Tag Archives: Bread Bar

Modern Global Tastings

Marcel Vigneron at BreadBar’s Hatchi Series

Marcel Vigneron at HatchiMy two biggest pet peeves in life are ungratefulness and arrogance. If I meet a person, and he (or she) continually shows signs of either, I’m quick to cut and run.

When I initially met chef Marcel Vigneron in the Bazaar’s kitchen last year, I thought he was full of arrogance. So much so, that the first thing I said to him (after a cocktail or two) was, “I hated you on Top Chef”.

If you’re not familiar with the show, Marcel was the runner-up (to Ilan Hall) on Top Chef season two, and his “character” was the one that I think most viewers loved to hate (including me). He was young, cute, super talented and the other cheftestants on the show didn’t like him much either. On TV, Marcel seemed overly cocky, arrogant and quietly obnoxious.

When I think back to our first meeting, I’m still horrified with my behavior. How could I judge a person by his “performance” on a REALITY show? I told a complete stranger that I HATED him. That’s a powerful word, in real life or not. And to top off my ill-mannered introduction, I asked to take a picture with him (he kindly obliged). Talk about ARROGANCE (on my part)!

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009Thankfully, Marcel and I are now friends, and I’ve apologized for that first meeting several times. He is absolutely one of the sweetest and most accomplished chefs around, and what came off as “arrogance” on TV was simply CONFIDENCE. It’s such a shame that the Bazaar didn’t appreciate his talent or patience. He quit recently and has been busy filming a pilot for SYFY, while also managing his Modern Global Tasting Catering Company.

Luckily, we food lovers got to experience an entire evening of Marcel’s cuisine at BreadBar’s recent December Hatchi event. The menu theme, was not surprisingly, the same as his catering company, “Modern Global Tastings”. Modern techniques included spherifications, sous vide and foams (just for us lucky Top Chef fans perhaps?). Global Tastings took our tastebuds around the world in one evening, and the cost was just $8 for each plate!

Hatchi at BreadBar is a “unique venture featuring a different guest chef every month preparing an original, one-night-only suite of eight plates, including six ’savory’ dishes and two ’sweet’ creations”. Hatchi means number eight in Japanese: 8 Plates offered at $8 each. Quite the bargain for what you get, and I try to attend each one.

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBiteMarcel’s guest chef Hatchi dinner was rather poignant, because this was one of the few times the general public got to taste HIS FOOD. Our table was filled with fellow foodies and friends including Marcel’s good pal, chef Ben Bailly (of Petrossian). Ben and Marcel previously worked together at Joël Robuchon, and it was hilarious watching them discuss each plate (sometimes whispering) throughout the evening.

As the night came to a close, the exhaustion was apparent on Marcel’s face, but more importantly… so was the pride, because it was all about HIS concept, HIS menu, HIS food (which was all phenomenal). I felt so grateful to be part of the delicious experience, and can’t wait for what’s next!

Modern Global Tastings:

“The edible alchemy presented here is a food movement representation intended to not only express a culinary philosophy but also to evoke a conscious perception of the natural shape and flavor of substances, colors, and textures that exist within the earth and have been interpreted by your sorcerer composer. May your appetite grow and your belly be satisfied.” ~ Marcel Vigneron 

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Pomegranate Blueberry Spherification (Amuse Bouche)

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Hamachi Sashimi: Espelette, Momo Chan, Kumquat, Salicornia

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Dayboat Scallop, Cauliflower Couscous, Kinome, Seaweed

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Langostine Ravioli: Tom Kai, Avocado Wrapped Mango, Petite Basil, Basil Seeds, Coconut Milk Powder

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Lyonaise Salad: Frisee, “Nesting” Egg, Bacon, Sherry Vinaigrette, Endive

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Broth being poured over MisoHoney Black Cod, Nasturtium textures, Sesame oil powder

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
MisoHoney Black Cod, Nasturtium textures, Sesame oil powder

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Vadouvan Lamb: Flavors of Tzatziki, Lavosh, Pickled Onion, Sumac

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Grass Fed “Corned Beef”: Sous vide short rib, Textures of Corn, Saul’s Pastrami, Black Trumpets

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Souffle, Green Chartreuse with Orange Peel ice Cream with Almond Struesel

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Tiny chocolate curry and passion fruit Macaroons

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Cubed Vanilla Marshmallows

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Cocktail: “Coke in Manhattan” Bourbon, Carbonated Coca Cola Spherification (so fun!)

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Popcorn cooked in liquid nitrogen (aka “Dragon’s Breath”)

BreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310 277 3770
WebSite

Dining Date: 12/17/09
At our table: Charles from 1HundredMiles, Robert, Andrew, Bob from TheBaubShow, Hanh from HungryHungryHanh, Charles from @EpicureImports, Chef Ben Bailly from Petrossian

Check BreadBar’s website for upcoming Hatchi events

More of my visits to Hatchi dinners


At the Bazaar, MyLastBite.comFollow
@MarcelVigneron on Twitter

Marcel’s Bio on Top Chef

SYFY

Marcel Caters for Exposed Book Launch Event w/ Jessica Alba

Chef Ben Bailly, Petrossian

The Bazaar by Jose Andres

Marcel’s autograph for my niece (& nephew too)

Check back soon for website info & details on Marcel’s Modern Global Catering Company

More Hatchi Photos on Flickr

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Filed under Eating Out, Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.), Hot Chefs

BREADBAR’s Hatchi Series: 8 for $8

What is Hatchi?

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.comA little background (by LA Weekly):
“The Hatchi series, a collaboration between Breadbar and chef Noriyuki Sugie, began this past June and showcases a guest chef the last Thursday of each month. The series menu features 8 small plate courses at $8 a dish–“hatchi” means 8 in Japanese–and guests order a minimum of three dishes. The chefs, who are picked for their rising-star talent, are given a budget and must stick within it; Sugie is on hand to mentor, watch, and (one hopes) taste a few dishes. The previous chefs to run the floor were Debbie Lee (The Next Food Network Star, now at Gyenari), Michael Voltaggio (now chef de cuisine at The Langham) and Santa Barbara-based private chef Roberto Cortez.”

I love these “guest chef” dinners, and do my best to attend each one. So far I’ve been to three (links below), and highly recommend it! It’s just a really comfortable and inexpensive way to try out a chef’s new menu.

Michael Voltaggio at Hatchi
Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com

Robert Cortez at Hatchi
Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com

Remi Lauvand at Hatchi
Lauvand @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com

Waylynn Lucas at Hatchi
Waylynn at Hatchi, MyLastBite.com

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi
Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite

Upcoming Events: 1/28/10 Ricardo Zarate
Chef at Mo Chica
Hatchi Theme: Peru Much Gusto

voltaggio top chef

BreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 277 3770
WebSite (check for upcoming Hatchi dinners)

Follow BreadBar on Twitter @BreadBar_LA

Mentioned above:

LA Weekly

Chef Noriyuki Sugie

BreadBar

Chef Voltaggio – Dining Room at the Langham

Chef Lauvand – Cafe Pierre

Chef Roberto Cortez

Chef Debbie Lee – Gyenari

voltaggio married wife girlfriend michael voltaggio’s top chef

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Remi Lauvand – Hatchi Dinner

My first taste of chef Remi Lauvand’s food was back in February of 2008, when he was chef de cuisine at Michel Richard’s Citrus at Social in Hollywood. Peter and I ate there several times before chef Lauvand left in August of the same year.

Chef Remi Lauvand, MyLastBiteThe very first dish I ordered at Citrus was the Mosaic, a “Carpaccio of Surf, Turf and Earth”. It was so beautiful (and of course delicious) that I didn’t want to touch the plate at first. I also remember seriously annoying the diners next to me with my continuous photo-taking (I’m better at it now).

Peter’s favorite dish at Citrus was actually dessert. A chocolate (and if I remember correctly, hazelnut) layered cake with a crunchy layer called, the Kit Kat Bar.

On September 24th, chef Lauvand was the guest chef for “Hatchi at BreadBar” in Century City (see below for more info). Peter and I met up with a few friends and slid into a semi-private booth inside the restaurant. We loved the coziness of our table, but unfortunately many of my photos were awful because it became too dark (even with the help of iPhone lights)! My apologies to chef Lauvand, and also my thanks for a truly wonderful dinner.

Chef Remi Lauvand’s Hatchi Dinner
Endless Summer

Lauvand @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
House Cured Tasmanian Trout: Charentais Melon, Tarragon & Lemon Hatch Pepper Relish

Lauvand @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Crisp Pork Belly Salad: Parsnips, Jalapeno Sauce

Lauvand @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Foie “Parfait” Pain D’epices, Black Mission Figs

Lauvand @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Top: Barramundi, Lady Peas, Watercress, Prosciutto, Basil Jus. Bottom: Handmade Farfalle, Octopus, Chicken Oysters, Tomatoes

Lauvand @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Top: Mini Tropezienne, Santa Barbara Pistachios, Chocolate Cracker. Bottom: Penryn Orchard Pear, Crepe Sofia Goat Cheese, Young Walnuts

No photo of Slow Cooked Veal Breast, Carrottes Rissolees, Arugula (too out of focus)

Lauvand @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Hatchi at BreadBar is a “unique venture featuring a different guest chef every month preparing an original, one-night-only suite of eight plates, including six ’savory’ dishes and two ’sweet’ creations”. Hatchi means number eight in Japanese: 8 Plates offered at $8 each.

BreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310 277 3770
WebSite (check for upcoming Hatchi dinners)

Dining Date: 9/24/09
With Krissy, Charles & Robert 

Chef Lauvand on Twitter @Reminou

Where is chef Lauvand now? At Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach!

L.A. Times writes about Remi Lauvand’s new menu

More about Chef Lauvand

Citrus at Social Website

Roberto Cortez, Hatchi dinner

Michael Voltaggio, Hatchi dinner

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Roberto Cortez – Hatchi Dinner

Back in July, I received an email from chef Roberto Cortez, asking if I would be attending his “one night only” Hatchi dinner at BreadBar. He wrote: “I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and always enjoy your writing and your palate appreciation”. Which made me laugh because I took it as, “you really like to EAT” (and of course it’s true)!

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.comI hadn’t yet been to one of BreadBar’s special dinner events, but planned to attend as many as I possibly could.

Since then, I’ve been to three (Voltaggio being the first), and it’s just a really comfortable and inexpensive way to try out a chef’s new menu.

If you’re unfamiliar with Hatchi, BreadBar describes it as a “unique venture featuring a different guest chef every month preparing an original, one-night-only suite of eight plates, including six ’savory’ dishes and two ’sweet’ creations”. Hatchi means number eight in Japanese: 8 Plates offered at $8 each.

Chef Roberto Cortez is known as the “Boutique Private Chef”, and on his blog he writes, “I have been a Private Chef for 14 years and currently reside in Santa Barbara, California. I have had the honor of being the Personal Chef to Microsoft’s Paul Allen, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith and Eddie Murphy, just to name a few.”

Chef Cortez trained at Ecole Lenotre and Ecole de Escoffier (both in France) and also studied in Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Poland. His twitter bio reads “Private Chef seeking uncommon relationships between food, design and sensory emotions”, and that pretty much sums up the delicious evening we had at BreadBar.

Chef Roberto Cortez, Hatchi Dinner
Unfamilar Conflict

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
White Asparagus Cappucino: grapefruit, mint, ginger ravioli

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Liquid Onion Ring: rye crips, sesame gribiche

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Herb Stained Salmon: whipped jasmie rice, pickled cucumber paste

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Smoked Shitake Terrine: white corn velouté, Indonesian cinnamon butter, arugula

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Lemon Lacquered Chicken: hot aerated potato, soy gelée, almond corianders oatmeal

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Veal Short Ribs: cauliflower cocoa butter, vadouvan, grape edamame shallot confiture

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
8C Manjari Chocolate Cream: thai spice cherries, frozen malt, guinness pearls

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Sparkling Lemoncurd Mousse: strawberry water caramel, mint oil, crêpe crunch

Cortez @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.comBreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310 277 3770
WebSite (check for upcoming Hatchi dinners)

Dining Date: 8/6/09 with Charles & Robert

Chef Robert Cortez – Website

His Blog

Follow him on Twitter @FoodSamurai

Ecole Lenotre

Ecole de Escoffier

Michael Voltaggio, Hatchi dinner

Remi Lauvand, Hatchi dinner

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Michael Voltaggio – Hatchi Dinner

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Chef Michael Voltaggio. Luckily for me, I also get to call him a friend.

Voltaggio, MyLastBite.comEver since I first tasted Michael’s food at the Bazaar by José Andrés last year, I made sure to keep an eye on the man that chef Andrés selected to open (as Esquire Magazine recently coined), the “Restaurant of the Year”.

The L.A. Times even gave the Bazaar a rare FOUR STAR review, and yes… I understand that the restaurant, menu and concept belong to the great José Andrés (I adore him too). But it was primarily Michael Voltaggio I saw in the kitchen each time I sat down for dinner in the Bazaar’s Roja room.

Michael now runs the kitchen at the Dining Room in Pasadena, which is located in the Langham Hotel. Before starting this most recent gig, he took some “time off” to compete in Bravo’s Top Chef – Season 6 (which is currently airing). He even squeezed in time to helm a one-night-only Hatchi guest chef event at BreadBar Restaurant in Century City, and it was there that I got to taste creations that were finally, truly his own.

Partying with the boys, MyLastBite.comBreadBar describes the Hatchi Series as a “unique venture featuring a different guest chef every month preparing an original, one-night-only suite of eight plates, including six ‘savory’ dishes and two ‘sweet’ creations”. Hatchi means number eight in Japanese: 8 Plates offered at $8 each. I love the Hatchi dinners, and do my best to attend each one!

The best part about Michael Voltaggio’s Hatchi dinner, surprisingly, wasn’t about the food. OF COURSE the food was STELLAR, it’s Michael Voltaggio for goodness sakes, but my favorite part was meeting and getting to know Michael’s mother, Sharon and his stepdad, Bob.

Top Chef 6 hadn’t started airing yet, and there was a lot excitement and anticipation at the restaurant that night. Sharon and I now email each other every Wednesday night after the show has aired, so we can dish about how her TWO sons are doing on the show. In case you don’t watch Top Chef, Bryan Voltaggio (Michael’s equally talented big brother) is also competing for the title this year. Sharon is certainly one proud mom, that’s for sure!

Michael Voltaggio’s incredible Hatchi menu:
An Experience of Texture and Flavor

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Artichokes “Barigoule” Salmon Belly, Philadelphia Cheese, Smoked Salmon Roe

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Japanese Tomato Tartare: Green Almonds, Parmesan “Overeasy”, Tapenade

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Hamachi Crudo: Smoked Egg Yolk, Sea Sponge, Watermelon and Wild Rice

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Veal Sweetbread, Poached Egg, Coffee Cardamom Soil (before adding Pea Consomme)

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Veal Sweetbread, Poached Egg, Pea Consomme, Coffee Cardamom Soil

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Crispy Chicken Thigh: Cuttlefish, Green Garlic, Sweet and Sour Mushrooms

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Wagyu Beef: Short Rib, Saul’s Pastrami, Tamarind, Broccoli Textures, Horseradish “Styrofoam”

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Miso Cake: Jasmine “Rice Cream”, Strawberry, Yuzu

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Fool’s Gold: Hazelnut Praline, Salty Caramel, Nitro Coffee Mousse.
Sommelier Matthew Lathan paired each dish beautifully with wines, sherry and beer!

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
Chefs Michael Voltaggio and Marcel Vigneron (Top Chef Season 2)


Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.comBreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310 277 3770
WebSite 

Dining Date: 7/30/09
With friends Afaf & Ray.

Hatchi Dinner: 8 Plates for $8
See website (link above) for upcoming Hatchi dinners!

The Dining Room at the Langham

Michael Voltaggio’s Top Chef Bio

Bryan Voltaggio’s Top Chef Bio

Esquire Magazine (Bazaar)

L.A. Times (Bazaar)

All my Michael Voltaggio photos on Flickr

More awesome Voltaggio tattoos (posted with permission)!

Voltaggio, MyLastBite.com
on his hand

Voltaggio, MyLastBite.com
on his arm

Voltaggio, MyLastBite.com
for his mother

Voltaggio @ Hatchi, MyLastBite.com
More about Hatchi

More about Michael Voltaggio

Voltaggio, Voltaggio, Michael Volaggio, Bryan, Top Chef Las Vegas, Voltaggio Brothers Voltaggio, Voltaggio, Michael Volaggio, Bryan, Top Chef Las Vegas, Voltaggio Brothers

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LudoBites [2]

Last Tuesday evening was NOT just another busy night for LudoBites Chef Ludovic Lefebvre. A few hours before service, he tweeted (via Twitter) that one of his crew had called in sick:

“Here we go again. Tuesday -packed house & cook already called in sick. Can I have 1 day of normal please? Hopefully no 1 gets arrested 2day.” @ChefLudo 9:55 AM Jul 14th

Not only was the LudoBites reservation book filled, but July 14th also happened to be Bastille Day, the French National Holiday, and I was looking forward to a fun dinner at LudoBites! But who could blame this VERY French chef, if he simply wasn’t in the mood for celebration?

At 8pm, Peter and I met up with friends Dean & Steph, and carrying a few extra bottles of wine (it’s byob at LudoBites), we settled into our table. I figured that since we couldn’t actually help Chef Ludo cook on the line, the least we could do was bring some wine to share with any impatient customers. After we handed over the bottles to our waiter, we went about ordering dishes from the menu.

I have to admit, I was worried at first. This was only my second meal at LudoBites, but I wondered how Chef Ludo would deal with the loss of a cook on such a busy night. Would the taste of his food be compromised? Would table service be slow? Would Ludo be stuck in the kitchen with no appearance for his beloved fans?

Of course not. It’s Ludo for goodness sakes! He (and his crew including Krissy, his lovely wife), kicked into high gear and provided us with another flawless, and of course deliciously memorable dinner. 

What we ate:

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Seared Duck Breast, Crispy Skin-Peanut, Mandarin Kumquats, Coulis Carrot Cake, Bok Choy $24

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Monkfish, Coconut Milk, Artichoke, Fresh Almonds, Clementine $18

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Lobster Medallions, Honey-Sherry Vinaigrette, Rosemary $18

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Top Left: The (legendary) Lavender Honey Butter (aka frosting butter).
Top Right: Foie Gras Terrine Black Croque-Monsieur, Maple Syrup and Ham $20
Bottom Right: Grilled Santa Barbara Prawns, Gremolata, Avocado, Chantilly $24
Bottom Left: Grilled Hanger Steak, Beer Emulsion, Black Sesame Miso, Potato Chips, Charcoal Oil $24

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Top: Heirloom Tomato Salad, Red Onions, Feta Mousse, Oregano $14
Bottom: Poached Egg 65 Degrees, Morels, Smoked Mornay Sauce, Toast $11

LudoBites Visit #2, MyLastBite.com
Back in the kitchen: Chef Ludo’s Mise En Place at LudoBites (so fun hanging out in the kitchen!)

LudoBites at Breadbar
thru August 22, 2009
8718 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310 205 0124
Dining Date: 7/14/09
Joined by Dean & Steph 

< LudoBites Visit #1 (with more details & photos of the chef)

About Chef Ludo

Check out his gorgeous book, “Crave”

More about LudoBites

Chef Ludo on Twitter

About Twitter

More about Bastille Day

Ludo Bites (@ Breadbar) on Urbanspoon

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LudoBites – Chefs Are Rock Stars

My first hard-core rock star crush happened when I was twelve years old. All I wanted was Peter Frampton to “Show Me the Way”. To what or where I wanted him to lead me I wasn’t sure, but I was certain I wanted it. Not only did I sleep with the “Frampton Comes Alive” album cover every night, but I obsessed about him so much that I wanted to LOOK like him.

Chefs are like Rock Stars, MyLastBite.comOn a weekend visit to my grandparents house in San Marino, I succeeded in talking my grandmother into letting me get a perm. Unfortunately she took me to a local beauty school in Pasadena, and the outcome was not even close to the tousled, carefree ringlets on the glossy photo I kissed goodnight. I was a half Japanese, half Scottish girl with an AFRO. It wasn’t pretty. Enough said.

I still have that “Frampton Comes Alive” double album (from 1976). As a matter of fact I still have ALL my favorite albums from my childhood, which is pretty amazing considering the fact that I moved no less than eighteen times before settling in my current home, here in Studio City. Some of the moves were global: Okinawa to California (when my parents divorced), Maryland to the Virgin Islands (during my first marriage to an airline pilot), but most of the moves were throughout California, and it really is a miracle that my delicate record collection survived at all.

Chefs are like Rock Stars, MyLastBite.comEven the two albums I brought from Okinawa (in 1972) are still intact, although they’re now so shabby I finally placed them in protective plastic sleeves. “Peter Pan” and the soundtrack from the film “Oliver!” always take me back to our home in Takahara Heights. I can listen to them on my iPod of course, but there’s nothing better than popping open my battery-operated Japanese record player and spinning vinyl with a cocktail or two.

Looking through my old records over the weekend, I had to laugh at some of my “favorites” way back when. Some of the more embarrassing 33’s I’ve held on to are albums by Leif Garret, Shaun Cassidy, Andy Gibb and the “love of my life” at fifteen, General Hospital’s own Dr. Noah Drake, aka Rick Springfield. Two of my multiple vinyl collections that I’m MOST proud to have, are Elton John and David Bowie.

As I entered high school, like most of my girlfriends, I crushed on Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Sting. A few of the bands I still listen to on a regular basis are the Pretenders (Chrissie still rocks), X, Motley Crue, Poison and of course, “classics” like the Stones, the Clash, and the Runaways.

On stage at the Whisky-a-GoGo, MyLastBite.comI was eighteen when David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” was released, and drove my big sister crazy playing “Modern Love” every morning for an entire year. Not only did I listen to the music, but I also grew up playing piano and writing my own songs. This passion for music is now shared with my husband Peter, who I thank on a daily basis for teaching me how to play guitar, and with my niece and nephews. For my 40th birthday, Peter even rented out the world-famous Whisky-a-GoGo so I could have a “rock star” fantasy party. It was amazing.

Growing up, there wasn’t anything more exciting than watching my favorite musicians on stage, but these days I get that same happy rush when I spend time with some of my favorite chefs. I get a little star-struck even, whether it’s watching Vinny & Jon at Animal, chefs Voltaggio* and Vigneron in the open Rojo kitchen at Bazaar, or even strolling from chef to chef at the recent Taste of the Nation event. Call me a “super chef fan” or a groupie even… I don’t care because I’m having so much fun!

To me, chefs ARE ROCK STARS, and the restaurants (at least the ones with open kitchens) are my favorite type of THEATER. The food they create is ART, and I’m just one of the the lucky fans who get to devour each tasty NOTE.

LudoBites, MyLastBite.comOn July 8th, I had the pleasure of attending what I am calling, the BEST DAMN GIG in town. LudoBites (at Breadbar on Third) starring the immensely talented, (and super hot) ROCK STAR Chef Ludovic Lefebvre.

LudoBites is described as “a guerrilla style pop-up restaurant event… that teams up with restaurants that only have breakfast and lunch service… LudoBites will move to a new space every few months, similar to an artist exhibition”.

My friend Charles made the 7:30 reservation for the four us: myself, husband Peter, Charles and his partner Robert. When my friend Bob saw me tweeting about my dinner plans that evening, he called and asked if he and his boyfriend Andrew could join us for what Peter called, the “Food Rave”.

LudoBites, MyLastBite.comThe six of us were giddy after we were seated at the table closest to where Chef Ludo would be working. The setting was surprisingly intimate, and right off the bat, Krissy, Chef Ludo’s beautiful wife made us feel comfortable and welcome. Come to think of it, rock stars always have gorgeous model wives don’t they?

Throughout the evening we went about ordering almost everything on the menu. I THOUGHT we had tasted every main dish, but in fact we missed one (the duck) which I’ll have to order on my next visit. I tried to pick out my favorite bite of the evening, but I couldn’t. Even the lavender honey butter was phenomenal!

Like a well-crafted piece of music, everything Chef Ludo prepared simply ROCKED MY WORLD. Hopefully I’ll be able to score a few more “front row seats” at LudoBites before the tour ends in August.

What we ate:

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Shrimps, Sweet and Sour Emulsion, Rosemary $10

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
White Asparagus Veloute, Mozzarella Ice Cream, Shaved Fennel, Dried Black Olives $14

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Grilled Hangar Steak “Kobe Style”, Black Sesame Miso, Potato Chips, Shallots and Charcoal Oil $24

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Sauteed Diver Scallop, Red Port-Creme Fraiche, Candied Bacon, Potato by $14

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Seared Foie Gras with Corn, Passion Fruits by $22

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Creamy Polenta, Cantal Cheese, Oxtail Beef, Black Truffle $14

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Lacquered Pork Belly, Mustard Ice Cream, Napa Cabbage, Imaginary Choucroute $18

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Heirloom Tomato Salad, Red Onions, Feta Mousse, Oregano $14

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Chilled Chorizo, Cantaloup, Cornichon Soup $11. Foie Gras Tart, Maple Syrup, Lemon Paste, Hazelnut Oil $18

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
SORRY this is so blurry! Poached Egg 65 Degrees, Caramelized Savory French Toast, Smokey Mornay Sauce. $9. Bottom: Kumamoto Oyster, Chablis Wine, Iceberg Lettuce, Borage Flower $12

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Chocolate Mousse, Ganache, Chantilly $10

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Cheese Course, $35
Photo missing: Halibut, Spiced Butter, Fresh Porcini, Fresh Almonds, Tonnato Style, $22

LudoBites, MyLastBite.com
Chef Ludo, his tats and one of his cool art pieces

All my LudoBites Photos on Flickr

LudoBites at Breadbar
thru August 22, 2009
8718 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310 205 0124
Dining Date: 7/8/09

About Chef Ludo

Check out his gorgeous book, “Crave”

More about LudoBites

About Kristine (“Krissy”) Lefebvre

Mentioned above:

Peter Frampton Video “Show Me The Way”

Charles (website)

Bob (website)

Peter (his band)

Playing guitar with the twins

Animal Restaurant

The Bazaar by Jose Andres

Taste of the Nation

Chef Marcel Vigneron

Okinawa

Whisky-a-GoGo

*Chef Michael Voltaggio (formerly at the Bazaar) is now working at The Dining Room, Langham Hunginton Hotel

Dr. Noah Drake / Rick Springfield

With a few of my favorite Chef Rock Stars

Ludo Bites (@ Breadbar) on Urbanspoon

More LudoBites Visit @BreadBar >

Photos from ALL LudoBites @BreadBar

LudoBites @RoyalT Cafe

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Filed under Eating Out, Food Stories (written by me)