Speakeasy at Comme Ca

Chef David Myers was just six years old when he became inspired to experiment in the kitchen after watching a woman cook eggs on TV. He pushed away his cereal bowl and took out a carton of eggs. “I cracked a couple into a pan, tasted them and wasn’t satisfied, so I opened a couple more and seasoned them. Still not satisfactory. Only after I finished the entire carton of eggs, did I finally perfect the taste. Later, I was ill from consuming too many eggs,” shared David Myers with me at the opening of his newly renovated French Brasserie bar 18a, inside West Hollywood’s Comme Ca restaurant.  Many would recognize his handsome face from the television shows Iron Chef and as a co-host on Shopping with Chefs.

Myers fondly remembers his grandparent’s garden. “I rarely ate store bought or frozen food growing up,” stated Myers. “Our family meals consisted of fresh ingredients.”

After high school he was inspired to major in business in college. His favorite part of college was not studying, but throwing dinner parties. He didn’t have beer parties with kegs and chips; instead he prepared gourmet meals for his friends. After one year of International business school, he decided to follow his passion and go to the “school of hard knocks” by working with some of the best chefs in America and Paris. “Charlie Trotter in Chicago taught me the art of cooking,” enthused Myers. Also, “Daniel Boulud in New York was a great teacher.”

His new bar, 18a is named after the 18th amendment Prohibition. This speakeasy period forced people to get creative with their libations. At Comme Ca they create their cocktails from scratch in small batches, squeezing their own fruit juices and using blocks of ice to chill, but not dilute the drinks. It’s a neighborhood restaurant that serves up unique cocktails, fresh innovative dishes and a reasonable Hourglass menu from 5 to 7 p.m. every evening.

The cutest waitress, Erin dressed in prohibition period attire, came around with trays of cocktails I have never experienced.  There was the Hot Pepper Smash with Bourbon, Thai chile, lemon wedge, honey and mint. It’s muddled, shaken, strained and topped with crushed ice. Another was one of Comme Ca’s specials, the Doe-Eyed doll with cognac, aperol and lemon.  It’s served in a champagne glass. I also sipped The Penicillin with its blended Laphroaig 10- year Scotch, ginger, honey, and a hint of lemon. Honestly, this drink could cure any ailment for at least one hour.

Nibbling on adorable Peruvian Bay scallops ceviche served with caramelized peaches and fennel ($9) and the pulled pork sliders with pickled shallots, age Gruyere and arugula ($8) put a smile on my face. They also serve Fried oysters with a gribiche sauce ($9) and Dungeness crab croquettes with harissa aioli ($8) on the new Hourglass menu.

For those who would prefer beer or wine instead of the “hard” stuff, they offer an interesting selection of Belgium beers and French and California blanc’s and rouge wines.  Plates of fromage are also on the new menu and a nice accompaniment with the wine. There is a selection of three different cheeses ($15), and a variety of five ($25). Add a glass of Kopke “10 year” for $6. The Charcuterie plates are served with homemade pickles, mustard and crostini. 

Cocktails on the Hourglass menu are $6 and range from a Vodka Daisy, mojito, or rye smash with rye, lemon, honey and mint. Before we left, we said goodbye to Myers and asked about his new endeavor at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. “We are scheduled to open the restaurant on Dec. 15th,” shared Myers.

Between traveling to Tokyo, Japan to check on his Comme Ca restaurant in Asia, creating new menus in Los Angeles, overseeing his Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa and supervising his new Comme Ca restaurant in Las Vegas, Myers is a very busy chef enjoying the payoff from his arduous years of training in various kitchens around the globe. 8479 Melrose Ave. (323)782-1104.

Beverly Press article via Comme a.

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