Thanksgiving dinner, French Style - We were too lazy to cook up a Thanksgiving meal this time around and decided to eat out. It was not easy to find a decent restaurant which will remain open on this very popular public holiday. Fortunately, we were able to book a table at this Michelin 'two-starred' restaurant - Mélisse
, named after a lemon scented herb from the Mediterranean.
Melisse has been in business since July 1999. It is one of (only) four 'two-star' Michelin restaurants in Los Angeles (2009 edition), and has been amongst Zagat's highest rated restaurants for 10 years in a row. The owner, Chef Josiah Citrin emphasizes the techniques of traditional French cuisine, blending with contemporary American flair. The menu items are sourced heavily from local farmers markets, and presented relatively simply at Mélisse, with no avant garde or molecular techniques here.
Amuse Bouche - Orange Gelée, Cashew Mousse, Vanilla Essence. Try to eat this from bottom up, in order to experience the transitions from sweet to savory, from warm to cool.....
Before adding the Pumpkin Soup, here's the Chestnut Mousse, Cinnamon Toast and Black Trumpet Mushrooms.
Pumpkin Soup added.
Herb roasted free range turkey; served with (from left) Praline Pecan Yams, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Braised White Mushrooms and and Cranberries.
Spiced pumpkin pie, Vanilla ice cream with Sauce "Terre et Merr".
Dark chocolate mousse cake, chocolate sorbet, Praline sauce.
We finished dinner around 9:30pm, most of the diners have left the building.
It was a satisfying dinner after all, the turkey being the main course, it was infused with rich flavor and natural juices, simply delicious. We also ordered a bottle of French wine, but I did not have the chance of getting a good photo of it. The dinner costs about US$90 per person, including gratuity. Adding $40 for the wine, it was $130 per person for the entire meal. Not cheap for a simple dinner but I'll definitely try their tasting menu on another night!
Melisse | 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401 | (310) 395-0881 | www.melisse.com