Comme Ca - good, but not as great as before
Just a brief comment on a recent trip to Comme Ca. My wife and I ordered two appetizers - butter lettuce salad and onion soup, which were both fine.
The problem was the two entrees.
Scottish salmon was tender with a nice crisp seared exterior, but it was too salty and not as buttery as the last time I tried it. The sides were problematic too - mushy polenta, and sauteed mushrooms which managed to be boring even for a mushroom fanatic.
And then the famous burger. While respectable, a burger which is clearly ordered medium should not be blood-red and oozing red-tinged liquid all over the plate. And again, the saltiness was excessive for my palate. The slaw topping is interesting, but for me doesn't rank up there with caramelized onions. While I am far from a burger conneisseur, I enjoyed my burgers more at Golden State.
So overall, my message to chef Myers is: cut down the salt, work on the sides.
I've had a couple of excellent meals at Comme Ca over the last two weeks. The bone marrow and oxtail jelly appetizer was very good but the oxtail definitely had a hefty amount of salt in it. Entrees of braised short rib on one night, and rack of lamb on another were great and not too salty. My dinner companion had the Beef Stroganoff one night -- kind of a deconstructed version -- and it was terrific. Have not had the polenta or mushrooms, so I can't comment on them. But I take your point on the burger -- it is almost always served on the rare side, medium rare is nigh on to rare and medium is plenty rare on their scale. If it comes in too rare for your taste you can always send it back. That has happened a couple of times to folks I've dined with and the staff was always quick to make certain the problem was corrected. And over the past 6 months I've had the same experience with seasoning on the burger that you had -- fine on a couple of occasions, but overly salty on another. (Seems to be going around -- had a burger at Westside Tavern this weekend that was almost raw -- though ordered medium -- and very salty.) Comme Ca is still one of my favorite places, but there can definitely be some bumps from time to time.
Interesting - I had the exact opposite experience with my burger at Comme Ca - I ordered it rare and it came medium. I sent it back and the second burger came back medium rare. By the time the third burger came, my fellow diners had all finished their meals and the server's sarcastic tone suggested that he or the kitchen thought I was being a pain in the ass.
Reminds of a high-end steakhouse in Toronto I went to where I ordered a steak black and blue and it came medium/medium rare. I sent it back and the server came back with it a minute later saying that the chef looked at it and said that I was wrong and that it was rare. I called over the manager who didn't know what was going on and asked him what temp it looked like, and he said medium, and thinking that I was complaining about it being too rare, explained that at their restaurant, medium does have a bit of pink. You can guess where things went from there.
I was just at Comme Ca and i thought the food was good as ever. I had the onion soup and It's still one of the best in town and the pork chop was fantastic. It was brined and cooked perfectly pink and amazing sides of apple and celery root and greens. My date had the endive salad which wasn't as good as when we first tasted it with mixture of lettuce and caramelized endives. She then had the bouillabaisse and it was fantastic. Only issue was the snobby manager and way too serious attitude of servers. When did Comme ca become such a gay centric restaurant? It always had the cool mixture but it was little too over to the other side when we were there. It's little too much when all the kissing and grabbing makes the other guests little uncomfortable.