-2013/

Memorial Day 2013 - Sunset in the San Fernando Valley (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Memorial Day 2013 – San Fernando Valley Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

JuneThe L.A. WineFest at Raleigh Studios https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/la-winefest-2013-in-hollywood/

Wearing the Hawaiian Shirt & Panama Hat! Working our table at the LA WineFest in Hollywood 2013. (Thanks Debrah!)

Wearing the Hawaiian Shirt & Panama Hat!
Working our table at the LA WineFest in Hollywood 2013. (Thanks Debrah!)

A Good Week in June!

Lunch at the Four Seasons Westlake Village https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/pic-of-the-day-13-jun-13-four-seasons-westlake-village/

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Limo trip and Private Gulfstream 4 Jet at Santa Monica Municipal Airport https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/who-else-needs-a-limo-and-a-private-gulfstream-g-4-jet/

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Black Limosine and a Gulfstream 4 Private Jet at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

the Art Party in Beverly Hills  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/saturday-evening-at-the-art-party-in-beverly-hills/

The Art Party In Beverly Hills (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party In Beverly Hills (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

T.H.O.R. Reception at the Mr. C Hotel in West Los Angeles  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/pic-of-the-day-20-jun-13-mr-cs-hotel/

Mr. C's Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Mr. C Hotel in West Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and Opening night of “Absolutely Filthy” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/pic-of-the-day-21-jun-3-friday-night-at-the-formosa-cafe/

Friday Night at the Formosa Cafe

Friday Night at the Formosa Cafe in Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Best Play I Saw This Year: “Absolutely Filthy” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Other notable Theater Perfomances this year: “Dreamgirls”, “Our Class”, “Assisted Living” at small theaters in L.A. and “The Liquid Plain” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

JulyRoad Trip to San Jose, Santa Cruz, Pacifica, San Francisco and Ashland 

This Old House, Santa Cruz, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

This Old House, Santa Cruz, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Ocean from Highway 1 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Ocean from Highway 1 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco from the Bay Bridge (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco from the Bay Bridge (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley, Oregon

Rogue Valley, Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

August – GBTA 2013 (Global Business Travel Association) convention in San Diego

Global Business Travel Association Convention 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Global Business Travel Association Convention 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Petco Park from above - San Diego, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Petco Park from Altitude Lounge – San Diego, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

GBTA 2013 - The Gaslamp District in San Diego (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

GBTA 2013 – The Gaslamp District in San Diego (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

GBTA 2013 – Monday’s Keynote Speaker: Jewel performs “Who Will Save Your Soul” live at the San Diego Convention Center https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703198789706690&set=vb.337421319696080&type=2&theater (facebook video)

Eagle and Badge Foundation “Summerfest” at the Los Angeles Police Academy

Los Angeles Police Academy - Elysian Park, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Police Academy – Elysian Park, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

SoCal ASTA (American Society if Travel Agents) Premium Luxury Symposium and Showcase at the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel

ASTA-Logo

ASTA - Luxury at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California - Owner's Panel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

ASTA Luxury Symposium at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA – Owner’s Panel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

My Birthday Dinner at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica (the best and most expensive meal of the year) https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!  Dinner at Melisse! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Other notable meals: Dinner at Mozza Osteria in Hollywood, Dinner at Beazy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Birthday Dinner at Arnie Morton’s, Sushi at Sushi Ichiban Kan and Okumura Sushi in the San Fernando Valley, Lunch at the Four Season’s Westlake Village and On Sunset at the LUXE on Sunset, Brunch at Bistro Gardens, and many great buffets and food presentations at the wonderful hotel events I attended this year (read about them and see the pictures in my previous blogs).  The “worst meal of the year” loser award goes to the dinner at the MGM Grand Buffet in Las Vegas, everything was overcooked and underseasoned.

I also attended a couple of great Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl this summer.

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl - Hollywood, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Hollywood, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Here are video samples (but you might have to be my friend on facebook to see them):

Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot at the Hollywood Bowl 20-August-2013 with members of the L.A. Philharmonic and the Klezmer Conservatory Band perform A Yiddishe Mama (A Jewish Mother) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=712946625398573&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater

Overture! Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart performed live at the Hollywood Bowl by the L.A. Philharmonic 03-September-2013 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=721038357922733&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater

Hollywood Bowl 20-AUG-13 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl 20-AUG-13 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

SeptemberI sold my car and got a brand new motor vehicle! Then I drove it to LTX (the Luxury Travel Exchange) at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/luxury-travel-exchange-ltx-trade-show-in-las-vegas/

Venetian Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Venetian Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Venetian Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Venetian Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

October The ARTA 50th Anniversay Gala Dinner at the Radisson LAX  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/arta-50th-anniversary-gala-dinner/

ARTA 50th Anniversary Party (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

ARTA 50th Anniversary Party (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The 90th Anniversary Party at the Millenium Biltmore in Downtown Los Angeles!   https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/the-90th-party-at-the-millennium-biltmore-hotel-in-downtown-los-angeles/

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The best hotel party event of the year!  Dress in Black or White or Roaring 20’s.

and LWH Hotels presents “The Art of Hospitality” at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/the-art-of-hospitality-lwh-hotels-event-at-the-luxe-hotel-on-sunset/

LUXE Hotel on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“The Art of Hospitality” at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

November – Dinner at El Torito Grill in Torrance courtesy of AeroMexico, CostaBaja Resort, and La Paz, Mexico. I won a trip to the Sea of Cortez! https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/thank-you-aeromexico-costabaja-and-la-paz/

AeroMexico and La Paz dinner: I won a trip to Mexico at the CostaBaja Resort!

AeroMexico and La Paz dinner: I won a trip to Mexico at the CostaBaja Resort!

I also won hotel stays in Tempe, Arizona and Lake Tahoe, California this past year, so look for new blogs about the upcoming trips here next year.

Signature Sales Meeting and Trade Show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/signature-sales-meeting-and-trade-show-at-the-mgm-grand-in-las-vegas/

MGM Grand in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

MGM Grand in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

MGM Grand in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

MGM Grand in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and One Night at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

The view from the 36th floor at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshwillTravel)

The view from my room onthe 36th floor at the Rio All-Suites Hotel in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshwillTravel)

and a Party at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/party-at-the-intercontinental-hotel-20-nov-13/

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Family Thanksgiving! (and Hannukah 2013)  Family, friends, football and a feast!

Thanksgiving 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Finally got an iPhone!  Please note the improved picture quality.

December

GO BRONCOS!  It was a great year to be a Denver Broncos fan because it was a great year for the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning!

GO BRONCOS!

GO BRONCOS!  www.denverbroncos.com

The Broncos clinched the AFC West Division with 13 wins, 3 losses and broke a new record every week including the record for the NFL’s highest scoring team during the regular season.  Peyton Manning has thrown a touchdown pass in 39 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL.  https://www.facebook.com/DenverBroncos

Frank & Diane’s Annual Christmas Cocktail Party in Hawthorne

Christmas Cocktail Party in Hawthorne, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Christmas Cocktail Party in Hawthorne, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Christmas Cocktail Party Video (but you probably have to be my friend on facebook):  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=788317794528122&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater

The Holiday Party at Spark Italian Woodfire Grill in Studio City

Spark Italian Woodfire Grill in Studio City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Spark Italian Woodfire Grill in Studio City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Secret Santa at the office holiday party! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Secret Santa at the office holiday party! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Holiday Mansion Party in the hills of Los Angeles!

The Scene of the Crime!  Holiday Mansion Party in the hill of Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Scene of the Crime! Holiday Mansion Party!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Holiday Mansion Party - Los Angeles, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Holiday Mansion Party – Los Angeles, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and a wonderful Christmas Dinner with a few old friends to celebrate the holiday.

Christmas Dinner: egg nog and bourbon, cheese and crackers, NY Steak roast, carved duck with cranberry sauce, potato and carrots, rice, green beans and red onions, biscuits, homemade apple pie, champagne and Martinelli's carbonated apple-cranberry juice

Christmas Dinner: egg nog, cheese & crackers, NY Steak roast, carved duck with cranberry sauce, potato & carrots, rice, green beans & red onions, biscuits, homemade apple pie, champagne, and Martinelli’s carbonated apple-cranberry juice

It was a good year!  A toast to all my friends and readers!  Wishing you and yours safe travel and a happy, healthy, and wonderful new year in 2014!

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“Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.” ― William Shakespeare

p.s. She had a good year too!

My puppy the "Little Fuzz Ball" - 15 months old and still too cute for words!

My puppy the “Little Fuzz Ball” – Now 15 months old and still too cute for words!

 http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel – http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

Dinner at Melisse

Dinner at Melisse (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Melisse (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A welcome card with a box of chocolate truffles waiting on the table:

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

For my birthday, we went to Melisse in Santa Monica.  It was an amazing dinner!  Great food and wine, good service and a wonderful “foodie” experience. Thanks!  $$$$$!

We decided on the four course meal.  They have a ten course meal, an ala carte menu, and a “let the chef decide” menu, but the four course menu choices were the most appealing to my tastebuds.  Ready, let’s begin.

Amuse bouche – Cherry tomato with a almond panna cotta herb crust and a (“reconstituted”) tomato emulsion with an olive oil center.  I love molecular gastronomy!

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Six kinds of bread: french sourdough, brioche, basil brioche, chibatta, olive chibatta, and bacon focaccia to choose from: (they bring it on a platter and let you choose)

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Appetizer:

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Oyster Granita on the half shell with a Bombay Gin froth served on a bed of sea shells

Amuse bouche – Gaspacho tomato concentrate with a cucumber cream:

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The Wine List: (and big thanks to Brian the Sommelier for his great recommendations!)

Champagne Tasting

Champagne Tasting – we tried two kinds and settled on the fruity one

White Wine

White Wine – a German vintage from Napa, California

Red Wine Tasting

Red Wine Tasting – we liked the French Cabernet Sauvignon

First Course:

Santa Barbara Spotted Prawns

Santa Barbara Spotted Prawns with a herb sauce and fresh herbs

Coconut Sweet Onion Soup

Coconut Sweet Onion Soup with tasty “reconstituted” crisps  – WINNER!

More bread!

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Second Course:

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King Salmon with snap peas, vegetable mix and a cucumber dill sauce

Black Truffles in a Humidor displayed tableside

Black Truffles in a Humidor displayed tableside before shaving on to the truffle egg

Truffle Egg

Truffle Egg – poached egg with truffle froth, truffle sauce and a lot of shaved black truffle served with a thick slice of toasted and buttered brioche bread – WINNER!

The Main Course:

Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 kinds of salt, 3 kinds of pepper

French Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 kinds of salt, 3 kinds of pepper for the entree

We decide to have the Cote de Beouf for two (there’s an extra charge, but it was worth it).  They present it and carve it tableside.

Cote de Boeuf for two carved table side

Cote de Boeuf for two carved table side

Cote de Boeuf for two carved table side

Cote de Boeuf for two carved table side

Cote de Boeuf

Cote de Boeuf with sauteed mushrooms and a pastie filled with onion and ricotta cheese

NOTE: I took the rib bone home and had it for lunch the next day.  It was one of the best beef ribs I’ve ever eaten!

And then Dessert! (We decided not to have the cheese plate, which I’m told is spectacular…)

Amuse bouche – caramel corn, popcorn sherbert, nut crisp with a caramel water sauce to cleanse the palette:

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Chocolate souffle’ injected tableside with melted chocolate, a concentrated chocolate mousse with a mint leaf, and a chocolate tart with caramel sauce, toasted cookie crisps and painted chocolate pieces:

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!

And then a plate of petit fours as a final indulgence (which I had to take “to go”):

Chocolate filled with caramel, mini chocolate chip cookie, carmelized dough, a sugared orange gel, and a lime and yuzo macaroon.  There was also a white peach slice, but that didn’t make it home.

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There’s a reason Melisse is rated one of the best places in the country!  If you have the opportunity and the money, I whole heartedly recommend you experience this restaurant.

Melisse Restaurant1104 Wilshire Blvd (at 11th), Santa Monica

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