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One of LA’s Most Celebrated Fine Dining Chefs Opens a New Santa Monica Spot

Mélisse’s Josiah Citrin is planning a casual restaurant based on one of his most popular dishes, an extra-crispy roast chicken

Josiah Citrin stands in a chef’s coat, arms crossed.
Josiah Citrin
The Line Hotel
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Josiah Citrin is almost ready to reveal his next restaurant, a casual chicken operation that will focus on the lauded chef’s poultry recipes. Pulling from his menu at Mélisse, Citrin’s so-called “dirty chicken” will form the backbone of the as-yet-unnamed restaurant, opening at 2428 Main Street in Santa Monica.

Unlike LA’s many rotisserie chicken restaurants, Citrin’s version is oven-roasted and crusted along the skin, giving the bird more texture and bite while still retaining its juiciness. “Chicken is the ultimate comfort food,” Citrin tells Eater. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking [it], and it’s a great meal option for every day of the week.” That’s precisely the point here, as the menu will branch out from whole birds and cut pieces to chopped chicken salads, wraps, and more, with sides and drinks on the side to fill out a meal.

The restaurant, opening sometime this fall, will be decidedly more casual than Citrin’s other projects, with a robust takeout business and on-site seating for only two dozen diners or so. It’s a far cry from the upscale Michelin-level Mélisse that has made Citrin a Los Angeles mainstay for decades, and the newer Citrin that has since come to take up a portion of the original Mélisse space. Citrin also runs the meaty Charcoal further south, as well as the limited-run throwback bar and restaurant Dear John’s and Openaire, the atrium restaurant at the Line Hotel in Koreatown.

There’s no firm timeline for opening yet, but expect a reveal before the end of the year at 2428 Main Street in Santa Monica.