Tag Archives: “French Chef”

LQ @ SK (Laurent Quenioux at Starry Kitchen)

Why LQ @ SK?
Because Jonathan Gold and Esther Tseng say so!

with Chef Laurent QueniouxRecently, Peter and I scored a reservation to one of chef Quenioux’s celebrated pop-up dinners. If you haven’t been yet and are in need of an adventurous and FUN evening out, check out the upcoming dates downtown at Starry Kitchen.

About Laurent Quenioux:
Growing up in Sologne, France, Bistro LQ Owner/Executive Chef Laurent Quenioux developed his love of game and wild strawberries with his parents: he would hunt duck, partridge, rabbit and hare with his father, and practice cooking his mother’s recipes at home in the kitchen. When he completed his education, he entered into an apprenticeship in the South of France where, according to Laurent, “everything is about fat duck, goose liver and foie gras. (more on his official website)

Photos from the awesome dinner below!

LQ @ SK: (Entrance) & Amuse Bouche of Little Neck Clam, Huitlacoche, Epazote, Sauerkraut Sushi
(Entrance) & Amuse Bouche of Little Neck Clam, Huitlacoche, Epazote, Sauerkraut Sushi

LQ @ SK: Warm Veal Feet, "Ravigote", Anchovy
Warm Veal Feet, “Ravigote”, Anchovy, Piquillo Varnish, “Gargouillou” of Summer Vegetables

LQ @ SK:  Piquillo Varnish, "Gargouillou" of Summer Vegetables
Piquillo Varnish, “Gargouillou” of Summer Vegetables (with the Warm Veal Feet, “Ravigote”, Anchovy)

LQ @ SK: Scallop Tartar
Scallops 2 ways (tartar and sauteed), beet ribbons, zucchini smear, vermouth demi glace

LQ @ SK: Sauteed Scallop
Sauteed Scallop, zucchini smear, vermouth demi glace

Kaffir Consommé, Sautéed Foie Gras, Crab
Kaffir Consommé, Sautéed Foie Gras, Crab (My favorite of the evening!)

LQ @ SK: Lamb Loin
Lamb Loin

LQ @ SK: Lamb Kidney
Lamb Kidney

LQ @ SK: Lamb Sweetbreads
Lamb Sweetbreads (Peter LOVED the lamb course, especially the sweetbreads)

Chef Laurent Quenioux's Pandan Panna Cotta
Pandan Panna Cotta, Grenadine, Prickly Pears, Cherry Apricot Sorbet

Dining Date: 7/31/11
“Fooding Around in L.A.”
$45 pp

LQ @ SK (Chef Quenioux!)Starry Kitchen
350 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 617-3474

Upcoming LQ @ SK Dinner dates (2011)
August 14, 15, 16
August 28, 29, 30
Sep 11,12, 13
Sep 25, 26, 27


“French chef elevating comfort food in Pasadena” by my friend Esther Tseng

Jonathan Gold Reviews LQ @ Starry Kitchen

Follow Chef Quenioux on Twitter

Follow Starry Kitchen on Twitter

Follow Jonathan Gold on Twitter

Follow EstarLA on Twitter (one of my favorite food bloggers)

Chef Laurent Quenioux’s Website

Anne Fishbein’s gorgeous photos (from another LQ @ SK dinner)

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Filed under Eating Out

Fraiche (now closed)

The gorgeous French Chef Ben Bailly calls me his American “Auntie”. If I were 20 years younger (I’m 46) I’d be seriously offended by this, but in all honesty…. I LOVE IT.

Chefs Night Out 2010I met the 28-year-old chef back in October 2009 at Petrossian in West Hollywood, and at first mistook him for our server. Before eating at the restaurant, I read that Ben had previously worked at various Robuchon kitchens around the world, so I just assumed he was much older.

Well, ever since that first dinner of caviar-stuffed steak tartare and foie gras creme brulée, I have praised, tweeted and done my best to support his craft.

In November, Chef Bailly took over the kitchen at Fraiche restaurant in Culver City and I couldn’t wait to check out his new playground. His new dishes (and creative freedom) made his “Auntie” so very proud indeed!

Fraiche Restaurant
We started the evening beautifully with this St. Tropez Cocktail, made with Hendricks gin, lime, lavender oil, and a cucumber ice cube

Fraiche Restaurant
Hamachi Tartare, Shaved Turnip, Lime, Espelette Pepper

Fraiche Restaurant
Vitello Tonnato: Veal Steak Tartare, Arugula, Parmesan

Fraiche Restaurant
Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo, Dates, Almonds, Manchego Cheese and Piquillo Vinaigrette

Fraiche Restaurant
Belgian Endives: Coppa, Apple, Pecans, Goat Cheese, Truffle Vinaigrette

Fraiche Restaurant
Baby Beets: Mizuna, Ricotta, Orange, Pistachio

Fraiche Restaurant
Taglierini Neri, Maine Lobster, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil

Fraiche Restaurant
Bucatini Carbonara, Slow Poached Egg, Pancetta, Parmesan

Fraiche Restaurant
Soft Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and a Slow Poached Egg

Fraiche Restaurant
House Made Agnolotti: Wild Mushrooms with Mascarpone and Truffle Butter

Fraiche Restaurant
Crispy Loup de Mer, Sunchokes Soubise, Crosnes, Salsifi, Mushrooms, Bordelaise

Fraiche Restaurant
Wine pairing by the charming (and informative) Sommelier Paul Sanginetti

Fraiche Restaurant
Truffle Burger, Onion Fondue, Boschetto, Truffle Aioli, Egg

Fraiche Restaurant
Chocolate Coulant with Toffee and Peanut Butter Ice Cream (this just warmed my heart…. THANK YOU BEN!)

Fraiche Restaurant
After dinner tour: Ben showing me the secret vault below the restaurant!

Fraiche Restaurant
Secret stash

Many, many more Fraiche photos including behind-the-scenes, wine and smiles!

Dinner shared with Peter and the lovely Kate Green on 12/12/10

Fraiche Restaurant (This restaurant is now closed)
9411 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 839-6800

Chef Ben Bailly on Twitter

Fraiche on Twitter

Fraiche on FaceBook

Chef Ben Bailly at Petrossian

All photos of Chef Ben Bailly


Filed under Eating Out, Hot Chefs

LudoBites Forever

I tend to fall a little bit in love with my favorite chefs, and subsequently fall a whole LOT in love with their food.

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBiteLike meeting a favorite actor or musician, I almost regress into my 13-year old obsessive self. If I could get away with covering my bedroom walls (and ceiling) with giant posters and framed Tiger Beat-ish (Food & Wine) glossies, I would. My husband Peter has nixed that idea of course, so I pin up snapshots around my kitchen pantry instead.

As a teenager I dreamt of being David Bowie’s “China Girl” and even threw birthday parties in his honor every year, hoping the thin white duke would be my “Modern Love” someday. I still have EVERY Bowie album (on vinyl) from my youth, tucked away on shelf in the closet. By the way, Happy Birthday David. I’ll be thinking of you on January 7th.

LudoBites 12/20/09Peter and I recently took my family to LudoBites @RoyalT Cafe for a pre-Christmas holiday dinner. This most recent pop-up event (aka “3.0”) was for thirteen days only, a very limited engagement that made it feel like LudoBites was a rock band on tour.

I attended five LudoBites evenings in December, and shared incredible meals with fellow food lovers and friends including Bob, Andrew, Lisa, Dave, Katrina, Phil, Julian and of course, Peter.

LudoBites 12/15/09The night I brought my good friend Jazz (Jitlada Thai Restaurant owner) was quite a treat. Mostly because she never actually takes time off to “eat out” during business hours. As she walked into the dining room, I saw heads turn to greet her. One person wrote on Twitter the next day, that seeing Jazz was like “spotting the queen” in the house. So true!

Family night was extra special of course, and everyone was blown away by the food and also the shopping! RoyalT Cafe houses a dangerous Hello Kitty collection, and I’m embarrassed to admit how much I spent during several visits. Let’s just say, that Peter won’t be buying me any valentines or birthday presents in 2010!

LudoBites 12/20/09Dining out with my niece and nephews is always fun, but I especially got a kick out of watching the twins (Chace and Kindal, 13) react to Ludo as though he were a bona fide rock star. The whole family is enamored with both Ludo and Krissy (his beautiful wife and brilliant business partner). They all first met at one of our garden parties over the summer, and my 20-year old nephew Cody had been with us to LudoBites 2.0 @BreadBar in July.

LudoBites Catering Event 9/17/09My own love affair with LudoBites started with the Foie Gras Croque Monsieur (also during 2.0). This masterpiece starts with terrine of duck foie gras, ham and cheese grilled between two pieces of pain de mie (bread) with black squid ink, and a cherry-amaretto compote on the side. It was the first thing we ordered (if it was on the menu) during seven stellar evenings on the summer tour.

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBiteWhen LudoBites 3.0 was announced, Ludo stated that he would NOT repeat any previous dishes, including the beloved croque. That was a shot to my heart (and belly), and felt like when Bowie announced that he would never again sing “Changes” live in concert. Absolute heart ache.

Recently, Krissy hinted (via Twitter) that the next LudoBites (4.0) may include “Greatest Hits”, so I’m hopeful that chef Ludo reissues the classic croque.

Twins, Ludo Fans!Weeks before our family LudoBites dinner, the twins were both on FaceBook posting how excited they were to finally eat at LudoBites. None of their friends knew who Ludo was, but they were quickly educated on the awesomeness of Ludovic Lefebvre. If he and Krissy ever decide to do a pop-up restaurant in Glendora or San Dimas, they’ll have plenty of junior high school kids waiting in line!

LudoBites 12/20/09Ludo changes his menu daily, so you never know what to expect. I was absolutely thrilled to see his (now legendary) Ludo’s Fried Chicken (aka LFC) available for our family night. Imagine a large, boneless chicken nugget, extremely juicy (not greasy), seasoned perfectly, way better than KFC!

I promptly ordered LFC for each of us (eight plates total), and we spent the next few hours sharing and tasting the entire menu. At the end of the night, Ludo came out to say hello (not just to our table), and I watched my niece’s face almost explode with joy. I knew that familiar look… a shy smile, rosy cheeks and an inability to stay still in her seat. Of course, Kindal was crushing on Ludo! Don’t we all?

LudoBites 12/20/09Then it struck me… Ludo is HER Bowie. I thought about how I would’ve reacted if I met my crush at thirteen. Mostly likely, I would have screamed and probably hidden. But Kindal is so much more confident than I was back in 1977 (her brother Chace is too). She even brought chef Ludo a plate of her home made “Kindal’s Christmas Krackle”. That would be akin to me writing a song, recording it onto a cassette and mailing it to Ziggy Stardust himself.

There have been plenty of other chef crushes in 2009. Just take a look at my “Chef Photos” for evidence. But I have to say, the pure enjoyment of LudoBites has been my biggest crush of all. I wish there was some sort of foodie yearbook that I could sign… “Have a Gr8 New Year Ludo and Krissy. U guys r the coolest. LudoBites 4Ever!”

Just a FEW of my favorite dishes from LudoBites @RoyalT Cafe:

LFC Ludo's Fried Chicken
Ludo’s Famous Fried Chicken, Cantal Polenta, Baby Corn, Mole Sauce 

LudoBites 12/15/09
Tuna Sashimi, Sushi Rice Ice Cream, Soy Sauce Gelee, Smoked Ginger Oil

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBite
Marinated Hanger Steak, Crunchy Escargot, Baby Corn, Bok Choy & Black Olive Mole

LudoBites @ RoyalT Cafe 3, MyLastBite
Crispy Confit Pork Belly, Burnt Eggplant Puree, Plantain, Coconutt, Thai Chili Emulsion

LudoBites 12/15/09
Striped Bass Teriyaki, Mashed Potatoes, Picked Garlic, Lemon-Miso

LudoBites 12/15/09
Foie Gras Beignet, Saffron-Dried Apricots

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBite
Fourme d’ Ambert Tourte, Red Pears, Honey-Balsamic

LudoBites @ RoyalT Cafe 2, MyLastBite
Chocolate Mousse (SPICY!!) , Lichis, and Sesame Paste

Many, many more LudoBites friends & food photos on Flickr!

Ludo @RoyalTCafe 1, MyLastBiteLudoBites Website

RoyalTCafe Website

Dates: (LudoBites 3.0)12/2, 12/10, 12/15, 12/20, 12/22

Kindal’s Christmas Krackle

LudoBites 2.0 @BreadBar

Check out this awesome LudoBites piece by MyLifeAsAFoodie

Jitlada Thai Restaurant

David Bowie

Chef Photos

ALL my Ludo photos on Flickr

Ludo Video

Happy New Year Everyone!! Here’s to more fun and tasty bites in 2010!!


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

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


Filed under Eating Out