With Odys + Penelope, Sugarfish, Republique, and an outpost of the always-delicious Susie Cakes, La Brea is a prime eating destination. And with the addition of friendly neighborhood eatery, Commerson, the street might just become LA's next restaurant row. Considered a "hidden gem" and "one of the most underrated restaurants in LA," Commerson opened quietly in the Fall with Balthazar and Pastis vet Chef Sascha Lyon. Like some of our other favorite airy, modern restaurants, Commerson's interior is sleek and simple, creating a blank canvas on which to serve their varied menu. With everything from oysters to pasta to steak and plenty of seafood options, there's definitely something for everyone, and everything we had was really tasty. It's no wonder their accolades keep quietly pouring in as they've gain a stronger, local following; their consistently good food, casual yet upscale environment, and very attentive and friendly service are all signals that Commerson is quickly becoming a La Brea neighborhood staple.
Perfect for after-work drinks or a boozy start to your weekend, Commerson's full bar serves a focused wine list and a handful of house cocktails. A few standouts included the Call Me, Maybe, a simple but refreshing mix of gin, pink grapefruit, and agave nectar. They also make their own "Classic Margarita" with Tequila, Lime, and Agave Nectar.
Here's where the real fun begins. We started off with some simply toasted bread and their house made butter, which I would happily buy from them in giant tubs to take home and smear over everything I eat. The bread was perfectly toasted and a bit oily (in a good way), while the butter was so rich, creamy, and flavorful. They also have a high-end selection of cheeses, of which we ordered a few; both were really creamy, simple, and delicious. It was a simple way to begin our meal, but everything was executed beautifully. From the cheese to the bread to the butter, each element was flavorful, luxe, and very high in quality.
We also started off with a round of oysters, which were fresh, nicely chilled, flavorful, and meaty (I hate when you order oysters and pay all of this money for shriveled up little bites). A fresh squeeze of lemon and a bit of their vinegar was all they needed.
Our server kindly informed us that the housemade Caesar Salad was a can't miss item, and they were right. Since it's such a classic dish, I honestly thought I had tried every iteration and interpretation already. But somehow, Commerson surprised me with a Caesar that was extremely fresh, crisp, and ridiculously flavorful. There was plenty of garlic, seasoning, cheese, and a bit of bacon, yet the salad didn't feel drenched or overdone in any of those elements, but was balanced really well. Seriously, it was one of the best Caesar Salads I've ever had.
Getting into their seafood selections, the Charred Octopus was perfectly tender and meaty. The crisp (I want to say sage?) was a lovely textural counterpoint to the octopus, while the creamy mascarpone polenta and puttanesca added some serious flavor and a bit of spice. I liked that the char flavor was evident, but wasn't too strong. A really strong dish.
I'm such a sucker for Butternut Squash Agnolotti, and this one did not disappoint. It was loaded with crunchy pecans and bits of sage, sprinkled with grana padano with hefty chunks of soft butternut squash. The agnolotti itself was quite good, and I loved the sage brown butter sauce. All of the elements really worked together and created a well-balanced dish in terms of flavor and texture, though I think there could have been a higher ratio of pasta and maybe a smaller portion of the accoutrements, as the pasta was really the star of the dish.
To finish off the savory dishes, we had the Seared Scallops, which were lovely. Perfectly seared on the outside and tender on the inside, they were accompanied by cauliflower, artichokes, and truffle. It was a surprisingly light and summer-ready dish, but packed with flavor and really tasty.
For dessert, we had the Meyer Lemon Eton Mess (I'm seeing Eton Mess dishes everywhere these days!). A deconstructed dessert that wasn't overly sweet, it was enhanced by a beautiful meyer lemon curd, meringue, tender pound cake, and a nice whipped creme fraiche.
Overall, our meal at Commerson was great. The food was all really tasty, the atmosphere was laid-back but still upscale, and the service was fantastic. The restaurant (and its staff) operates in such a humble, low-key manner that it really stands out amongst LA's splash restaurant scene, and it's hard not to instantly like everything about it. We're excited to see Commerson doing so well, and would easily come back here anytime for a cozy, neighborhood-friendly meal.