Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Art: Ludo Bites (Los Angeles)

Ludo Bites: Royal/T in Bed Together
I would like to interrupt my Hong Kong/ Shanghai trip blogging and bring you my meal at Ludo Bites.

I couldn’t get a reservation for Ludo Bites at the Breadbar, so I was excited about Ludo’s 13-day dinning showcase at Royal/T - “Ludo Bites & Royal/T Get in Bed Together.” Like the event at the Breadbar, reservations for Ludo’s event at the Royal/T filled up quickly. Luckily, I was able to piggyback on my friend’s 9 pm reservation.

By 11 pm, we had just received our last course – Grilled Beef Tenderloin. Ludovic, aka Ludo, comes out. “ Hey guys, can you please wrap up, we’re closing.”

My mouth drops, as I stared blankly at him and my head runs a mile a minute thinking -

1 star for you, Asshole! We’re not done eating!

Then Ludo’s laughs and goes on saying in his sexy French ascent, “Take your time. How are you enjoying your meal?”

We then not only give him a raving review of his food, but go on spending the next 15 minutes interrogating him about everything from his favorite foods (bread and butter and frozen pizza), to inspirations (traveling), and his take on French bakeries. By taking the time to talk to us, not only did Ludo fall back into our good graces and words like asshole faded away, but he allowed us to put a face to the artist behind our food. This helped add personality, color and understanding to each unique creation.

For a table of 8, we ordered 2 of 8 different dishes, but 3 of the beignets to share. We ordered: (Due to my hunger, and the hunger of my friends, I was unable to take photos in the special food photo staging area with perfect lighting created by Ludo’s wife Kristy. Thus, I am not posting my photos because there are a million photos on the Internet taken in perfect lighting that will put my photos to shame.)
Ludo Bites Menu
Natucket Scallop, Pineapple, Brown Butter, Black Bread Power $14 –
I loved the brown butter sauce and pineapple cubes. To me, the scallops were soft and tender, but the pineapple added a different texture bringing the dish to another level.

Celery Root Soup, Black Truffle, Parmesan $15 –
This soup was rich, creamy and flavorful. I could have a whole bowl on a cold rainy day and be happy. I loved it!
Celery Root Soup, Black Truffle, Parmesan Slowly Sauteed Monterey Wild Squid, Chorizo Oil, Kimchi Puree, Black Olive
Slowly Sautéed Monterey Wild Squid, Chorizo Oil, Kimchi Puree Black Olive $14 –
The squid was soft, not chewy and the spicy kick from the Kimchi, along with the eggplant paper and chorizo oil created amazing flavors in my palette.

Crispy Confit Pork Belly, Burnt Eggplant Puree, Plantain, Coconut Thai Chili Emulsion $16 –
This pork belly is soft and perfectly cooked. But, I did not like the burnt eggplant puree. To me, it tasted burnt. The plantain was also forgettable.

Foie Gras Beignet, Saffron- Dried Apricots $17 –
The beignet was perfectly fried with an amazing glaze. Everyone loves foie gras, but to me, it was too much foie gras. The foie gras filling tasted under cooked and overwhelming. My Foie Gras Beignet must have been neglected, because my friend said that hers was perfect.

Brittany Cod Teriyaki, Mashed Potatoes, Picked Garlic, Lemon – Miso $24-
I LOVE the buttery goodness of the mashed potatoes, but I thought that the teriyaki sauce over powered the cod.

Braised Veal, Udon, Caramelized Onions, Kombu Dashi, Enoki Mushrooms $ 16 –
The Kombu Dashi (kelp stock) was overwhelming and did not allow me to enjoy the dish.

Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Crispy Lard, Carrots “Vichy”, Mustard $28 –
It was the perfect end to the night, a perfectly grilled beef Tenderloin with crispy pieces of lard and a nice mustard sauce.

This meal was truly an amazing experience. It showed case flavors and techniques from around the world. Ludo is no ordinary chef. Ludo is a complex artist. He blends together unique techniques, spices and ingredients like chorizo oil and kimchi puree or pineapple and scallops to create a well thought out masterpiece of textures and flavor for the palette. Ludo is not only sexy, but so his is food!
Photo with Ludo Lefebvre
Ludo Bites @ Royal/T
8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-630