Monday, February 16, 2009

Melisse Feb 10, 09

for dad's birthday this year he chose to dine at Melisse in Santa Monica. despite calling myself a foodie, i had never heard of this restaurant. according to the website, Melisse is rated #1 "top food" restaurant in los angeles by Zagat and has received two stars from the Michelin Guide.

now, if you've ever watched Iron Chef America, then you'd appreciate this type of food. each dish was served on a big white plate with little smears of sauce or sprinkles of herbs or dollops of foam. after each dish was placed down in front of us, the waiter explained all the ingredients of the dish as well as how to eat it. i've never had anyone tell me how to eat my food, but that is something so reminiscent of food network, i almost died.

after being seating, checking in our coats, and getting a cocktail, we were offered fresh bread baked on sit. i chose the bacon roll and the basil brioche. other options included a ciabatta roll, olive loaf, plain brioche, and a french roll. after ordering, the waiter brought a small appetizer/palate cleanser. on the plate was a small spoon with some sort of fish or vegetable (maybe both) mixture, and then a shot glass full of fennel and cashew cream. first you had to eat the spoonful of veggie fish stuff, then use the spoon to scrape the bottom of the shot glass, bringing the cream up, then eat it. i was so excited to be eating such fancy food, that i didn't care what it was (it was very odd tasting, though, not something i'd eat willingly if i had another chance).

minus kyle, we each had an appetizer - i had a salad, mom had a winter vegetable salad, and dad had some lobster thing. i didn't even think to take pictures of the appetizers, which of course i now regret. but then came dinner:

Kyle had a small ribeye with beef-cheek ravioli. as scary as beef cheek sounds, it's just a stringy beef, like a brisket or something. it's not scary at all.

i had the vegetable gnocchi with burrata cheese. some of the vegetables included zucchini, onion, carrot and garlic. i'd never had burrata cheese, but it tasted just like a richer mozzarella.

dad had the trio of pork. i don't remember all the different ways the pork was cooked, but there was this amazing bacon wrapped date on the plate and i think i now love dates. they're so delicious!

mom had chicken, and apparently no one took a picture of it.

oh and they brought out three little pots of the smoothest mashed potatoes you could ever imagine.

it was time for dessert and of course we couldn't pass that up. i went for the sticky toffee pudding (mostly because i saw an episode of gordon ramsay's kitchen nightmares and this woman make a sticky toffee pudding that was the restaurant's only salvation, so i figured it must be good), and kyle got the creme brulee. it was all so amazing and i can't believe i didn't gain 10 pounds after eating there...

all in all, amazing experience and wonderful food. just don't ask me to eat that cashew cream thing again.

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