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VegasEats: Comme Ça at The Cosmopolitan

By JohnH on Wednesday, 22nd December 2010 3:13am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 6

   

Comme Ca at Cosmopolitan

For all intents and purposes, I shouldn't have had lunch at David Myers' Comme Ça [Pronounced 'comb saah' - Ed] last Thursday. I should have been blazing my way across the Mojave or sitting at the M getting my final gambling jones out before I headed back to sunny miserably rainy Southern California. And yet, by an odd quirk of fate and the opportunity to tack an extra night onto my stay at The Cosmopolitan, I found myself joining VT super friend JohnD for an unexpectedly extraordinary lunch at Cosmo's attempt at a younger, sexier, and hipper version of Bouchon.

How is it younger, sexier, and hipper than the city's venerable bastion of French bistronomy? Well, let's start with the room. Yes, it's loud - it's really too loud - but everything in the place exudes sex appeal. From the slate-grey-with-spurts-of-gold-and-red color scheme to the customer-drawn chalk murals by the restrooms and the drenched-in-red, Strip-side terrace, Comme Ça pulsates with a energy that is just begging for me to come up with some other hyphenate that might convey its sensuality in a truer fashion. This room is sexy.

Oh, and that extends to the people. Like a Light Group restaurant or a Wynncore nightclub, every single human being in the restaurant is gorgeous. To give an example, JohnD spent quite a bit of time ruminating on just how, and I quote, "oogle-worthy" our hostess was. However, it wasn't just beauty that really characterized the service staff. I kid you not, our waitress was one of the most knowledgeable - whether it be about the restaurant's culinary offerings or various goings-on in the Vegas restaurant industry - servers I've encountered in this city. In order to test her skills at a newly opened restaurant, I tried to quiz her on three various menu items and received three well-informed and exacting recommendations on each selection. Smart, sexy, and astute? Hot damn.

Onto the food. Did I mention that almost every single aspect of this restaurant just bleeds - get it, because of the red terrace? - sexy? Yeah, that extends to the food. I really shouldn't describe a hamburger like I'm writing a Penthouse Forum letter, but Sweet Mother of Jesus, their eponymous Comme Ça Burger was an orgasmic explosion of deliciousness. With ground beef sourced not only from one exacting blend of beef, but also taken from only one cow per "grinding batch," the burger is just a tender, melt in your mouth study of how beef alone can achieve greatness. Mix that with a house dressing, crisp lettuce, and right amount of onions, and you've got a thing of absolute beauty.

The frites? Yeah, the ones served with mayonnaise, a la "Pulp Fiction," were just as stunning. Probably not as good as those Bouchon fries that Bourdain once gushed about on No Reservations, but all the same, they were still the crisp-but-fluffy bits of heaven one would expect them to be. Side note: While I didn't get a chance to sample his Comme Ça Grilled Cheese or Frisee Salad, JohnD remarked that the former was uh-mazing and the latter good, but not as good as the one he's had at Bouchon.

A word also needs to be said about Comme Ça's 18A cocktail selection. The restaurant literally foists a ton of attention on the fact that their entire specialty cocktail menu has been inspired by Prohibition and the 18th Amendment. Thus, you'll see a "heavy influence on ryes, bourbons, scotch, and other liquors popular at the time." What that ends up meaning for the regular drinker is that any attempt at ordering a drink mixed with vodka ends in a curt, "Vodka wasn't imported into the United States during Prohibition and we've made an attempt to exclude it because of that fact."

We'll see how long that embargo on American's most popular spirit lasts - I spied a bottle of Chopin sitting on the bar as John and I left - but with that newly found knowledge in my back pocket, I swiftly ordered a "Royal Mexican Firing Squad." With tequila, lime-juice, and grenadine, the thing is clearly a reinvention of a Tequila Sunrise, but was also surprisingly inspired and refreshing. With the added bite of the lime-juice, the thing really hit the spot. In fact, it was so good that when MikeE dropped by the table halfway through our meal, he had a sip of my drink and ordered one for himself. Moreover, I think I heard through the grapevine that Adm. Hunter Hillegas ordered the very same drink when he dined at Comme Ça the next day. Anyone else spot a trend? Smart, classy people ordering a smart, classy drink. That, or we all just wanted something familiar that was made with light colored liquor. Not quite sure on that one, actually.

And that was Comme Ça: sexy food, sexy drinks, and an even sexier staff. Couple that with the fact that my check for an entrée and two drinks clocked in at less than $50 before tip and that John's salad, sandwich, and cocktail came in at about the same price, and you've got a restaurant thatís serving up incredibly sexy food in a sexy environment at a sensually affordable price. I'll be back. Droool.



Tagged: cosmopolitan   dining   bouchon   comme ca   





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Comments & Discussion:

Was looking at going here for lunch one day. Can't wait to hear my history lesson about Coke Zero and prohibition days.

You got me at the Frites with Mayo.

It seems natural to compare this place to Mon am Gabi at Paris, both in terms of menu, location, and view. Even for drinks, 18A can be contrasted to the inside Belgian beer bar at Gabi. I almost wonder if this was intentional, given that Gabi has been one of the most successful restaurants in the world over the last 15 years.

I really like Mon Ami Gabi at Paris and for my next trip, I may have to eat at both Mon Ami Gabi and Comme Ça. I really love the frites at Mon Ami Gabi, especially with the Steak Bordelaise, as the frites on the bottom of the stack soak in the Bordelaise sauce.

A Prohibition inspired cocktail list is right up my alley. There seems to be as of late, a trend towards "speakeasy" style bars or bars with drinks inspired by the speakeasies of the Prohibition era.

It isn't so much that you can't get a vodka drink, but it isn't one of the spirits offered on 18A. It wouldn't make much sense to have a Prohibition-era drink list when vodka didn't rise to popularity in the states until the mid 50's (which I've always thought was strange, given the Cold War attitudes of the day). 18A does have some damn fine Gin drinks if you need the clear. Just imagine you're an extra in Boardwalk Empire.

Try to order a Mexican Firing Squad Deconstructed. A shot each of tequila, lime juice, and grenadine, which has been a traditional way of drinking south of the border for decades. Order a good tequila and alternate sips instead of slamming it. PS...Cosmopolitan doesn't use Rose's Grenadine, opting to make it in-house with a pomegranete base...the result is pinkish and comparitively delicious. I make it at home with a few Hibiscous petals thrown in for color and aroma.

Parchedeath mentioned beers...There are no beer taps at Comme Ca, opting instead for American Microbrews.

I went to Comme Ça for dinner two nights ago. Also had the "Royal Mexican Firing Squad." While waiting for dinner, I took said drink out on the terrace to watch the Bellagio fountains. They had heaters out and a few people were having their meals on the terrace. It was a little to chilly for me, though.



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