Tag Archives: Pop-up Restaurant

Ludo Bites Redondo Beach

Peter and I were honored to have Ludo’s mom, Colette (visiting from France) join us for dinner during this taping of Ludo Bites America. Even with the foie gras protesters, camera crew and screaming Ludo (he “expresses” himself loudly), we felt it was one of the best Ludo Bites ever (meaning we loved EVERY dish). Because in the end… it really is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Ceviche, Cucumber Water, Purslane

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Brocamole & Chips (broccoli dip)

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Foie Gras Quesadilla, Crispy Cabbage, Juniper Berry Oil

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Chilled Red Tomato Soup, Carrot, Smoked Fish

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Monterey Squid, Chorizo, Banana, Honey Clementine

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Brandade Tacos, Dandelion, Creamy Extra Virgin Olive Oil

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Crispy Octopus, Smokey Chipotle, Piquillos Pepper Polenta

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Roasted-Poached Beef in Lard, Squid Ink Risotto, Lemon Confit, Dried Mole

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Ancho Chili Pepper Chocolate Brownie, Caramel Leche, Red Beets & Rhubarb

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Guacamole Sorbet, Catalan Cream, Fruit Salsa, Tequila

LudoBites Redondo Beach
“Salsa-Rita” Salsa Tomato Water, Lime, Cilantro, REAL Reposado Tequila, Sugar Chile Rim

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Foie Gras Protesters setting up on front

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Ludo yelling back at the Foie Gras Protesters

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Krissy on the go!

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Peter with our favorite Ludo Bites server, Jessica

LudoBites Redondo Beach
Our fabulous dinner date… Colette aka Ludo’s mom! And yes, as the tequila flowed… we heard some hilarious stories of a young, rebellious Ludo!

LudoBites Redondo Beach
My friend Bricia Lopez being interviewed by Sundance crew

Ludo Bites Redondo Beach
at Casa Pulido
228 Avenue I
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Dining Date 6/1/11

Ludo Bites America episodes are available on iTunes

Ludo Bites America website, Sundance Channel

My photos (over 300) of Ludo & his FOOD

LudoLefebvre.com 

Ludo’s Fan Club (yup, I’m the founder)

Follow Ludo on Twitter

Follow Krissy on Twitter

4 Comments

Filed under Eating Out, Hot Chefs

Ludo Bites America!

If you love watching chefs on TV as much as I do, check out “Ludo Bites America” on the Sundance Channel this Tuesday (7/19/11), as it stars my friends Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre!

Sundance writes: Classically trained to remake the classics, Ludo Lefebvre is a 5-star French chef who’s writing his own restaurant rulebook. Now, Ludo is on a mission to blend his extraordinary culinary talents with everyday eats. He and business partner/wife, Krissy, are hitting the road to reinvent American cuisine. From Carolina barbeque to New Mexico chiles, each episode finds Ludo and Krissy setting up their innovative touring restaurant at a local eatery desperate for fresh ideas. (More on the Sundance website)

Ludo Bites America (previews) on the Sundance Channel

My photos (over 300) of Ludo & his FOOD

LudoLefebvre.com 

Ludo’s Fan Club (yup, I’m the founder)

Follow Ludo on Twitter

Follow Krissy on Twitter

LudoBites 5, MyLastBite.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Eating Out

Magnum at Biergarten

No one person has taught me to appreciate wine, like my good friend David Haskell. Like many of his pals, I call him simply “Haskell” because (for me) it rhymes with RASCAL.

David Haskell pairing Slaw Dogs for me!My drink of choice, ever since I was a young gal has always been vodka (don’t hate me!). Diet lemonade & vodka on the rocks was always our “house party drink”, due to it’s low carb (and quick buzz) factor. And to be honest, I can’t think of anything sexier than an old-school, super-chilled vodka martini (straight up with 4 olives) at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills.

Gin and I have an (almost) irreparable history. A high-school aftertoon jacuzzi party with straight gin & naughty teens (myself included) made me associate the juniper berries with vomit. Mind you, this was THIRTY years ago! Recently at Fraiche restaurant, I was surprised that I actually liked a gin cocktail called St. Tropez. I liked it so much that I asked our server to double-check that it wasn’t vodka! Gotta give some props to Henricks Gin for sure.

The first time I drank wine with Haskell was when he did a Slaw Dogs (yup, hot dogs!) wine pairing for me. It was a really fun afternoon, and I was blown away at how he even took the time to pair the side of onion rings with Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen Beer.

During our lunches at Jitlada Thai, I started to appreciate how special Haskell’s wine skills really are. It’s not just that he knows so much about wine (he worked at Le Cirque and Aquavit in New York, Guy Savoy in Paris) but it’s the WAY he shares this knowledge. I’m still new to LIKING wine, although there are a few bottles I do keep around, like A Mano’s Primitivo or a crisp Bastianich Tocai. Haskell makes learning about wine fun, he’s never arrogant and ALWAYS surprises me and my palate.

Recently, he and ex-Bastide Chef Joseph Mahon started a dining pop-up called “Magnum”. Of course I had to be there to support the rascal, and since Peter was working, I grabbed my best friend Brent for a trek to Biergarten in Korea Town, the location of the first MAGNUM event. Not only was Chef Mahon’s food phenomenal (I never got to Bastide during his tenure), but Haskell’s pairings were out of this world. For the first course he paired a rosé champagne with a carrot pudding and explained that the combined flavors would result in creamsicle. It did (even turning creamy on my tongue), and that was just the start to a fantastic evening. I cannot wait for the next Magnum event!

Magnum at Biergarten:

Magnum at Biergarten
Orange Granita with Shaved Peanuts, paired with NV Jules et Michel Beauchamp: Champagne, France: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier (combined)

Magnum at Biergarten
Coconut Soup with Mussels, Tapioca, Cilantro Pistou and Lime paired with Wakatake “Onikoroshi”, Junmai Daiginjo: Shizuoka, Japan

Magnum at Biergarten
Wild Mushrooms: Dashi, Pork Cheeks, Rice Paper, Béarnaise Mousse paired with 2006 Domaine Jo Pithon “Les Blanches Bergeres”: Anjou, France: Chenin Blanc

Magnum at Biergarten
Fried Chicken with Arugula, Bacon, Dried Tomato, Celery, Radish, Buttermilk Dressing paired with 2007 G. Moulinier “Les Sigillaires”: St. Chinian, France: Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre

Magnum at Biergarten
Cured Salmon with Pickled Cabbage. Cucumber, Daikon, Kimchee Broth paired with AleSmith Brewing Company “Nautical Nut Brown Ale”: San Diego, USA

Magnum at Biergarten
Duck Confit with Black Beans, Swiss Chard, Black Vinegar Sauce paired with 2008 Pithon-Paille: Bourgueil, France: Cabernet Franc

Magnum at Biergarten
Ginger Bread Waffles with Cranberries, Clover Honey, Whipped Creme Fraiche paired with Jinro “Chamisul Soju”: Seoul, South Korea

Magnum at Biergarten
NV Jules et Michel Beauchamp: Champagne, France: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
Wakatake “Onikoroshi”, Junmai Daiginjo: Shizuoka, Japan
2007 G. Moulinier “Les Sigillaires”: St. Chinian, France: Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre

Magnum at BiergartenAll photos from Magnum at Biergarten

Biergarten
206 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 466-4860
Dining Date: 12/14/10

Follow @DavidSHaskell & @JosephMahon for MAGNUM event updates!

A few photos of Haskell Pairing Slaw Dogs for me (full post soon)!

More Photos of Haskell’s Pairings

Jitlada Thai Restaurant

Gin Cocktail at Fraiche

The Polo Lounge

Hendricks Gin

Slaw Dogs

1 Comment

Filed under Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.)

Cheeky Coq!

LudoBites 5.0

LudoBites, MyLastBite.comLast July (09), after enjoying yet another fantastic meal at Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s pop-up restaurant, I wrote: “To me, chefs ARE ROCK STARS, and the restaurants (at least the ones with open kitchens) are my favorite type of THEATER.”

A year later, after dinner at the latest LudoBites arena, with it’s open kitchen, sold out “venue” and lovestruck groupies (including myself), it’s clear to me that Ludo is still the greatest rock star chef EVER.

If you’ve only experienced chef Ludo on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters, then you probably think he’s just another cocky, French chef with a bad attitude. Let me note, that on occasion, I’ve had a front-row ticket to his “immense annoyance” (he’s a perfectionist) and it was a bit frightening. But luckily for me, since we’re also good friends outside of the restaurant world, I often get to see the sweet, charming and generous side of Ludo.

Ludo's Top Chef Master's Screening PartyTattoos are a MUST for any serious rock star (be it musician or cook), and Ludo’s inked flesh has been well-documented. We both share a love for Mötley Crüe, so my favorite design is definitely the Crüe album cover art on his forearm, but I definitely dig the LudoBites Coq tattoo he added a few months ago.

Grub Street asked about the new tattoo and Ludo said, “The rooster is the national emblem of France and he inspires me because the rooster wakes up every morning singing, even though he is standing in shit. It does not matter how tough things were the night before. I just have to wake and keep singing…and cooking.”

Ludo’s food is so creative (and amazing) that I actually think he deserves to be a bit cocky about it… and maybe even a bit cheeky. Sort of makes me think he deserves a fan club or something…

LudoBites 5.0
Grilled Squid, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Black Rice, Yuzu Red Onions, Umami Broth & Seaweed Tartare

LudoBites 5.0
Vadouvan Naan Bread, Salted Coconut Butter

LudoBites 5.0
Cheese Cupcake, Chicken Liver Mousse, Kumquats, Cornichon

LudoBites 5.0
Raw Wagyu Beef, Dried Miso, Somen Noodle, Peanut Vinaigrette, Candied Watermelon, Mint

LudoBites 5.0
Goat Cheese Soup, Bacon, Lardo, Tofu, Green Apple, Frisee Salad

LudoBites 5.0
Poached Egg, Potato Mousseline, Chorizo Condiment by Chef Ludo Lefebvre

LudoBites 5.0
Top: Grilled Octopus, Oregano, Grilled Hazelnut Polenta, Pineapple Aioli, Piment D’Espelette Gelee
Bottom: Hot Foie Gras, Chinese Barbeque Sauce, Miso Eggplant Terrine

LudoBites 5.0
Wild Striped Bass, Cauliflower, Black Garlic, Yellow Panna Cotta

LudoBites 5.0
Confit Pork Belly, Raw Choucroute Thai Style, Mustard Sorbet

LudoBites 5.0
Steamed Duck, Lemon Verbena, Crispy Skin Puree, White Peach, Radish, Balsamic

LudoBites 5.0
Cheese Plate of:
Goat Gouda with Pear Kimchi Chutney.
Epoisse with Whole Grain Mustard, Honey comb.
Bleu de Causses with Apricots-Lavender.

Bottom: Caramel Souffle, Blanco Grapefruit, Fleur de sel Ice Cream

LudoBites 5.0
Campfire Smoked S’mores, Guacamole Sorbet

LudoBites 5.0
Gram & Papas
227 East 9th Street
Los Angeles 90015
(213) 624-7272

http://LudoBites.com

7/28/10
Dinner shared with @JulieWolfson@LadyShark66@WithLoveSirine Peter & Melissa.

Gram & Papas website

Chefs Are Rock Stars 7/13/09

Grub Street L.A.

Ludo Bitches

Eater LA

Top Chef Masters

With Ludo

All my Ludo photos on Flickr

Follow @ChefLudo on twitter

Follow @FrenchChefWife on twitter

Follow @LudoBitches on twitter

Follow @GramAndPapas on twitter

RAVE review of LudoBites by New York Times Sam Sifton!

7 Comments

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!!

26 Comments

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

Au Revoir LudoBites

Tomorrow (Sat. 8/22) is the final dinner service for Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s LudoBites, so I wanted to share some of the tasty food photos from recent visits. Six mind-blowing dinners in all (so far), with some of the most delicious plates of art I’ve ever devoured!

LudoBites Visit 3, MyLastBite.comThe official LudoBites website states: “LudoBites is a guerilla style pop-up restaurant event created by Chef Ludo Lefebvre. The goal of LudoBites is to create a revolutionary new ‘bistronomy’ cuisine that features Michelin style French tradition combined with modern technique and offered at reasonable prices”.

What the above paragraph doesn’t note is that, besides the great food and “rave” party atsmosphere, Chef Ludo is actually in the kitchen COOKING YOUR FOOD personally for you (unlike so many of his peers). And he still makes time to come out and chat with his customers, even if it’s just for a few minutes. His wife Krissy runs the front of the house, and together they make an evening at LudoBites more than just another night out in Los Angeles… they make it a truly original (and fun) dining experience. If my waistline and budget could afford it, I would have eaten there every night this summer!

LudoBites 5, MyLastBite.comMy first visit to LudoBites was on July 8th. For that first blog post I wrote: “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.”

Summer is almost over, and tomorrow night (8/22/09) is my seventh (and the final) dinner at the popular hotspot. After Ludo and Krissy take a much-needed vacation, they promise to be back soon with either a permanent space, or another round of a pop-up dinners. I’m thinking I may go into some sort of “Ludo Withdrawal” in the next few weeks, but at least I have one more night for My Last Bite!

All my LudoBites Photos on Flickr

http://www.LudoLefebvre.com (great video)

Follow Ludo on Twitter, so you’re “in the know”

http://www.KristineLefebvre.com

Chef Ludo on Top Chef Masters

Full Posts: Visit #1 Visit #2

10 Comments

Filed under Eating Out, Little Bites