Sunday, October 7, 2012

Life is a Cream at Comme Ca

I am reaping some nice benefits from the college football season. The Cute Gardener warned me that during this time of year he will basically be a denizen of his man cave, of which I can visit to root for opposing teams on the television screen if I obey the standard male coda of game day rules. You know things like not talking about anything else but what’s on the screen during the game, stating the team names correctly, not mucking up his kitchen with anything more complex than a one pot Frito pie, understanding if he doesn’t answer the phone while games are playing, that kind of thing. I can’t really expect to drag him out into the rest of the world during this season unless it’s his idea. And honestly, I don’t mind. I secretly like waking up on Saturday morning to watch Game Day in bed in the dark (where I can squeeze out some extra cuddle time) and I don’t mind eschewing our normal weekly restaurant routine from the rest of the year because he cooks so great anyways and it means more of his yummy garden pasta dishes at home.

It also means that Sunday brunch oftentimes becomes our meal for the week, something we rarely do at other times of year because we can cook our own egg dishes better at home and he doesn’t really tend to eat before dinner on regular days. Today, I got pampered with a trip to Comme Ca, Chef David Myers' West Hollywood-brasserie modeled after the kind of food he likes to cook at home for his family and friends. A nice message from Thoreau on our place mats greeted us into the black wood and white French country home-style d├ęcor. My favorite style of beveled glass mirrors, some with antique purse chains, hung in collage on a wall with music playing from my mind’s favorite songbook: sweet, mellow jazz and slow-slinging forties big band favorites. It made me verbally add a trip to France (accentuated by a recent Anthony Bourdain episode on a trip to Burgundy) onto our couples’ bucket list.

We ordered a cocktail from the elegantly dressed tender of the chic full bar. For me, an Oaxacan Kiss made of mescal, aperol, lemon and fluffy egg white stoked with a generous sprig of mint. For him, a sparkling Greyhound with rose champagne.

We began with a plate of house made charcuterie and divine nut and raisin studded bread. The meats were an indulgent combination of meatiness and fat that layered the tongue perfectly with a lingering dose of savory salt.

He ordered a burger, since it’s been on his burger list for an extremely long time. Swathed with aged cheddar, thick and meaty, it contained his favorite components: leaking pink juice, dirty funky bits of beef, a caramelized sear, and a surprisingly good creamy slaw all stacked between a toasted brioche bun.


I ordered the quiche with shallots, cream and gruyere. It came with a heap of simple, tangy-lemon dressed room temperature leaves that tarted up my taste buds in preparation for the exquisite egg concoction. The crust was the flakiest gem after a year of eating really badly cooked egg dishes. I am glad I braved the order on the assumption that this ex-Patina chef would get it right. I had to remark that the reason I love the French so much is that they can make things out of two or three things combined with world class technique that others strive for, yet fail at, when trying to get to creative or contemporary.

Thoreau is right. It’s not what you see, but how you see it. I am not going to complain about my mate’s football mistress when it provides me just another experiential reason to discover more about how we click and flex to life’s wonderful experiences. The post-meal collapsing on the couch in a nice food coma to watch the exhilarating footage of the American Cup was a nice cap to a sports and jazz filled weekend. Cheers to lazy Sunday Fundays!

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