Mélisse is now celebrating its tenth anniversary. At its location only a few hundred yards from the Santa Monica Pier, it has the feeling of a neighborhood institution, but not the honky-tonk neighborhood of Ye Olde King's Head and similar establishments along Santa Monica Boulevard and the beach — rather Brentwood and Beverly Hills, to which it is directly linked on its corner of Wilshire Boulevard. Since its beginnings, its founder, Chef Josiah Citrin and his staff have earned it two Michelin stars. The dining rooms have also been renovated into their present elegant and extremely soothing state only a few years ago.
It didn't take long for Picholine, after it opened in October 1993, to acquire the reputation and aura of an institution. Its original decor included old master paintings and tapestries or reasonable facsimiles of them, chandeliers, and heavy moldings—which made it look as if it had been there forever. While this interior may have conjured up some idea of a Provençal estate, the region is now present primarily in the subtle color scheme of the fabric-covered walls, which recall the variegated tints of the picholine olive: purple, grey, boysenberry and so forth. Chef/proprietor Terrence Brennan had the rooms entirely redecorated in 2006, producing a quieter, simpler, darker interior, which also looks as if it had been there forever, but also looks thoroughly fresh and up-to-date.