Showing posts with label ludo lefebvre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ludo lefebvre. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

All Star Chef Classic: March 11-14, 2015

There are a ton of food events and festivals in Los Angeles, but the All Star Chef Classic plays it a bit different? Ever wanted to watch a cooking show or competition in real life? You can with their events at the Restaurant Stadium, built just for this 4-day affair.

There are a total of six events where you can watch master chefs cook and compete in the stadium - while enjoying some great food, of course.

At the Master Dinners (they are holding French, British, and American Master Dinners) you'll watch the chefs prepare your multi-course meal that you will then enjoy paired with wines. At some of the other events like Grill & Chill, 20 chefs will prepare bites that you can enjoy in the "Tasting Arena".
Last year's cabbage with crispy chicken skin from Paul Qui

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ludobites 4.0 Quickie

There probably isn't another restaurant that almost all of the LA bloggers repeated go back to other than Ludobites. Partly because of the temporariness of the pop-up, partly because of the constantly rotating menu, and partly just because we all love it.

Ludobites 4.0 is currently popping at Gram & Papa's in downtown LA (their venture "east" ... ish). While the space is small, which makes keeping afloat hard when 20 ppl who snagged multiple reservations decided on a no-show, the (although also small) open kitchen is nice. Now we can stare at Ludo and the sous chefs while they cook. And yes, Ludo can stare at you too when your courses come, so snap those photos fast.

With the blogger/twitterverse shooting praises for particular dishes, one visit is never enough, because you'd go online and say "I didn't get to try that one!"

What I did get to try:

Burgundy Escargots, Garlic Flan, Green Jus, Violet Flowers ($13)
Typically served with garlic and parsley butter, Ludo whips them up instead in garlic flan (which is still deliciously rich and butter). Crunchy chewy snails in creamy, garlicky goodness. My companion didn't really dig snails or garlic. All the better for me.

Scallop, Almond Puree, Pickled Grapes, Capers, Curry Oil & Cauliflower Ice Cream ($14)
Firm yet tender scallops, crisp cauliflowers and the juices of the pickled grapes bursting in your mouth.

Carrot Salad, Saffron Anglaise Cream, Pearl Onions, Blood Orange, Orange Powder ($10)
I was skeptical at first (because why would I order carrot salad?) but this was not only gorgeous looking but tasted really good. The thinly shaved carrots had so much flavor and a great texture. Combined with the citrus from the blood orange slices, this was one great salad.

Seared Foie Gras "Pina Colada" ($29)
There were a lot of great flavors going on here, but I did think the foie gras was seared too long. A good portion of the foie was seared to a crisp and while I usually enjoy that this was a little thick. I'd like to give this another try though.

Squid "Carbonara", Pancetta, Poached Egg (63'), Parmesan Snow, Chive Flowers ($18)
A unique and delicious take on the pasta carbonara, using slices of squid as the "pasta." This was one of the other bloggers' beloved dish and I can certainly see why. The creamy "pasta" dish is taken to a new level using the chewiness of the squid.

Ham Soup, Bread, Swiss Cheese, Radish, Cornichon, Guiness ($12)
This "Parisian Ham Sandwich in a Bowl" as Krissy introduced it, was another much-lauded dish amongst the bloggers. The ham soup with bits of bread and swiss cheese floating about is two great comfort foods conjoined.

The fact that the last 2 dishes are by and large the favorites of the popular votes to me said something about the taste preferences of the current audience, though. Same as the popularity of bacon. Something rich and heavy over a wonderfully executed Poached Monkfish, Jardiniere de Legumes, Vadouvan ($24)
The monkfish itself was firm yet moist and sweet. It was served with peas and carrots, the spring vegetables that probably classically define the term "jardiniere." Vadouvan, Ludo's favorite spice, brings together each ingredient in the dish in spice and cumin-laden bond.

Two desserts were offered, so naturally we got both.
Rose macarons, Organic Strawberry & Lychee ($12)
This dense and chewy macaron had a nicely sweet fragrance and was complemented well by the crisp fresh strawberries. The lychee essence was somewhat lost among the other flavors.

Dark chocolate soufflé, vanilla whisky ice cream, hot chocolate cream ($13)
I don't know why it's so hard to find a real soufflé in this city (stop serving me chocolate molten cake when your menu says soufflé!), but Ludo's is certainly a bonafide soufflé.
The soufflé: a gorgeous "rise", fluffy, soft and moist.
To top it all off: whisky in your ice cream for a kick.

If I wanted to be done with Ludobites I will have to quit reading blogs and twitter.
In the meantime, I still have a long list of dishes to try: poached jidori chicken, egg & potato mousseline w lobster, etc, etc ...

LudoBites @ Gram & Papa's
227 E 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 624-7272
LudoBites @ Gram & Papa's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Get Ready, Ludobites is Back.

Ludobites is back for another limited engagement, this time at the first maid cafe this side of the world, Royal/T (and yep, some old faces from the previous Ludobites may be wearing maid outfits serving you). A group of bloggers were lucky enough to get a sneak preview the night before the opening, all thanks to the Fooddigger team!

They not only get the LA food blogging community together, algorithmically match our palates, and throw dinners for us, they throw dinners like no other. Whole suckling pig, special tastings, and this time, a taste of the new Ludobites before they open.

  • Why we love Ludo's wife, Krissy:
While some restaurants think we camera-toting foodbloggers are annoying, she buys a light box to indulge us with great lighting. Yep, so if you're wondering how we got such great photos for this dinner, she's the hero. She's also the power force running the floor, maneuvering the legal side of the restaurant business, and handling the reservation (so get on her good side!).

  • Why we love Ludo (9 reasons below):
1. Scallop, Brown Butter, Pineapple & Black Powder
The raw scallops were slightly cooked with the addition of the hot brown butter. The scallops were fresh and delicate, with a nice tartness from the pineapple. The black powder was really made from squid ink and added an interesting texture to the dish.

2. Bread Soup with Gruyere Marshmallow
Who thinks of things like "bread soup"? Ludo does, apparently. Bypasses the need to dip bread into your soup I suppose? Either way, this creamy soup made from Breadbar's Rustic Bread, paired with the poached egg is the perfect warm bowl for a cold night.

3. Foie Gras Beignet, Celery Roots Remoulade
The deep fried beignet is glazed with honey and holds 2 oz of foie gras inside. The most indulgent of indulgence, the richness of 2 oz of foie gras will knock you out. The beignet itself acts as a container for all the juice and moisture that comes out of the foie as they're cooking in the deep fryer. You're going to need that honey and celery root to cut all the richness.

4. Squid, Chorizo Oil, Kimchi Puree, Red Onions, and Eggplant Paper
A perfectly cooked squid with a texture like no other and a delicateness that's accentuated by the spicy kimchi puree and chorizo oil acting as both flavor and texture enhancer. The red onion added a slight tartness the brings the dish to yet another level while we were all marveling over how to make that thin eggplant paper.

5. Veal, Udon, Kombu Dashi, Mushrooms & Sesame Seed Miso
A lovely udon. It surprised me the Ludo can make a bowl of udon like this. The noodles had a nice chewy texture and the flavors of the tender veal and the kombu dashi hit the spot as a great umami flavor should.

6. Wild Striped Bass, Garden Vegetables, Aioli
A return to classical French cooking with the tender and moist fish. The highlight here is the combination with the aioli and crisp cauliflower.

7. Marinated Hanger Steak, Crunchy Escargot, Baby Corn, Bok Choy, Black Olive Mole
It was less than 2 weeks ago that Ludo learnt the art of mole making from Glutster's mom and already here he is blowing us away with his creamy and flavorful black olive mole that elevates the flavorful and tender hanger steak. The escargots are crunchy on the outside and chewy inside - simply addicting.

8. Fourme D'Ambert Tourte, Red Pears, Honey-Balsamic
The Fourme d'Ambert is a pasteurized cow's milk blue cheese that supposedly dates back to the Roman Times. Although the cheese normally has a semi-hard texture, in the tourte form it is soft and creamy. With the intense flavor of blue cheese and the warm crispy crust, this was one delightful tart. The crisp red pear and the tangy honey balsamic did well in cutting the richness, making a balanced dish.

9. Chocolate Cake, Coconut Sorbet, Caramel Coffee
A thick and decadent chocolate cake is paired here with a lightly sweet and cool coconut sorbet soup resulting in a clean and refreshing finish. The sprinkles of pink peppercorn on the other hand gave it that light kick that took this dessert to another level.

Yet another great meal from Ludo. We came in with high expectations and we were blown away once again. I'm certainly looking forward to my future meals here, and if you haven't made your reservation yet, they are sold out but get on the waitlist to snag those cancellations (they do have cancellations for tonight - opening night, just contact Krissy the @Frenchchefwife)!

And thanks to Brian from Fooddigger for handling all the wine pairing!

Ludobites at Royal/T
8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA
Ludo Bites at Royal/T in Los Angeles

Monday, October 26, 2009

On Video: Make Jalapeno Chocolate Mousse with Chef Ludo!

Before I start blogging about LA Mag's The Food Event that happened yesterday, I thought I'd give you guys a sneak preview.

Besides plenty of food and wine, we also had the pleasure of watching celebrity chefs giving cooking demonstrations, including Chef Ludo Lefebvre (remember how many of your bloggers loved Ludobites?)

Well, I know you all would want to see this, so here you go: Chef Ludo showing you how to make his spicy jalapeno chocolate mousse, "good for Valentine's", and talking about French girls. Oh and sorry about the cuts, my arm got tired.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fooddigger at Ludobites:"Pushing the Boundaries"

A dinner hosted by Fooddigger is no mere dinner. Before there was the whole suckling pig prepared specially for us at Ford's Filling Station. Then there was the amazing sushi dinner at Shibucho paired with vintage Bordeaux, most of which were older than me.

Here at Ludobites, as expected the wine-collecting Fooddigger co-founders Brian and Marshall came bearing some great wines which they hope to pair with the mystery meal prepared by Chef Ludo. Before the dinner started, we had fun comparing each other's Flavor Match scores based on a short survey we took on Fooddigger a few days before. Apparently my best flavor match of the group was KevinEats.

I've been to Ludobites three times before, but that night's dinner was a big surprise even to me. I felt like I finally got closer to Ludo's true tour de force.

The most memorable and notable dishes for me that night were these:

Tuna sashimi with sushi-rice ice cream.
With all the usual ingredients and flavors, Ludo deconstructed and reconstructed it to a wholly unexpected dish. The sushi rice ice cream tasted like rice, and even had similar density to rice, but the texture and temperature is completely different.

Chorizo gazpacho, onion ice, with cornichon
The chorizo gazpacho tasted like, well, chorizo, and very pleasantly so. Bursting with that spicy flavor but without the oil and grease. The onion ice, which is the green island in the middle, cools down the heat in your mouth, so you can keep eating more and more.

Foie gras tart, maple syrup, mushrooms
The big soft slabs of foie gras contrasted with the crunchy texture of the raw mushrooms. The fat is cut with the sweetness of the maple syrup. Not to mention the truffle essence that really takes the cake.

Vanilla panna cotta with caramel and caviar.
Panna cotta with caviar seemed so strange to everyone at first, but together everything worked harmoniously well. The saltiness of the caviar combined with the thick caramel is strongly reminiscent of salted caramel, which complements the rich and sweet panna cotta very well.

Thanks to Fooddigger setting up this dinner for us bloggers, we got to try some of Ludo's dishes we probably would never have at Ludobites. Some dishes Ludo himself said he had done in Bastide's 16-man kitchen and that he wouldn't do it again at Breadbar's small kitchen. Luckily we got to try it before he realizes what a feat it was ...

I no longer remember what wines we had that night but you can find more on the other bloggers' posts: Kung Food Panda, Gastronomy, Alli411 (not up yet), Two Hungry Pandas, Grubtrotters, Teenage Glutster, Rants&Craves (not up yet), KevinEats (not up yet), DianaTakesABite.

I was expecting something special out of this Fooddigger dinner, and it certainly delivered. I thought that what they said about the vision they had for these dinners and Ludo's ideas are quite a match: It's all about pushing the boundaries.

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