Archives for category: Chef Ludo Lefebvre

The first all-foie gras dinner I attended was in October 2011 at Animal and ever since that dinner my love for foie gras has only grown. In fact, I’ll be attending another foie gras dinner on Monday, May 21 at Son of a Gun. So far this has definitely been my favorite all-foie gras dinner. All the dishes were creative and incredibly delicious and it surpassed the high expectations I had.

Oysters, Oyster Shell Gelee, Foie Gras Terrine, Rye Toast, Camembert (Chef Ludo Lefebvre)

Powdered Terrine, Celery Root baked in Salt & Wild Fennel Branch, Coffee, Oro Blanco (Chef Michael Voltaggio)

Foie Gras Soup, Black Pepper Crackers, Seared Foie Gras, Baby Turnips (Chef Roland Passot)
A simple foie gras dish cooked perfectly and omg, that soup. Grace and I were jokingly saying that she should go to the kitchen with her cup and say “please sir, I want some more”.

Foie Gras Beignet, Coca-Cola Caramel, Corn Mayo (Chef Ludo Lefebvre)
Um, so… I had to literally shove the whole beignet in my mouth fast since my dinner companions were greedily eyeing it. I’m obsessed with beignets so of course, if you put foie gras in it my obsession multiplies by 100. Everyone at the table said this was one of the best dishes that they’ve ever had. A bold statement since we all eat a lot.

Foie Gras Ssam, Rhubarb Char-Siu, Herbs, Green Curry, Peanuts (Chefs Vinny Dotolo & John Shook)
This was a favorite at the first foie gras dinner at Animal so I was very excited to see it again. The flavors were exactly the same and it was just as delicious as the first time.

Beef Rossini “Tongue in Cheek” (Chef Michael Voltaggio)

Foie Gras Icebox Cake, Fermented Raspberry, Citrus, Yogurt, Hazelnut (Chefs Vinny Dotolo & John Shook)
I need this to be my wedding cake.

Foie Gras Night at Animal // 435 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90048 // 323.782.9225

xox Joanna

Before I talk about my amazingly delicious dining experience at Best of LudoBites: Foie Gras Night, here are some reasons why I have been MIA:

1. I got bored. Which actually happens quite frequently. I put 110% into whatever I’m interested in at that moment to a point where it becomes annoying and unfortunately, I quickly get sick of it. And frankly, I got sick of talking about food. Compared to most food bloggers my dining experience has been limited and while I may know a little too much information about Tom Ford’s life, what I know about chefs are very limited. My taste buds are not snobby and yes guys, I do eat El Taurino quite frequently and enjoy it. (Carne asada burrito, no beans, with sour cream and cheese. Green and red sauce on the side.) As long as my mouth is happy eating good food, I’m fine dining at a 5-star restaurant or at a questionable hot dog stand on the street.
2. LA in Stilettos was having an identity crisis. Food blog? No. Fashion blog? No. Lifestyle blog? Too general. What is it? I still don’t have the answer to the question. There’s plenty of food blogs you can check out if you want detailed information about where to dine at and what to order and there’s gorgeous fashion blogs where you can really draw inspiration from. Unfortunately, as of now, LA in Stilettos is neither. But I do think Grace and I have something special to offer.
3. Busy with life. I didn’t realize how much time blogging took up and with my upcoming wedding, I’ve had 0 energy and interest. You would also think that 2 people running this blog would mean twice as many posts, but Grace is just as busy as I am finishing courses to graduate early, and working a part-time internship.
4. Does anyone read this?

But despite the reasons that I listed (and others I haven’t), I’ve kind of missed blogging. I may not be a great writer, I’m still working on being a better photographer, and my style may seem just okay, but I’m going to keep blogging. I have no idea where this blog is going, but we all have to start somewhere. Hopefully with age, this blog will only get better (kind of like George Clooney).

——

If I die of a heart attack at the age of 26, please feel free to sue California on my behalf. (A says suing California over my death by foie gras incident isn’t possible, but whatever, I’m going to stick by it.) With the ridiculous foie gras ban going into effect on July 1, 2012, I’ve been consuming an abnormal amount of foie gras. If I’m at a restaurant and there’s foie gras on the menu, I’m getting it. If there’s a special foie gras dinner, there’s a very good chance I’m at it.

Foie Gras Cromesqui “MM”
These balls were such a tease. You pop one in your mouth and it’s an explosion of foie gras and I kid you not, my eyes were closed and I literally moaned. Balls + moaning. We seriously wanted more balls in our mouths. (Insert several dirty jokes and snickers). I’m definitely jealous of the Wednesday diners, because they got two.

Foie Gras Dynamite, Tuna, Lichi

Foie Gras Miso Soup, Radish, Turnips

Foie Gras Black Croque-Monsieur, Grappes
Officially my new comfort food. What’s not to love about Croque Monsieurs? Add some foie gras to it and it definitely becomes a fancy, decadent comfort food that I can see myself devouring on a rainy day. (Seriously, why must this delicious goodness be banned?!)

Foie Gras “Crepinette.” Morels, Pears, Green Asparagus

Foie Gras Sundae, Brioche, Black Berries

Best of LudoBites: Foie Gras Night was definitely one of my favorite foie gras meals. Every dish was fantastic and I generally consume the same “boring” foie gras dish, but all the dishes for this dinner were creative and made me very happy. Not only was the foie gras the star of all the dishes, but it worked so well with all the other ingredients on the plate. I left the meal hoping to return for the 2nd night with A or Grace, but none of them were free until late.

Check back if you want more delicious foie gras photos. You know I’ll be consuming more until the ban! And possibly after if I manage to smuggle some into California.

Best of LudoBites: Foie Gras Night at Gram & Papa’s // 227 E 9th St. Los Angeles, CA 90015

xox Joanna

Un Petit Porc
Gram & Papa’s
227 E 9th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
www.ludobites.com

Note: Everyone (including myself) thought that Chef Ludo Lefebvre was the one behind Porc Night, but the recipes and cooking are all Mike Ilic, owner of Gram & Papa’s. Chef Ludo assisted with the cooking so technically it should be Mike Ilic’s Porc Night with Chef Ludo.

I have a weird relationship with pork. I love bacon and several other Korean pork dishes, but I generally dislike most other ones because of the distinctive taste and smell of pork. Because of my several somewhat traumatizing experiences with pork, I usually avoided it.

However, my relationship with pork changed when I dined at LudoBites 5.0 (my first LudoBites experience) and had Chef Ludo’s Confit Pork Belly, Raw Choucroute Thai Style, Guinness Emulsion. Oh gosh, this pork belly dish was fatty, rich, juicy, crispy, and perfectly tender — everything a pork belly should be. I loved it so much, I ordered a 2nd dish and was not willing to share with my dinner companions.

Confit Pork Belly, Raw Choucroute Thai Style, Guinness Emulsion from LudoBites 5.0
Photo Credit: kevinEats

Since Chef Ludo changed my perspective and relationship with pork, it was only fitting that I dined at Porc Night at Gram and Papa’s. The meal was served family style with a Boston Lettuce Salad as an appetizer; an entree choice of Porchetta or Capresa Sandwich; four sides of Greens, White Bean, Cheesy Polenta, and Burnt Potatoes; and a Roasted Apple and Vanilla Ice Cream with dessert.

Boston Lettuce Salad


Porchetta Sandwich

Spicy Au Jus for Porchetta

Greens

White Bean

Cheesy Polenta

Burnt Potatoes

Roasted Apple with Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream

My only experience at Gram & Papa’s has been with LudoBites. Gram & Papa’s is only open for lunch and I haven’t had the chance to make it over for lunch so it was nice to taste Mike Ilic’s delicious Porchetta Sandwich over some beer and wine.

xox -

Joanna

Domaine LA
6801 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 932-0280
http://domaine547.com
Event Date: Sunday, 12/11/11

Domaine LA, a small mom and pop wine store located on Melrose near Hancock Park, hosted a paella night with wine selections by Jose Pastor. For $40, guests enjoyed 5 generous tastings of a variety of white and red wines and bites of 2 different paellas. One of my favorite chefs, Chef Ludo, cooked a traditional paella and squid ink paella and thankfully, there were several batches made so everyone was able to enjoy more than 1 serving of each dish.

For some odd reason, it’s difficult to find good paella in Los Angeles and the last time I had good paella was in London a few years ago. Since delicious paella is so hard to come by, I immediately purchased tickets when I heard of the event. I loved the intimacy of this event and quite enjoyed the comforting paellas and delicious wines on a chilly winter evening.



Chef Ludo playing around with ink squid

Paella w/ Chicken, Chorizo, Mussels, Clams

Of the 2, the traditional paella was my favorite, mainly because I haven’t had good, traditional paella in so long. Michelle and I got there almost an hour after the event started and we were absolutely famished. The delicious aroma of the paella almost made me drool and I was tempted to grab a spoon and take bites while Chef Ludo wasn’t looking. The rice was cooked al dente and all the ingredients were perfectly cooked and I constantly went back for more.


Squid Ink Paella

I’ve been curious to attend an event at Domaine LA since the summer and I’m glad that I finally got to attend one that I really enjoyed. I’ll definitely be attending more events at Domaine LA since the ticket prices are reasonable and the size of the events are intimate.

xox -

Joanna

LudoTruck
Follow @ludotruck on Twitter for their location
http://mobimunch.com/ludotruck

On Friday, December 2nd, my day revolved around one thing — the LudoTruck. For lunch, Chef Ludo and the truck were in Burbank debuting their new menu and for dinner, they were at Domaine LA on Melrose for a special Foie Gras Night (Foie Gras Night at Animal here).

Messy Shrimp Po’ Boy

Popcorn Shrimp

Black Truffle Chicken Burger

I loved the new menu items and the Black Truffle Chicken Burger was definitely my favorite. The buns were buttery and soft, the chicken patty was moist, but what made it so special was the extra crunch and flavor from the chicken skin and the subtle flavors of the black truffle.

Foie Gras Terrine Sandwich

Foie Gras and Corn Soup

Foie Gras Beignet

I love how Chef Ludo makes foie gras easily available to everyone without it costing an arm and a leg and with a creative, delicious twist. It’s great that his Foie Gras Nights are educating more people about foie gras and the fact that not all farmers treat their ducks/geese cruelly. I look forward to more Foie Gras Nights by Chef Ludo before the ban goes into effect in 2012.

Don’t forget to sign the petition to keep foie gras in California!

xox -

Joanna

Animal
435 North Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9225
www.animalrestaurant.com
Dinner: Friday, 10/14/2011

Not to sound completely ungrateful, but lately I’ve gotten a bit tired of dining out. Honestly, it’s the same old stuff on the menu. Some kind of hamachi with jalapeno and a citrus, the same trendy pork belly (I enjoy pork belly quite a bit, but tasting 20 different kinds of pork belly at a food event gets boring fast). It was getting to a point where I was contemplating going on a detox, because everything I was eating was predictable and boring. Of course, just as I was seriously planning out a week-long detox, Chef Ludo Lefebvre with Chefs John Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal) teamed up for an 8-course foie gras dinner and completely blew my mind and taste buds away.

Despite the $175 per person (additional $50 for wine pairing) price, the event was very popular and successful. The day that phone lines opened, a friend and I were dialing non-stop on 2 phones each for a few hours. After hundreds of phone calls, we realized we were supposed to leave a message. Thankfully, I received a phone call back and snagged the earliest reservation time left at 12:30 AM.

Marble Foie Gras Terrine, Proscuitto, Fennel, Yogurt, Honey, Bruleed Figs
A great, “light” start to the meal, the sweetness of the figs, yogurt, and honey balanced out the creamy foie gras terrine well. I’m a fan of terrines so I was definitely left wanting more of this dish.

Foie Gras Crudo, Dates, Lemon Confit, Black Ash Brioche, Mushrooms
A similar dish (Foie Gras Crudo, Raw Mushrooms, Grapes, Brioche, Hazelnut Oil) was served at LudoBites 007 and it was one of our group’s favorite dishes so I was excited for another taste. This was another “light” foie gras dish and it worked perfectly with a little bit of lemon confit and date to add a hint of sweetness to every bite.

Smoked Foie Gras, Veal Tongue, Pumpernickel, Crab Apple
One of the heavier dishes of the evening, but very delicious. The veal tongue was cooked perfectly with a slight crispy outer texture and even though it was a bit salty, the creamy, smoked foie gras balanced out the saltiness of the dish.

Foie Gras Ssam, Herbs, Peanuts, Green Curry, Bibb Lettuce, Plum Char Siu
I’m very familiar with ssam (means “wrap” in Korean) and often have it during Korean BBQ meals. There were no Korean flavors here and instead, Vietnamese flavors were very prominent. I love slight, spicy kicks to my dishes and the Siracha that accompanied this dish added that perfectly. It was a very unique combination that the whole table enjoyed.

Steamed Foie Gras, Cabbage, Mustard Ice Cream, Duck Fat Potato, Juniper Berries
The foie gras was steamed perfectly and with just the cabbage, it didn’t offer much flavor. But the combination of everything on the plate added a hint of sweet and sour to the dishes that I quite enjoyed.

Roasted Foie Gras, Cheeseburger Flavors, Benton’s Bacon
I love a good cheeseburger and absolutely loved that this foie gras dish had cheeseburger flavors. It was definitely a more upscale, richer version of my usual cheeseburger. I also loved that there was a beer pairing with this dish, which definitely gave it more of a good old fashion cheeseburger vibe.

Liquid Foie Gras Agnolotti, Corn, Black Truffle
The agnolotti were cooked al dente and lightly covered in a rich, flavorful sauce. I loved the “pop” from every bite and thought the liquid foie gras filling was very inventive.

Brownie Sundae, Foie Gras Chantilly, Caramel, Vanilla Ice Cream
The perfect ending to a delicious meal. A simple, brownie sundae made more interesting with some foie gras chantilly. I was beyond stuffed by the time dessert came out, but I was determined to eat every bite of this last dish and almost licked it clean.

Throughout the 8-course, I savored every, rich, unique, and delicious bite. Every time a dish was taken away, a part of me wanted to cry because that was one dish closer to the end of the meal. This dining experience was honestly one of my favorite meals and very memorable. The sale of foie gras will be banned in California in July 2012 (please sign the petition to get rid of the ban) so I definitely plan on eating my share until then and even planning on holding an underground foie gras party (think Boardwalk Empire Prohibition scene).

xox -

Joanna

LudoBites 007
Gram & Papa’s
227 E 9th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
www.ludobites.com
Dinner – Friday, 09/09/2011

I have been fortunate enough to visit LudoBites 007 3 times (Opening Night dinner and 2nd visit here and here) and honestly, I feel a bit selfish since I know several people that still haven’t tried Chef Ludo’s food. But in my defense, the 2nd visit was semi-spontaneous and the 3rd visit came out of nowhere.

For the 2nd LudoBites 007 dinner post, I wrote some tips on how to get a table at LudoBites. I listened to my own advice and by chance got a table for 6 through OpenTable the night before. I took 4 other people that have been dying to try LudoBites and was more than happy to introduce more people to a delicious dining experience.

Lavender Ginger Lemonade

Choucroute Tarte Flambée

Prawn & Scallop Ceviche, Aji Amarillo, Red Berries

Masala Fried Chicken, Chicken Fat Vinaigrette

Foie Gras Crudo, Raw Mushrooms, Grapes, Brioche, Hazelnut Oil

Salt Cod Panna Cotta, Whipped Fingerling Potato, Smoked Tapioca

Braised Oxtail Beef, Rainbow Carrots, Shallots, Amaranth

Squid, Black Ash, Baby Leeks, Spring Onions, Chorizo

Pig’s Head Compressed, Mimolette, Barbeque Gelée, Pickles Melons

Egg, Sea Urchin, Caviar, Champagne Beurre Montee

Crispy Tandoori Octopus, Yogurt, Cauliflower, Grapefruit

Duck, Cherry, Spicy Saucisse, Beets, Radish

Foie Gras, Corn, Coconuts

Lamb Cooked in Fat “Moroccan Style”, Artichoke, Mint

Pick-Up Stick Cantal Cheese, Curry White Chocolate

Chocolate Cake, Chipotle, Orange

Lavender Tropezienne Tart, Aloe Vera, Peach

All 3 dining experiences for LudoBites 007 were delicious and I can’t wait to see what 8.0 will bring. If you can’t get a reservation for 8.0, please follow my tips and just be patient. A friend listened to my advice and arrived early for a walk-in and guess what? He got a table!

Once again, these are the tips so keep them in mind if you don’t get reservations for 8.0!

Since LudoBites reservations are hard to come by, here are some tips on getting a table:
– Do not angrily Tweet, message, etc. Chef Ludo and his wife, Krissy.
– Follow Krissy Lefebvre on Twitter (@FrenchChefWife) and keep your eyes open for cancellation Tweets.
– Check OpenTable periodically and hope for a cancellation!
– Walk-ins! Yes, there are some walk-ins available. At 6.0, there was a communal walk-in table available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For 007 there are 2 2-seaters on the sidewalk. Go early for these walk-ins.

xox -

Joanna

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