All-Star Chef Josiah Citrin Shares His Haute Secrets to LA

Josiah Citrin

Josiah Citrin is a name that’s synonymous with haute cuisine. The two-star Michelin award-winning chef is the owner of California’s highly-acclaimed Mélisse restaurant in Santa Monica, Charcoal Venice and Dave’s Doghouse in the Staples Center downtown. After working for some of L.A.’s finest restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois on Main, Granita, Patina and Pinot Bistro, he then launched JiRaffe in 1996 alongside childhood friend and fellow chef Raphael Lunetta before debuting Mélisse (named after the French word for lemon balm), and selling his interest in JiRaffe to Lunetta; Charcoal Venice and Dave’s Doghouse followed suit. When not working in one of his kitchens, Citrin enjoys family time, surfing with his sons and cross-fit training; he also supports a number of charitable events each year, cooking at the Wolfgang Puck Cancer Society Event, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, and fundraisers for Planned Parenthood, Special Olympics, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Cure Autism Now. This coming weekend on March 12, Citrin will participate in the third annual All-Star Chef Classic’s Grill and Chill event at L.A. Live. In advance of this all-star event, the master chef star down with Haute Living to share his haute secrets to the City of Angels.

All Star Chef Classic 2015Photo Credit: All-Star Chef Classic/AEG


Where were you born: Los Angeles

How long in LA:  My whole life

Neighborhood: Venice/Santa Monica

Occupation: Chef

Favorite Restaurant: Mélisse, with Charcoal Venice as a close second

Best Sushi: My all time favorite sushi spot was Mori, before Mori Onodera left.  Now, it would be Urusawa

Best Italian: Angelini Osteria

Best dessert: I don’t really have a sweet tooth, so for me, the best dessert is a well curated cheese plate.  If I do have a craving for something sweet, I’d say the best dessert is Nancy Silverton’s budino

Best place for a romantic date: Lunch at Nobu in Malibu on a sunny spring day

Best place for a power business meeting: Lunch at Providence

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? A room in the Palisades wing at the Fairmont Santa Monica

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Isaia

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: I jump around depending on what watch I’m looking for

Favorite Charity Event: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade

Favorite Cultural Event: The release of Beaujolais wine 

Best Steakhouse: Charcoal Venice

Best Pizza: Pizzeria Mozza

Best Lunch: Spago Beverly Hills

Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Equinox Marina del Rey

Best Massage: Dr. Shelly Boston

Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber black car

Best Museum/Exhibit: LACMA / Breathing Light

Describe your city in three words: I only need two. Dog Town

All-around favorite spot in Los Angeles:  Zuma Beach

Best Aspect of Los Angeles: It’s a great place to be because of the weather and proximity to different places.  Living here, I am close to the beach and the city, and I can get to the snow in almost 4 hours.  It’s a great mix of sunshine, city life, nightlife and culture