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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30-JUN-13: Kanan Road to the Beach

Kanan Road to the Beach

Hot Sunday Afternoon. Let’s drive to the “Bu”, Malibu!
This probably looks familiar to my local peeps.

Kanan Road to the Beach

Kanan Road to the Beach  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

More pics and a story too:

A very hot Sunday Afternoon in Los Angeles.  An invitation to a food and wine event at an estate and winery in Malibu.  A beautiful day for a drive…

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Except that there was a lot of traffic on the freeway heading for the beach.  And if you waited in the long half-mile line to exit the freeway at Kanan Road, you probably added at least a half hour in wait time…

They’re doing construction/maintenance on the tunnels on Kanan, so they have one lane in each direction through one of the tunnels.  Growing up in Los Angeles, these tunnels represented the border between the valley and the beach.

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: Don’t try this at home!

NOW HERE’S WHERE THE DAY WENT WRONG:

We arrived at the event and the parking was at the ranch next door.  The parking was far away, along the unpaved road, next to the horse corrals.  They invited a lot of people and most brought a guest along, then they made them walk in the heat and dust to wait for a shuttle into the winery.

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Here’s a pic of lots of luxury cars (three Mercedes front to back) parked along the dirt road.  The shuttle stop is somewhere past all these cars and then up a hill.  Oh yeah, it’s 105 degrees!!!

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Every time a car drives by you, you get dusted, and you’re dripping wet before you get to the shuttle stop.  Then you find out they only have two 8 passenger vans running the 200+ people up the hill, and there are a hundred people waiting ahead of you…

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oh yeah, no shade and it’s 105 degrees!!!  ABORT MISSION!  I bailed immediately once I realized it was going to be an hour waiting in the heat and dust.  Unbelievable bad planning!  And truly less than impressive.

Here’s the thing.  I’m young compared to many of the guests that were invited and I knew it would be hot.  I put on the sunscreen, dressed for the hot weather, and brought a bottle of water and a hat for the sun.  Most of the guests did not!  Asking elderly people to hike in the dust and stand in the sun without shade on a dangerously hot day is a recipe for disaster.

And I can’t even imagine how long it took them to get out of the event.  After food and wine, having to be shuttled down the hill, walking in the heat and dust, trying to turn their luxury cars around, and then trying to turn out of the ranch’s driveway onto Kanan Road, with traffic returning from a day at the beach.  And then of course you have the freeway traffic to contend with too.  What a nightmare!

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14-JUN-13: Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu

On this day in 1900, Hawaii became a US Territory!

Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu

August 21, 1959 – Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States.

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