Comme Ca's New Hourglass Happy Hour: $6 Cocktails, $8 Poutine

Cocktail waitress by Caroline on Crack

Cocktail waitress with the cure for what ails ya: a huuuge glass of Penicillin.

West Hollywood restaurant Comme Ca has been praised for its excellent cocktails but its tiny bar area was such a turnoff for the happy hour set. Fortunately, that may change with this remodel. Now drinkers have more elbow room with dining tables cleared away to make space for bar-dedicated tables. No more of this crowding the bar, hoping to get the bartender’s attention. At least that is the hope.

I was invited to check out the restaurant’s relaunched happy hour menu aka The Hourglass Menu which is available Monday through Sunday from 5 to 7pm. Most of the tables in front of the bar had been cleared away to make room for fellow media types. Food tables showcasing the happy hour fare — pulled pork sliders, crab croquettes and fried oysters — were placed along the wall and by the bar while servers passed around additional appetizers and drinks.

Mixing and mingling at Comme Ca happy hour by Caroline on Crack.

Mixing and mingling at Comme Ca happy hour.

But when I first got there, I naturally made a bee-line for the bar. Unfortunately, some people took up the stools there effectively hindering any easy access to the bartender. In addition to that were two chatty girls who were flirting with the bartender and would not leave even after he finally gave them their drinks. Shoo! I waited patiently. Maybe he didn’t see me. That tends to happen when I’m out anywhere by myself. Seems the presence of one diner/drinker isn’t as urgently felt as that of two.

In any case, as I stood there, now, not so patiently waiting and willing that bartender to look up at me, excuse himself from the charming ladies and ask what I’d like to drink, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is this how it will be during happy hour?” Of course there’s no way of knowing until I come back on a non-media night, in which case I’ll keep you posted.

As it was, the general manager fortunately came around my way with a tray of drinks. Grateful, I grabbed one and scurried off to an empty corner. There, I set up camp while servers brought me more drinks to try and food to sample.

Doe-Eyed Doll cocktail by Caroline on Crack

Doe-Eyed Doll cocktail with cognac, Aperol and lemon.

I couldn’t tell if they were even offering the happy hour cocktails, of which there are only three — Vodka Daisy, Mojito and Rye Smash — because only the cocktails from the regular menu came my way. My faves, which was basically all that I tried, were the Doe-Eyed Doll, a bittersweet concoction made with cognac, Aperol and lemon and served up; the classic Penicillin garnished with candied ginger; and a Southern Moonshine Punch which wasn’t on the menu at all but was delivered in a glass jar. The Doll was the sipping sort while I could have easily guzzled the Penicillin and punch.

The regular cocktails run $12 each while the Hourglass specials are $6. With such a limited happy hour cocktail selection, you may be tempted to stray into the pricier territory but the half-price wine glasses and impressive beer selection might help you stay your budgeted course. They have about 16 red and white wines ($4-$9) to choose from as well as the likes of North Coast Old Rasputin Stout for $4 and Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Ale for $6! If, however, you want to splurge on a cocktail, the Bridgetown Twist with rye, gin, falernum, Angostura will give you your money’s worth in potency and deliciousness.

Pulled Pork Slider by Caroline on Crack

Pulled Pork Slider

The happy hour food menu doesn’t seem to be as nice to your wallet, though, considering its $8 crab croquettes and $9 fried oysters, but the general manager assured me that the $8 Poutine, which I didn’t get to see or taste, is a real deal with its hefty portion of pomme frites, Vermont white cheddar curds, sausage gravy and sunny side-up eggs. Hmm, will definitely have to check that out.

In any case, the extra space has definitely made me reconsider the Comme Ca for a happy hour spot. Now only if I could make it across town in time to hit that.

Comme Ca
8479 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, California 90069 (map)
(323) 782-1104
Facebook: Comme Ca
Twitter: @atcommeca

4 Responses to Comme Ca's New Hourglass Happy Hour: $6 Cocktails, $8 Poutine
  1. Diana
    November 29, 2010 | 10:23 am

    I’ve actually gone to Comme Ca’s happy hour a couple times and it’s been pretty quiet! I definitely think if you can make it to WeHo in time, you should check it out on a non-media event night. The poutine is a bit intense for me, but it’s a solid dish for $8!

  2. Food GPS
    November 29, 2010 | 10:25 am

    Funny observation about the bar scene. Also, nice use of “Shoo.” That word doesn’t get nearly enough play.

  3. Caroline on Crack
    November 29, 2010 | 2:24 pm

    Diana,
    I definitely have to make more of an effort as it seems worth it for the drink options alone.

    Food GPS,
    Hang out with me and you’ll hear “Shoo” a lot. Heh.

  4. […] Dozois of Neve Ice, who used to work behind the stick at Comme Ca and Church & State, had previously said that he wasn’t about stepping on another […]

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