The Dark Knight in IMAX and Drinks at Comme Ça

Monday night, Evan and I went out to Universal CityWalk to a special IMAX screening of The Dark Knight and an interview with the sound designer, Richard King. It was great to see the movie again — when we saw it during the summer, it was at a theater in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and we were dealing with a major foot odor issue (ours) that was a bit distracting.

The movie was incredible in IMAX, on the gigantic screen, though I felt the ferry scene lacked all the suspense it had on the first viewing and also brought down the feeling of suspense and urgency during the concurrent scenes. I also didn’t find it nearly as scary, probably because I knew what was coming around each corner. I did get to appreciate the performances and the story more.

The interview afterward was interesting. We learned about some of the different sounds used in the movie and about putting together the sounds for some of the long scenes without music, like the truck chase in the underpass. We also learned about how Richard sometimes finds sounds by accident — like by running his shoe over the end of a treadmill — then starts playing around with the sound to build it into the film.

After the movie, we stopped by Comme Ça, a new restaurant and bar on Melrose, for a drink. Evan had been there before, but it was my first time at the beautiful place decorated with lots of dark wood bookcases, small quirky mirrors, and white chairs and benches. We took a seat at the bar, and looked through the drink specials. The place specializes in prohibition-era cocktails, and there’s a nice selection of alcohols from smaller distilleries, and a very inventive drink mix. I tried out a gin-based drink called The Last Word, and Evan was going to have a Sloe Gin Fizz, but since they were out of Sloe Gin, he had a variation on the drink made with Apple Jack Brandy.

Watching the bartender — really, mixologist — mix the drinks is a treat in itself. He pours out measurements from beaker-like flasks, hand-chips ice, and shakes everything up in a martini shaker before pouring it into a frosted glass. Our bartender, Eugene, also spent a lot of time talking to us about the different drinks on hand, and he even let us sample and compare a few different whiskeys, brandies and bourbons. We also learned about his favorite tequilas (4 Copas is high on his list) and gins (for peppery, he likes Miller’s, for fruity, Junipero).

Since we arrived toward the end of the night — and on a Monday — the bar and restaurant were pretty quiet. I’ve read that it can get pretty busy and noisy in Comme Ça, but for us it was quite a quiet and calm experience. And since the bartender wasn’t overwhelmed, we got a lot of individual attention and really got to see how our drinks were being made.

For round two, we let Eugene pick our drinks. Evan got an Old Fashioned, which was a bit too bourbon-heavy for me, but he liked it; I got one of Eugene’s specialties, a drink with lemon, basil, honey and whiskey. It was delicious. He said another bartender calls it the Melrose Smash, but he’s working on a new name.

We’ll definitely be back to Comme Ça soon. Next time we’ll have to try some of the food — it’s supposed to be delicious, though unfortunately it doesn’t look very veggie friendly.

Sorry I don’t have any photos to share — the movie was supposedly high security (it wasn’t) and they asked us to leave our phones/cameras/etc in the car. I left mine at home.

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