JC, Tiff, and I had a really nice meal over at Mélisse in Santa Monica. I probably won't have such a nice meal for a while given the economy and all, but it sure was a great experience. The food was excellent, and the service was exceptional. There wasn't anything to complain about really.
After looking at the menu for a little while, we each decided to do the tasting menu. The one thing that was really nice about this restaurant was that we actually had a lot of flexibility when it came to the tasting menu. At most other places, everyone at the table is more or less served the same thing. But, here, we got to pick and choose a few things much like how you'd order from a standard prix fixe menu.
Two different amuse bouches came out shortly after we had ordered. I'm not sure if one was something else, but both more or less served as an amuse. The first was a serving of grapes encrusted with goat cheese and pistachios, and the second one was a tomato gazpacho over a cucumber purée with salmon tartare. Both tasted so good. They definitely served their purpose of whetting my appetite.
As a first course, I had the Lobster Bolognese, Fresh Capellini with Black Truffles. This was some seriously good stuff. It was simple, but it tasted so damn good. I could easily have an entire meal consisting of just this, and I'd be perfectly happy. JC and Tiff had the Seared Foie Gras, but I didn't take any pictures of it.
For a second course, I had the John Dory dish. I like this fish usually, and this time was no different. It was served in a scallion mousseline sauce and also a shellfish sauce. The texture of the fish was just right and all the flavors worked really well for this one. It's hard for me to describe how nice it all worked out, but I was in fish heaven. I think the other two missed out, but I'm not sure.
JC, who isn't a fan of most seafood, had a corn ravioli dish. Tiff went for an abalone dish, but again, I didn't get a picture. I guess you'll have to check out her blog when she puts up her own pics.
Both JC and I had the rabbit for the main course. It was quite good, and the meat was not gamey at all. I often fear that rabbit meat will be a bit strong, but the meat was done really well and everything was so tasty. The dish was full of spices and you could taste a whole array of different flavors, as each part of the dish seemed to have been prepared and spiced differently. The rabbit also came with a boudin blanc, which is some sort of cajun sausage. That was one fancy tasting sausage, I must say.
Tiff had the lamb, which offered three different cuts of meat. After having a taste of her lamb, I think I prefer it. But, that's not to say I had any complaints about my own choice.
Finally, it was dessert time. JC and I chose the same thing again. We had a chocolate-themed finale. Four different chocolate desserts were served. There was chocolate ice cream with a white chocolate outside, a soufflé with a fresh injection of chocolate goodness, a chocolate parfait, and a chocolate cake.
Then, after this rather filling meal, we got some slices of fruit, cookies, and petit fours.
And, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. The meal was wonderful, and it was really nice that Tiff could join us as JC bid farewell to Los Angeles.