David Myers’ new restaurant, Comme Ça, already has generated tons of buzz on the boards. As a classic bistro/brasserie, it fills a niche in LA.

It has had a bit of a schizo personality in its initial days, though—Woolsey’s review begins: “Comme Ça has the best-smelling bathrooms in all of Los Angeles. The toilet chambers have a beautiful floral-citrus perfume pumped in, as well as soft, strange, almost fairy-tale music. The men’s and women’s toilets share a unisex wash area, where the beds of the sinks are lined with river rocks.”

But while loving attention has been paid to certain areas of Comme Ça, others seem like they were just slapped together; the bucketlike stainless-steel chairs at the tables by the bar and the white plastic gardenlike chairs were cited by several. And though dishes like the roasted bone marrow appetizer are meticulously thought out, the desserts are complete afterthoughts.

The best bet on the traditional menu is probably the steak frites—everyone loves the french fries, which have a meaty flavor that recalls the old McDonald’s fried-in-beef-tallow version (Julia Child’s favorite). French onion soup is just as it should be: a superb onion concentration with sweet undertones, along with rich strings of Gruyère.

The aforementioned beef marrow, served with oxtail jam, is gelatinous and creamy, and the rich oxtail jam is flavored with orange peel. Salmon with gnocchi parisienne is nicely seasoned and excellent, duck confit with red cabbage is very good, but the spätzle is kinda bland. Crispy skate grenobloise is also a standout.

The real star here could be the cheese bar, authentic to the point of putting off other diners with its stench.

Bouillabaisse has impeccably fresh whitefish, shrimp, and mussels but lacks depth of flavor; so does coq au vin. Sepia (cuttlefish) provençal is drowned in a sweet tomato sauce that’s more like a jam. Bouef bourguignon is oversalted.

Service is great, very attentive—if a little too enthusiastic. Everything on the menu, according to the servers, is the best in town.

The wine list doesn’t thrill anyone, and the bartending situation is a bit odd—there’s no cocktail list, but the resident “mixologist” will mix anything to meet your mood. Could be nice if you’re in the mood—or, if you’re not into the interactive thing, not.

The dessert list seems pretty much copied from Boule, for better or for worse.

Dinner for two runs about $150 with tax.

Comme Ça [Mid-City]
8479 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Board Links: Ça Va
Un Billet Doux pour Comme Ça
Comme Ca
Comme Ca Just Say Ahhhh……

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