Archives for category: Chef Ludo Lefebvre

LudoBites 007
Gram & Papa’s
227 E 9th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
www.ludobites.com
Dinner – Wednesday, 09/07/2011

I was lucky enough to dine at LudoBites 007 for the 2nd time (Opening Night dinner here) with my friend PIGletventures (aka Violet Kim), a LudoBites virgin. We didn’t have reservations for this dinner, but we arrived at Gram & Papa’s at 4:50 PM to grab one of the walk-in tables on the sidewalk or try our luck at a table inside (there’s always cancellations). Since it’s the last week of LudoBites, there were no cancellations, but we had no problem enjoying the open air of Skid Row. The LudoTruck was also parked right next to us so we enjoyed episodes of LudoBites America while eating.

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.

Lavender Ginger Lemonade

Masala Fried Chicken, Chicken Fat Vinagrette

Gloves for the Chicken

Egg, Sea Urchin, Caviar, Champagne Beurre Blanc

Plancha Tandoori Octopus, Yogurt, Cauliflower, Grapefruit

Squid, Black Ash, Chorizo

Lamb Cooked in Fat Moroccan Style, Artichoke, Mint

Foie Gras, Corn, and Coconuts

Pistachio Brown Butter Cake, Mascarpone, Red Berries

Since it was only 2 of us, we didn’t order everything off the menu and the few dishes we ordered, we were barely able to finish, but of course, every bite was delicious. Like opening night, everything about dinner was great and I know Violet really enjoyed her first time at LudoBites. And of course, being the little piggies that we are, we grabbed a snack from LudoTruck after.

xox -

Joanna

LudoBites 007
Gram & Papa’s
227 E 9th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
www.ludobites.com
Dinner – Wednesday, 08/03/2011

A picture is worth a thousand words… here are 15 photos. You do the math. Enjoy!

Open kitchen at Gram & Papa’s

Lavender Ginger Lemonade

Onion Tart, Bottarga

Dorade Ceviche, Cucumber Water, Cornichons, Borrage Flower

Tomato Soup, Carrots, Squid

Salt Cod Panna Cotta, Whipped Fingerling Potato, Smoked Tapioca, Black Olive Bread

Pig’s Head Compressed and Cheddar, Barbeque Gelee

Egg, Sea Urchin, Caviar, Champagne Beurre Blanc

Plancha Tandoori Octopus, Yogurt, Cauliflower, Grapefruit

Foie Gras Ravioli, Crispy Kimchi, Sake-Black Truffle Cream

Duck, Cherry, Spicy Saucisse, Beets, Radish

Roasted Beef, Horseradish Cream, Green Beans, Dried Mollet

Epoisse Cheese Risotto, Hazelnut, Egg Yolk, Herb Salsas

Peach Melba Vacherin, Lavender

Crustless Lemon Tart, Limoncello, Thyme

Park sisters with Chef Ludo

xox -

Joanna & Grace

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

I remember when the food truck craze first started and there would be mile long lines at the Kogi truck. For awhile, it was fun tracking down food trucks via Twitter, but the novelty of it wore off very quickly. Nowadays, I rarely go out of my way for food trucks unless they happen to be in front of me or I’m really craving something. But the only food truck I stalk on a regular basis and will drive miles for is LudoTruck. Fact: Grace and I used to Tweet LudoTruck a lot. One day, Dennis, the manager of LudoTruck, (he also used to manage the LudoTruck Twitter account) “recognized” me at Sawtelle when I placed a large order. Since then, whenever we’re at LudoTruck and Dennis is around, guess what…he recognizes us (at least by name). We’re most likely known as those two crazy sisters that won’t stop Tweeting LudoTruck.

LudoTruck is Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s fried chicken food truck. I’ve heard on numerous occasions people referring to the truck as “LudoBites” Truck. The truck is not like Chef Ludo’s pop-up restaurant, but instead serves three different types of chicken (I just refer to them as strip, wing, ball), chicken sandwich, slaw, fries, Honey Lavender Biscuit, and agua frescas.

I haven’t had LudoTruck for a few months, but luckily I got to enjoy it two weekends in a row at Bloomfest and X Games. Unfortunately, both occasions, no Honey Lavender Biscuits. (I literally asked five times at Bloomfest if they were hiding any in the back and to just give me one. I guess they were really out…) So if you want LudoTruck’s famous Honey Lavender Biscuits, I suggest going early.

LudoTruck

The menu

My usual order
Three pieces of chicken — strip, wing, ball with a side of fries, slaw, and Bernaise Sauce. My favorite of the three is definitely the ball with it’s dark meat and herbs de provence.  The wing is most flavorful of the three and has a great sticky honey glaze. It’s very messy to eat and even though it usually doesn’t come with a sauce, I still like dipping it in the Bernaise. The strip is the least flavorful of the three (not saying it’s not good), and compared to the original strips, these new ones are more peppery.

A closer look at the chickens

Ludo Slaw

Three sauces — Honey Whole Grain Mustard, BBQ, Bearnaise

If you’re curious to try Chef Ludo’s food, this is a lot easier than trying to get LudoBites reservations. (LudoBites 007 reservations sold out in under one minute.) Of course, a meal at LudoBites is quite different than a meal from LudoTruck, and if you ever have the opportunity to go to a LudoBites meal, I highly recommend it. It’s something you don’t want to miss out on. But LudoTruck is still a good alternative in my opinion when I’m in the mood for some good food.

Check back this week for our post on LudoBites 007 at Gram & Papa’s!

xox -

Joanna

Providence
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 460-4170
www.providencela.com
Dinner – Monday, 06/20/2011

I first heard about “Four on Fish” through Darin from Darin Dines and as soon as I heard the names of the four chefs, I just knew I had to go. The dinner was a collaboration between Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Chef Hiro Urasawa (Urasawa), Chef Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica and Picca), and Chef Ludo Lefebvre (LudoBites).

First of all, I will find any excuse to go to Providence. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. It’s on the pricier side, but definitely worth it. Of course, mix Chef Michel Cimarusti with three other amazing chefs and I’m in.

Price for this nine-course meal, $195/per person without wine pairing. My credit card cried a little, especially since I’ve been eating out a lot lately, but I really couldn’t miss this special, one-time meal.

Seabass Tiradito
Aji Amarillo Sauce, Sweet Potato Puree
Ricardo Zarate
I’m a fan of tiraditos and first tasted it at Sushi Samba in Las Vegas. I’ve never had it with sweet potato (which is the common garnish for tiraditos) so this was a delicious dish for me. I do prefer the Sushi Samba tiradito dishes only because it packs more punch and has a spicier kick, but this was still a great dish and I loved the texture from the sweet potato on top.

Hokkaido Scallop and Monkfish Liver, Caviar, Pickled Turnip, Wasabi, Shiso, Miyoga
&
Red Snapper and Half-cooked Botan Ebi wrapped in Seaweed
&
Marinated Radish, Shiso, Miyoga and Plum Sauce
Hiro Urasawa
The best sushi (and priciest) place in Los Angeles is Urasawa. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried it yet. The few people that I do know of that have gone all loved it and I’m saving it for a special occasion to take my parents. Technically, I didn’t go to Urasawa, so I can still save it for a special occasion. The quality of the fish were excellent and very fresh. I love that the plum sauce added a hint of sweetness to the dish.

Anticuchos of Santa Barbara Spot Prawns with Yuzu Koshu
Ricardo Zarate
I’m so glad that they provided a lemon and a hot towel after this dish! Even though the portion wasn’t huge (after all, it’s a tasting menu), my hands still got a bit messy. I loved the subtle spicy kick of the prawns and the lime added a nice zest to it. If this was a preview of what’s to come at Picca, I definitely cannot wait!

Santa Barbara Sea Urchin
Champagne Beurre Blanc, Fines Herbs
Michael Cimarusti
I had this dish the first time I dined at Providence and I loved it. It’s a rich, flavorful dish and the only thing I don’t like about it — it’s too small.

Chawan Mushi
Summer Truffles and Ikura
Hiro Urasawa
Isn’t the presentation of this dish just gorgeous? The colors and pop of purple from the hydrangea made it almost too pretty to eat. I loved the texture of this dish! It was smooth and even though I’m not crazy about uni, I really enjoyed all the flavors of the dish. And don’t forget — I love truffles :)

Japanese Freshwater Eel
Soba, Soy Milk
Michael Cimarusti
I feel like Chef Michael Ciarusti can do no wrong with dishes. I loved the crispy texture of this dish and I always avoid anything with eel mainly because most places make the dish too sweet for my taste. “Too sweet” never even crossed my mind while I had this dish.

Lobster Vadouvan
Ludovic Lefebvre
Probably one of my favorite dishes of the evening. I swear I’m not playing favorites! I still would have loved this dish even if I didn’t know it was by Chef Ludo. Vadouvan is a spice and the best way to describe it is French curry. The sauce was aromatic and as soon as they opened the lid to pour the sauce, I was excited to eat the dish and it did not disappoint.

Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta
Alverta President Caviar
Ludovic Lefebvre
Chef Ludo had this dish at 6.0 (also at 2.0 according to Kevin from kevinEATS), which I loved. Panna Cotta…Caviar..Caramel? What’s not to love? Sweet with a hint of salty from the caviar.

Mochi Cake
Blackberry & Litchi, Coconut-Kaffir Sorbet
Adrian Vasquez and “The Ladies of the Pastry”
Both desserts were solid dishes and I loved them both equally. They were both different and I was bursting out of my dress at this point, but I was determined to finish the second equally delicious dessert. The sorbet was light and worked very well with all the other components on the plate.

The signed menu.
Unfortunately, not complete since Chef Ludo didn’t get to sign it. He was busy and I really didn’t want to shove my menu in his face. I have enough LudoBites menu signed by him so I’ll just have to live with three out of four signatures. Sad face.

Honestly, I felt like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time. The excitement, the anticipation! It was too much for me to handle. I also probably looked like a little kid excitedly waiting Mickey Mouse while I waited for the chefs to make their rounds around the table. Haha. I’m grateful that I got a chance to experience this meal and can’t wait for more from these individual chefs!

xox-

J

Ludo Bites America at Casa Pulido
228 Avenue I
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
www.ludobites.com
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-Rita”
(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!

xox-

J

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