Thursday, April 8, 2010

Comme Ca: Time flies when you are eating cheese

It was supposed to be “just drinks.” A glass of wine or two to accompany our conversation that doesn’t actually need any assistance from alcohol. My girl friends and I can be just as brazen and inappropriate sober as we are when we are marinating our mouths with white wine – for better or worse.

Given these circumstances, I should have known that it wouldn’t be “just drinks” when I arrived at Comme Ca at 6:30 pm last Friday evening. The downside to having entertaining friends that are entertaining regardless of their level of inebriation is that a plan to meet for “just drinks” will never actually involve “just drinks.” While we may start out with a bottle of Rosé or simple glass of Sauvignon Blanc, our stay in whatever bar or restaurant will inevitably outlast the time it takes to drink those beverages – again, for better or worse.

On Friday evening, our extended stay proved to be “for better.” Partially because of the attentive presence of our charming server Barrett, who gave the most compelling specials rundown I’ve ever heard (as in, I actually paid attention and didn’t need him to repeat anything), partially because the sommelier and fromagier bathed our egos with attention, and partially because of that overly familiar adage, “time flies when you are having fun.”

For the purposes of my night at Comme Ca, however, I’m going to amend that adage to “time flies when you are drinking wine and eating cheese.”

While I can’t recall the names of the three cheeses our fromagier, or “cheese expert,” selected for our fromage plate (another downside to having entertaining friends is that they are wonderfully distracting), I can recall feeling as though I could stay nestled away in our booth table forever. The impeccably presented plate ($15) was fondly put together with various accompaniments to further accentuate the experience of eating each cheese. A sheep’s milk selection was crowned with dried cherries, a refined blue cheese was lovingly placed in a pool of sweet honey, and a sultry brie-like wedge was paired with golden raisins. To marry everything together, our fromagier dotted the center of the platter with a curry-spiked kumquat puree that accosted our taste buds with a bright hue of contrasting flavor. Coupled with the warm French baguettes from La Brea Bakery, the cheese plate was simple yet spectacular – the type of thing I wish I could linger over every evening.

Fueled by fromage and later, an order of potato chip-esque pommes frites with an addictive lemon aioli ($7), our conversation continued to fill the space of the modern French bistro until well after 9:00 pm. I had halibut marinating at home and a host of other things “to do” prior to my departure for Orange County for the Easter holiday, but all I wanted to do was talk, laugh, drink, and live like a French woman who nibbles and sips and completely loses track of the time. At the end of the evening, I felt all the better -- not worse -- because of it.

Comme Ca
8479 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 782-1104


The Duo Dishes said...

Oh La Brea Bakery, such delicious breads. Those cheese plates look too good to be true. Who doesn't love cheese?

bagnatic said...

time sure flies with good food and company. it is a wonderful time vaccuum to be in. those fries look AMAZING.

Esi said...

I'm so in love with the fromagier at Comme Ca. I have never seen anyone more enthusiastic about cheese.

Diana said...

Chrystal & Amir - I actually hated cheese until college! Used to order my pizza double pepperoni, light on cheese. I was such a foolish child.

Amy - The aioli sauce with the fries was unreal! I wanted to lick the container clean!

Esi - He was so enthusiastic! Made it all the more fun to eat! :)

Anna A. said...

TALF, you went from razor-friendly hippie to cheese-head in a matter of a week. I just hope you stay cheesey for the next reunion with your fellow TALF =)

Jennifer Dawn Rogers said...

I love Comme Ca!!!! Sounds so fun!

Gastronomer said...

Cheese with fruits and honey are infinitely superior to cheese alone. You're gonna love the brie cheese course at Ludo Bites!

Diana said...

Anna - haha, I didn't even realize that my last three posts were all about cheese! I guess I am a bit of a cheesehead. :)

Jen - It was my first time there - loved it! I definitely want to go back!

Cathy - I can't wait! Bring on the brie! :) :) :)