Show 357, January 25, 2020: Chef Josiah Citrin of Melisse and Citrin, Santa Monica

Josiah CitrinLast December, Chef Josiah Citrin debuted the reimagined Mélisse and Citrin, two new culinary concepts under one iconic roof. After closing Michelin two-star Mélisse in Santa Monica last year, Chef Josiah remade the award-winning dining destination as an engaging, luxe, intimate tasting menu restaurant alongside Citrin, an inviting, á la carte concept paying homage to the original Mélisse’s culinary legacy.

Chef/Partner Ken Takayama, Wine Director Matthew Luczy, and General Manager James Spencer, all formerly of Mélisse, helm both restaurants which were designed by Dex Studios and Redford House. With this double debut of anticipated restaurants, Chef Josiah continues to solidify his status as a central figure of fine dining in Los Angeles.

“Located within the Mélisse space that flourished in Santa Monica for two decades, Chef Josiah and Chef/Partner Ken Takayama revived their Michelin two-star institution with a new service model which brings a more personal, intimate approach to service. Challenging the format of traditional restaurant service, Mélisse brings the intimacy of the kitchen directly to guests with chefs and sommeliers—who also double as servers—leading diners through the experience. The nine-course tasting menu is intended to bring a sense of discovery, shifting in accordance with the seasons while adhering to Chef Josiah’s signature California progressive cooking style.”

“Drawing from Chef Josiah’s classical French training and longtime connection with the Santa Monica Farmers Market, the coursed tasting menu ($295) can be accompanied by a France and California-focused wine pairing ($195) from Wine Director and Certified Sommelier Matthew Luczy. Guests can also opt for a non-alcoholic pairing ($195), featuring housemade kombucha and infusions.”

“An extension of the original Mélisse, Citrin offers an upscale yet comfortable, convivial, and fun dining experience where guests can expect the same meticulous attention to detail and technique for which chefs Josiah Citrin and Ken Takayama are celebrated. Executed in a California progressive style, the á la carte menu inherits some of the signature dishes that made Mélisse a bastion of the Los Angeles fine dining landscape, including Lobster Bolognese and Caviar Egg.”

“Seasonal ingredients shine on Citrin’s menu in dishes like Truffle Pasta with house-made tagliatelle, truffle foam, and white truffles shaved tableside; Wild Japanese Yellowtail “Buri” with radish, grapefruit, and nori; and Santa Barbara Rockfish with chive blossoms, mussels, mussel broth, and quince mustard.”

“Distinct from the 77-seat dining room, the 22-seat bar offers the full menu and cocktails (which take their names from some of Chef Josiah’s favorite songs), as well as a special burger exclusive to the bar. Citrin’s rock n’ roll cocktail list, also available to order at Mélisse, includes libations like the Love Me Two Times made with mezcal, cherry liqueur, cinnamon demerara, yuzu, and angostura; as well as the Wild Horses with white rum, Pimm’s, blueberry-thyme syrup, lime, and angostura.”

Chef Josiah Cirtin surfs in with all the details.