Thursday, April 26, 2012

There Is an "I" in Special

Comme Ça not only let's you use the word cedilla and learn the html code to make one, it makes you very happy if you eat there, as we did on a recent LA excursion*. On the restaurant's website David Myers claims, “This is the kind of food I cook at home, for myself and my friends,” which makes you wish you hung out at his home and were his friend. For this is French brasserie food, and while I'm bad at languages, I'm pretty sure that word translates as "comfort" or perhaps "contented sigh." There are cocktails that will set the evening's tone (tone=pleased smiley). On a blustery night there's nothing better than a shot of Penicillin, particularly since I'm allergic to the drug itself. This, instead, is blended scotch, lemon, honey, ginger--as if that's not good enough, the bartender pulls out an actual mister (no, not as in Ed or T, but one of these) and delicately sprays Islay scotch over the top, as if a wisp of peaty fog drifted in. The only weird part is this is served over block ice, literally a huge chip off a larger block, which makes getting every last drop of the drink out past the berg in your old-fashioned sized glass a bit tricky. Chryss got some deserved R & R, sort of a Manhattan slightly south of the border, with its rye, reposado, lemon, agave nectar, and ginger served straight up (and therefore no danger to its drinker).

And while her moules and frites were all anyone could ask for (ok, we did ask for a second helping of baguette to sop all that good sauce), I ordered the far-from-just-in-name-only special you can spy above. That's squid ink tagliatelle with lobster and fava beans. That's about three of my favorite things to eat. Each element lived up to the goodness it can be, the lobster actual poached to perfection chunks of meat, the favas the emblem of spring they are, the pasta dark and rich with squidishness. (For some reason the server was selling the dish claiming ink pasta has no flavor, but we all know that's just wrong.) If I had to make a lover's quarrel with the dish it would be the pasta turned a bit into a sticky pile as the dish cooled at the table--perhaps I didn't eat quickly enough, or perhaps a bit more olive oil or butter was needed (not that the dish needed more richness).

If you were wondering, yes, this is the kind of place where you order an apple tart tatin.

*That Dog! Together again, and with a string section and doing things quiet and fucking up (to the point of saying "oh fuck" mid-song) and being damn charming about it. Great show, and we even scored first row seats at the Largo, a mere couple of blocks from Comme Ça.

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