Ludo Bites America at Casa Pulido
228 Avenue I
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Dinner – Wednesday, 06/01/2011
If you haven’t heard of Chef Ludo Lefebvre and his wife, Krissy, you’re living under a rock. A pretty damn big rock.
If you happen to be the few that live under this “pretty damn big rock”, you will soon be able to learn all about this husband and wife duo that basically invented the concept of pop-up restaurants by tuning into the Sundance channel on July 19th at 9pm. Chef Ludo got his own show, Ludo Bites America, where he tours different states and only has a few days to set up a pop-up restaurant. Sounds easy, right? Especially since he does it all the time! The catch: he has to work in an unfamiliar kitchen with different cooks and servers. Also, most of these people and servers living in middle-of-nowhere, Nebraska have never even heard of half the things he cooks.
Grace and I have been huge fan of Chef Ludo for awhile now, and since we can’t get Chef Ludo’s food whenever the mood strikes, we get vicious whenever we hear about his pop-up. One early morning, Grace and I found out on Krissy’s Twitter (here) that the last stop of the Ludo Bites America tour would be in none other than LA! (Redondo Beach, to be exact.) Casa Pulido a family-owned Mexican restaurant, was turned into Casa PuLUDO for one night!
I’m not going to go into detail about what we did in order to get reservations, because it’ll seem borderline crazy…so I’ll just continue with some photos from that night. (FYI, We’re still amateurs so our photos aren’t as great as other bloggers. If you want better photos and more behind the scene shots, check out kevinEATS and Darin Dines.)
Casa Pulido in Redondo Beach. Location of the last stop for Ludo Bites America. We couldn’t get a better shot, because of the foie gras protestors…and I didn’t feel like running across the street in my Louboutins. I’m willing to sacrifice my waistline for food, but not my shoes!
The menu and spray-paint coq placemat.
Brocamole & Chips
Grace kept calling this dish BRO(like frat bro)-camole. Since she called it BRO-camole, we couldn’t figure out what it was for the longest time. And of course, I sounded like a ditz on camera by saying bacon was in this dish. FYI, it’s BROCCOLI. Hence the name, “Brocamole” and pronounced BRA-camole. Thanks Grace.
Ceviche, Cucumber Water, Purlane
Chilled Red Tomato Soup, Carrot, Smoked Fish
Monterey Squid, Chorizo, Banana, Honey Clementine
Crispy Octopus, Smokey Chipotle, Piquillos Pepper Polenta
This was my favorite dish of the evening. Every time I’ve eaten octopus, it’s always been tough and boring so whenever I see it on a menu, I don’t even bother with it. However, since this was LudoBites, we ordered one of everything and I was very excited as soon as I bit into this dish. The octopus was perfectly cooked and I couldn’t get over how soft it was! I also love that the peppers gave the dish a nice little, spicy kick.
Brandade Tacos, Dandelion, Creamy Extra Virgin Olive Oil
When I think dandelion, I think of the pesky weed on your lawn. I definitely don’t imagine it on my plate of brandade (an emulsion of salt cod and olive oil) tacos. But I happily munched on it along with the tacos. Our group of three definitely loved this dish.
Foie Gras Quesadilla, Crispy Cabbage, Juniper Berry Oil
There was a group of foie gras protestors outside the restaurant in the beginning of the night. At first, all I saw was a sign that said “Hudson Valley Foie Gras” and the first thing that crossed my mind was, “ARE THEY GIVING AWAY SAMPLES?!” Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Instead, pamphlets protesting foie gras were shoved in my face and I was lectured about animal cruelty. Now, I hope no one is offended by this comment and I know I may be getting emails from PETA really soon…BUT, I really don’t give a rat’s…butt. You’re preaching to the wrong choir. LudoBites fans are clearly knowledgeable about food and we all know how foie gras is made. Yet, we choose to eat it. So chanting things like “hey, hey, ho, ho, foie gras has got to go” only makes me chant back “hey, hey, ho, ho, foie gras has got to go… into my belly!” Honestly, this foie gras was worth it. I’m still thinking about this foie gras quesadilla. In fact, maybe I’ll go online right now to Hudson Valley Foie Gras and order some foie gras…
Roasted-Poached Beef in Lard, Squid Ink Risotto, Lemon Confit, Dried Mole
Guacamole Sorbet, Catalan Cream, Fruit Salsa, Tequila
Ancho Chili Pepper Chocolate Brownie, Caramel Leche, Red Beets & Rhubarb
(Salsa Tomato Water, Lime, Cilantro, Real Reposado Tequila, Sugar Chilie Rim)
The Park sisters with Chef Ludo
Chef Ludo signed menu. Adding to the collection of signed LudoBites menus.
It’s always fun going to LudoBites pop-ups, but this was a different experience. Several diners have been following Chef Ludo since his first pop-up at Breadbar so it was great to hear (aka eavesdrop) about their LudoBites experiences. I also loved spotting some bloggers that I regularly follow and I wanted to stop by and say “hi”, but I got shy…Haha. Next time, I’ll definitely make a point to run up to some of them and scream “I stalk your blog!!”
LudoBites 7.0 is happening this summer, so come back to find out more information!