On March 2, Melisse will cease its operation as one of LA’s most notable fine dining restaurants and change into something completely different. Chef Josiah Citrin, who’s been busy taking over the food and beverage at the Line Hotel in Koreatown, opened Melisse nearly 20 years ago in Santa Monica. For years, it was one of the city’s most upscale, rarefied dining experiences, with white tableclothes, tableside service, and an excellent wine list.
Depending on the length of renovation, the current Melisse location will reopen by summer 2019 with a new interior design and new menu. Earlier this year in June, Eater reported that Melisse was in danger of losing its Wilshire Boulevard location and closing for good. At the time, Citrin was unsure if he would retain the big dining room in Santa Monica.
Beyond the menu and interior change, Melisse is staying tight-lipped about the details of the new Melisse, or even if Citrin will retain the now iconic name. One assumes that the pricey tasting menu situation will give way to something more moderately priced and casual to help fill the seats on the regular basis, versus acting as a special occasion restaurant.
From now until March 2, fans of the fine dining establishment can book a table to taste the last vestiges of the kind of Michelin-level, French-influenced fare at Melisse. Back in 2009 and 2010, the Michelin Guide rated Melisse as a two-star destination, one of just a handful to receive the designation in LA.