Location: 425 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292. (310) 751-6794
Date: June 14, 2022
Cuisine: New American Grill
Rating: Some great meats
Josiah Citrin’s (owner/chef of Melisse) newish more casual eatery has been open for a while — and although I bike past it weekly and went once for brunch, this is my second official dinner visit — and we are enjoying the lovely back patio.
It’s located on Washington Blvd about 2 blocks in from the ocean.
Inside at night. By the middle of dinner service it was hopping.
This is one of those pandemic “parking lot” patios. Not sure it’s actually the parking lot, but it has that informal look but I love al fresco, so totally works for me.
NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 168eme. JG 96+. The new release of Krug Grande Cuvée “168ème Édition” is from the base year of 2012, with the reserve wines in the blend stretching all the way back to 1996. The final cépages has ended up as fifty-two percent pinot noir, thirty-five percent chardonnay and thirteen percent pinot meunier. Forty-two percent of the blend is made up of reserve wines in this beautiful iteration of Grande Cuvée. The bouquet is superb, wafting from the glass in a mosaic of apple, white peach, a touch of Clos du Mesnil-like fresh apricot, almond, a beautifully complex base of soil tones, fresh-baked bread, hints of the caraway seed to come and a whisper of buttery oak (which is particularly evident when the wine is first poured, but quickly is subsumed in the other elements on the nose). On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and very complex, with a lovely core of fruit, fine soil signature, utterly refined mousse and a long, perfectly balanced and very energetic finish. This is one of the most effortless and seamlessly balanced young releases of Grande Cuvée in several years and is utterly brilliant wine. (Drink between 2020-2080)
2014 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée A Tempo. VM 95. Vivid yellow. Mineral-tinged citrus and orchard fruit aromas show excellent clarity and pick up a suave floral accent with air. Silky and precise on the palate, offering bitter lemon pith and pear skin flavors that show fantastic power and a subtle, slow-building suggestion of iodine. A distinctly mineral, Chablis-like quality characterizes the remarkably long, penetrating finish, which strongly echoes the floral and citrus fruit notes. This deeply concentrated yet vibrant wine is one the most mesmerizing versions of white Châteauneuf that I have ever tried and, in fact, it measures up to some of the best white Rhônes, period. (Drink between 2018-2025)
Oysters on the Half Shell, Garnished Traditionally and Creatively.
Bread with Beurre De Baratte.
Yellowfin Tuna, Pickled Cucumber, Avocado, Citrus Vinaigrette. Classic, but good.
Crisps for the tuna tower.
Smoked Mushroom and Beet, Crème Fraiche, Currants. Tastes like liquid smoke, but really nice actually.
2000 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve. 95 points. Unique and fantastic Pape! nose with remarkable note of Grappa as well as roses, tar, asphalt, wild raspberries, raisins. Extremely concentrated, lush, silky and sensuous on the palate. Character as a mature Barolo, long lingering on. At peak now.
2001 Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve le Clos du Caillou. VM 96. Saturated, bright ruby-red. Knockout nose of black raspberry, meat, minerals, spices, chicory and espresso. Like liquid silk in the mouth; an incredibly concentrated, nearly confectionery wine, with compelling flavors of blackberry, violet and game. As creamy as a molten Valrhona chocolate cake. The oak component serves to frame and intensify the flavors, enabling this wonderfully thick wine to retain a sappy character. Finishes with intriguing garrigue notes and a repeating espresso element.
2001 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Deux Frères. VM 91. Bright ruby-red. Superripe, roasted aromas of singed red fruits, carob, marzipan and walnut. A huge, roasted wine showing strong evidence of surmaturite; flavors of dried fruits and walnut. With alcohol in the 16% range this is undeniably massive, but I found myself wishing it had more primary fruit and verve. Quite different in style from the Cuvee de Mon Aieul. A rare and expensive bottling, recommended for fans of the type. (Wines from France, Mountainside, NJ)
Smoky Grilled Chicken Wings, Oregano, Chili, Vinegar. Good, but I like Vietnamese wings better.
Smoked Lamb Ribs. Fatty, smokey, awesome.
California Avocado Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes,Fresh Tagliatelle. Really nice “green” minty flavor.
Oxtail Bolognese, Gremolata, Horseradish, Cavatelli Pasta. First class meaty pasta.
21 Day Aged Half Liberty Duck, Honey, Coriander. Amazballs. Sweet but very ducky and delicious.
Little Gems, Shaved Market Vegetables, Bread Crumbs, Grilled Scallion Vinaigrette.
2007 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée XXL. VM 94. Inky purple. Wild, highly expressive aromas of kirsch, blackberry and fruitcake, with complementary notes of anise and violet. Broad dark fruit flavors show exotic spice and herb nuances, with velvety tannins providing support. Finishes sweet, sappy and long, with smoke and spice notes lingering. This wine, which fermented its sugars for two years, will be bottled in March of 2010.
2007 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape. VM 95+. Deep ruby. Powerful, pungent aromas of kirsch, dark berries, smoky herbs and spicecake, with notes of black olive and tobacco coming on with air. Chewy, palate-staining dark fruit flavors are complicated by bitter chocolate, licorice and black cardamom. Acts like a 2005 today, with serious structure but also superb depth of powerful, densely packed fruit. A hint of cherry skin adds grip and refreshing bitterness to the long, smoky, focused finish. Not an easy read right now: this demands cellaring. (Wines of France , Mountainside, NJ)
16 oz Prime Ribeye. Nice meat.
Cabbage Baked in the Embers, Yogurt, Sumac, Lemon Zest. Really great veggie. This is actually one of my favorite dishes here.
Grilled Vermillion Rock Cod, California Citrus, Port Wine, Brown Butter, Mint. I didn’t try.
Steak Fries with Ketchup, Mustard.
Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Parsley Breadcrumbs, Fermented Garlic Dressing.
Coal Roasted Carrots, Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, Herbs, Honey, Black Pepper. Bad photo, I know, people were “Langing” it.
Hpnotiq Blue Hawaiian Sorbetto — like a frozen cocktail — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — Thai Coconut Milk, Pineapple, Lime, and Hpnotiq liqueur –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #sorbetto #Hpnotiq #BlueHawaiian #pineapple #coconut #lime
Hazelnut at the Ritz Gelato — Nocciola (hazelnut) custard base made with Pure PGI Piedmont hazelnut paste then mixed with house-made caramel and crushed Ritz Crackers (for that salty offset) — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #hazelnut #nocciola #caramel #caramello #ritz #crackers
Apple Crumble, McConnell’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cake, McConnell’s Double Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream. Really nice.
I was impressed by our meal here. Not everything was perfect, but some of the dishes: duck, cabbage, lamb ribs were exceptional and most of the rest really good. A couple were a bit flat (like maybe the salads). The name, Charcoal, implies wood cooked, and they deliver on that promise with an experience that has a bit of a non-Spanish Asador feel.
Tonight we had a great evening out on the patio. BIG wines for pretty big food! These were some serious Chateauneufs!