Melisse (Santa Monica, CA) 
1104 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Dining date: 8/5/17
It’s been a couple of years since I last dined at Melisse. One of the few real fine dining establishments left in the city, the restaurant is still going strong 18 years in. To celebrate their anniversary, the restaurant was running a promotional 4-course anniversary menu for $99 (it felt more like 7 courses). There were a couple of options for each course, giving us the ability to try a number of different menu offerings.
Collection of Summer Stone Fruits Plum-Rhubarb Water
Mandarin Tomato Soup Zucchini, Squash and Tomato Sorbet
New Zealand Tai Avocado, Lime, Basil, Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
Long Island Skate Wing Lemon and Persian Cucumber, Lobster Mushroom, Tromboncino Squash Emulsion
Truffle Risotto Acquerello Rice, Mascarpone, Chilean Black Truffles
Mishima American Wagyu Beef Finley Farms Corn, Porcini Mushroom and Charred Leek
Sonoma Lamb Loin Braised Shelling Beans, Russian Kale, Nasturtium Sauce
L’Opera Valrhona Chocolate, Coffee, Almond
Summer Melons, Tapioca Pearls, Coconut Milk and Calamansi
I had another enjoyable meal at Melisse – it really solidified my opinion that this is one of the best special occasion restaurants in the city. The collection of summer stone fruits started the meal off strong with a vibrant plum and rhubarb “soup.” The truffle risotto, a $50 supplement, was worth the splurge displaying its hearty, earthy aroma on top of al dente rice. Both the beef and lamb courses were strong, displaying rich and flavorful red meats. The beef was matched up with leeks, porcini and a jus while the lamb was accompanied by more vegetal flavors. Of the desserts, the summer melon was my favorite – it was sweet, refreshing and really well-balanced. I will definitely be back.