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Anatomy of an Icon: The Comme Ça Burger

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When David Myers opened Comme Ça at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the item that kept people coming back was the iconic burger, which was first popularized at David Myer's West Hollywood location. It's been declared by the New York Times as "the perfect burger." At its essence, the burger is actually very simple, though it incorporates a lot of newer methods and ingredients that are typical in the modern day gourmet burger. Originally developed by chef Michael David in LA, Comme Ça's executive chef Brian Howard tells Eater about the ins and outs of the burger, ingredient by ingredient.

1) The Bun: They use a brioche bun, which they actually make in house, so it's very fresh. They cut back a little bit on the butter as compared to a typical brioche, which allows the slight dryness to sop up the moisture and juices that come out of the burger. Texture-wise, it's nice and soft with enough butter flavor that stands up. The brioche bun holds everything together well.

2) The Meat: For ever single burger, there's a whopping nine ounces of beef. They start with prime ground chuck, with a blend of about 85 percent meat to 15 percent fat, which is a good amount of fat. The grind is coarsely ground every day in house, leaving the grind on the larger side for a different texture. It's then seasoned simply with salt and pepper before getting a near sear on the plancha, or steel flattop grill that's common in restaurants. It gets a nice crust on the outside before going into a pan on the stove. From there it's basted with thyme butter and garlic. The ideal way to cook the burger is somewhere between medium rare and medium, but it's all really personal preference.

3) The Cheese: The cheese is aged Wisconsin cheddar. The cheddar itself is very sharp so that it stands up to the meat. They start with a nice thick slide of cheddar and let it melt over the entire patty, creating a veil over it so that there's some cheese with every bite.

4) Toppings: The only topping that they use is a simple slaw. They don't use any tomato or other toppings that are common in other burgers. Starting with finely chopped lettuce, they toss it with garlic aioli and a seasoning blend of garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika for some spice. And then they mix in some finely chopped onions for additional aromatics. There's a good textural contrast from the cheese and meat to the slaw topping. The crunch of the onion and lettuce gives the burger a perfect balance.

Howard says that while the iconic burger was invented in Los Angeles, it's really made its trademark in Vegas. Unlike LA, it's served every day during lunch or dinner, easily serving more than 500 a month. Howard claims to eat the burger once a month to make sure quality is up to snuff. On the side, expect near-ideal fries — russet potatoes cut in-house, blanched and fried in canola oil.
· All Comme Ca Coverage [~ELV~]
· All Burger Week 2013 Coverage [~ELV~]

Comme Ça

3708 Las Vegas Boulevard S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-698-7910 Visit Website

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