LA BREA AVE DINING GEM TURNS THREE
La Brea Avenue has seen quite the revival over the years, first with Rascal in 2011, then with the addition of chic shops, which replaced the rows of rug and antique stores, followed by posh eateries like République, Sugarfish, Sycamore Kitchen, and Odys + Penelope. And now celebrating its third year, Commerson, a popular neighborhood bistro, is yet another reason to pay a visit to the Mid-Wilshire district.
I live in the neighborhood and I’m so happy to have so many wonderful options to dine and drink at—all walking distance from me. Commerson is practically at the corner of La Brea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard and it will definitely see its profile rise even more when the Metro’s long-awaited Purple Line is finally up and running.
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with The Echo cocktail—a blend of hibiscus, charcoal infused vodka, maple syrup, apple, and ginger. Kudos to the bar staff on this drink as I’m not a vodka guy and I found this to be a find vodka drink. It’s a little sweet but in a good way.
Solid starters include the West Coast Oysters, which are just lovely, as well as the Persimmon Salad with endive, frisse, baby arugula, Point Reyes blue cheese, candied walnuts, and pomegranate vinaigrette—absolutely wonderful. It’s rich taste is perfect and I loved the combination of walnuts and blue cheese.
A menu favorite of mine is the Grilled Spanish Octopus with haricot verts, cipollini onions, cranberry beans, chili flakes, arugula pesto, and lemon bread crumbs. It’s a generous and hearty serving that’s damn tasty. I loved the sweet onions and the earthiness of the fava beans. Delicious!
The new seasonal menu also includes Butternut Agnolotti with parmigiano Reggiano, and brown butter sage. In the past, I’ve had the similar sweet potato agnolotti, which was delightful.
While other solid cocktails include classics like the Sazerac (nice and boozy), Negroni, Boulevardier, and Manhattan, I walked away a fan of The Advocate made with Rittenhouse Rye, Schladerer Edel-Kirch black forrest cherry liquor, St. Germain, and hefeweizen. I’m not a big fan of beer cocktails but this drink paired perfectly with the Wild Pacific Shrimp & Chorizo Burger. Prepared with avocado, pepper jack, alfalfa sprouts, and sambal, the burger may sound weird or even gross to some but it’s tasty I a have to say. And the pairing with The Advocate is genius, although I must confess it was a total coincidence and luck on my part that it happened. These two need to go hand in hand—take my word for it.
In addition to the burger, the 10oz Flat Iron Australian Wagyu steak is a terrific entrée item. Served with farmers market vegetables, compound butter and red wine sauce, this cut is just so pleasing. Pair this with a glass of red wine and your taste buds will be in heaven.
Winning side dishes include the delicious grilled rainbow carrots, and, of course, you can’t go wrong with truffle fries.
If you save room for dessert, the Carrot Cake with ginger crème fraiche bavarois, caramelized white chocolate whipped cream, and cream cheese ice cream is a crowd pleaser. I just loved it.
For anyone around Miracle Mile or Mid-Wilshire, get to know and love Commerson. For anyone else looking for a solid eats and drinks in the area, Commerson is not to be overlooked.
Commerson is located at 788 S. La Brea Avenue. Open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 5pm to 11pm; Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 12am. Happy Hour occurs 5pm to 7pm and Weekend Brunch is offered from 10am to 3pm. Call 323-813-3000. Valet parking available. Two hour validated parking is offered for free in building’s garage—enter at 8th Street and Sycamore.
Photography Courtesy of: Commerson
Story by: Jose Martinez