Comme Ca (Review w/ Pics)
:) As usual, the photos are up on my blog: http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2008/...
We've been wanting to try Comme Ca but heard it is super noisy since 1)a lot of "young people" go there and 2)the acoustics is just bad. But today we decided to go there at 5 ish, to avoid all the crowds. (I'm young but averse to loud noise ...)
Only 3 tables were filled when we arrived. On the phone they said we didn't need reservation if we come before 5.30. We were greeted with "do you have reservations?" anyway, but were eventually seated.
They were quick to take drink orders but we asked only for tap water. After this, even though the restaurant was practically empty the service decidedly is. very. slow.
Eventually they took our orders. And then brought us bread. Eventually. But on to the food. Got the roasted beet salad for appetizer:
Very flavorful (if not just a tad salty), and the goat cheese covered in pistachio was excellent. Way better than the one I got at Fraiche recently.
Then also had the Sepia Provencal for appetizer (sauteed squid):
This was also an excellent, flavorful dish. The squid was tender but still firm/not overcooked.
For the entree we ordered the braised lamb shank.
Very nice dish, and the sauce was great. The meat was tender, although I prefer it to be even more tender (I usually enjoy the meat right next to the bone best). The tomato deserves a distinctive mention.
The other entree was the duck confit.
Although it didn't look as good as the lamb this dish was actually excellent. The duck meat was tender, almost as if it fell apart as we cut it. Not at all too dry or too tough, and the skin was perfectly crispy without being burned.
As you may already know, the dessert here is from Boule Patisserie. I've been there once but was disappointed by the service, so I thought this would be a good time to try their stuff again (since the service at Comma Ca is decidedly better - albeit slo~w).
Got the boule cake:
chocolate and hazelnut mousse with cherries covered with dark chocolate. Yummy, though very rich.
And also the brioche pudding:
I like this better, although too rich and too dry at the same time for me to eat without the ice cream. As soon as we're out of the ice cream I could not eat any more ... Too bad, as I did like it.
When we left (at 7 pm) the restaurant was packed and it was getting noisier , although we still saw way more of the 'older crowd'.
8479 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
We arrived at 7:15 for a 7:30 reservation and were seated immediately.
The chef de cuisine at Comme Ca is Michael David who worked both at Cafe Boulud and DB Bistro Moderne.
Our waiter, Andre was superb and we were able to order one course at a time and have a leisurely meal. Essentially we devised our own tasting menu, ordering from the hors d’oeuvres section of the menu.
Soon after our 2 glasses of champagne arrived, a warm baguette appears wrapped in brown paper – delicious and from what I understand baked at Boule, Meyer’s bakery.
First course – a dozen oysters – Malpeques and some from Washington State (I didn’t get the name) – Absolutely perfect – just shucked with plenty of oyster “juice” left in the shell. These were slurping oysters – no need for any sauce or fork. Some of the best oysters I have had in Los Angeles.
Second Course – Tarte Flambee – Comme Ca’s version is a flat cracker-like bread done with fromage blanc, carmelized onions and smoky lardons - wonderful.
Third Course- Brandade de Morue Gratinee – salt cod, piquillo pepper puree on top – this was the dish of the night – absolutely delicious.
Fourth course – Sepia Provencal – Sautéed Squid with Tomatoes and Basil Oil – I am not sure why I wasn’t in love with this dish – maybe too much acidity from the tomatoes. It was good, but ……
Fifth Course – Steak Tartare - hand cut with capers and cornichons with a side order of Pommes Frites – The tartare was excellent on a par with Bistro Jeanty’s in Yountville.
Sixth Course – Roasted Beef marrow and Oxtail jam (the meat shredded and reduced to a soft tenderness) – The oxtail jam was served in a separate casserole and I added it to the roasted beef marrow. Again another winner and something I would order again in a heartbeat.
This was a very good meal with great service. We will definitely go back as there are many items on the menu that I want to try i.e. the glazed sweetbreads, the escargot, the mussels and the duck confit to name a few. They have a huge cheese station at the front of the restaurant, but we decided to keep this a “simple” meal and forgo cheese and dessert.
So we ate there last night. We arrived on time for a 7.30pm reservation which I asked not to be seated near any busing station. We were told to wait in the bar....well forty five minutes later I was getting a little up set. I spoke to Nicholas the manager and he said a few more minutes. So we were still at the bar with the wonderful bartender that is just brillant he makes the most amazing drinks and shows you how. We sat there another fifteen minutes and finally Nicholas showed up with this most delicious pizza I have ever had, but it was a good twenty more minutes before we were seated.
So by now we are not feeling any pain and have two bottles of very fine wine to open. We all ordered appt. and dinner we all decided on the steak frites. The food was excellent but the steak was prepared as asked but I am not sure what quality it was........I do not think it was prime. I had to go look for our red wine glasses........service was good and a pleasant waiter from Miss.
but not always there.
I would go back and give it another try again. Oh by the way I think the best dessert was creme brulle.
Very nice review. The pic's of the food all looked excellent, especially the lamb shank and the Boule cake.
One thing. You seemed to be a little bit put off perhaps that the host / hostess greeted you with "Do you have reservations?" and then noted that you were "eventually seated". Did you think that you were being given lesser service because you lacked reservations (which the restaurant told you were not needed if you came in before 5:30)? I know that anyone at the front desk needs to find out whether or not you have reservations in order to keep their table count straight for other walk ins. So I don't think that was a snarky question, if that is what you were sensing.
Thank you for your review/post. Spousal unit and I will be dining at Comme Ca next week, with our accountant and his wife. I'm a bit nervous regarding the noise factor, and to top it off, our res. is for 8:30 on a Saturday night, but Saturday is the only night that our friends are available to dine out. Wish us luck!