Santa Monica native Josiah Citrin opened Mélisse in 1999, and it remains one of the city’s last bastions for fine dining. The space is decorated wtih violet and white walls, a central chandelier with a black-linen shade, and hand-blown crystal sculptures from France. Chef Citrin has a market-driven approach and a menu that changes seasonally, but he has developed signature dishes like crisp-skinned black bass and truffle-stuffed rotisserie chicken for two, served tableside. Mélisse serves several different tasting menus, including a five-course vegetarian version, a 10-course and a carte blanche option, in which the chef surprises the table. The comprehensive wine list is anchored in France, but covers the globe.