Another beloved Santa Monica concept and Michelin-starred chef is back in Santa Monica. Chef Josiah Citrin has taken his former Melisse space at Wilshire and 11th (which closed almost a year ago after a 20-year-run and several stars), to reopen as Citrin an ala carte dining menu bistro and a petit version of fine-dining Melisse with a 14-seat tasting menu.
With the sleek and modern remodel of the space, you now enter right into a long 22-seat bar which just added an impressive happy hour called Evening Glass Off–a nod to the chef ‘s love of surfing. Every Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the approachable menu features mini-versions of iconic dishes think lobster Bolognese capped in a truffle froth, and new standouts such as chestnut agnolotti with date, orange, cognac, and sage. While many of the bar dishes are on the regular menu offerings, exclusive to the happy hour menu is a Melisse burger ($10) and all the cocktails (named after songs) from the main menu are just $10 with select wines by the glass at the same price point. After a few appetizers, you can venture into the dining room and start with an order of basil brioche buns before moving onto the chef ‘s classic egg caviar dish from the former incarnation which is back by popular demand. Some things should never change.