I went back to the web to recall the details of this story: I remember sitting in Skirball in Los Angeles or was it called Zócalo, waiting for “LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold to introduce Nancy Silverton of Mozza, “Top Chef” Season Two winner Ilan Hall, and “Top Chef Masters” stars Ludovic Lefebvre of LudoBites and Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Street — to find out how famous foodies shape what we cook, how we eat, and the future of high cuisine”. As Ludo entered, the hall fell silent for a moment as Jonathan made the introduction. I gasped OUT LOUD!
I didn’t realize he was on the panel. Everyone laughed. And so did Ludo. That was before I ever experienced Ludo’s food, or saw his shows on the Sundance Channel, with wife Krissy. It’s just that his reputation had preceded him. Years before I remember hearing about him a L’Orangerie on La Cienega Blvd. My neighbor Samir apparently had worked in the kitchen with him and said I had to come in.
And much later, I remember hearing EVERYONE talk about his world class pop up restaurants. Krissy would put it on the web, and it would sell out in 20 minutes.
And for this, his 8th time creating a Pop Up Restaurant, this was the chatter on the web from EATER http://eater.com/tags/ludo-bites: “Reservations for Ludo Lefebvre’s insanely popular Los Angeles pop-up restaurant concept LudoBites just went live. In an effort to avoid mass hysteria, crashing websites, and disappointed resy-less diners, there’s a new lottery reservation format. You have less than 24 hours”.
http://www.burpandslurp.com has his own way of reminding you who Chef Ludo is: ”His name, his logo, his bad-boy attitude and cool tattoos—they are legendary in the L.A. dining scene. He’s notoriously appeared as a “villain” at Top Chef Masters and even has his own TV show, Ludo Bites America”.
As a member of the drooling public….. you can imagine my excitement when Andree of Pleasure Palate, a meetup group in Los Angeles posted that she had two extra seats at a table for FOUR. (And when I met her she said “I noticed how the moment I posted these seats you grabbed them up”).
Yeeaaaah. Ya think?
So Chef Marian GOT LUCKY.
I had co-created a group in San Diego called (you guessed it) San Diego Foodies and who did I immediately call? Assistant Organizer, Catherine Rogers who said “Are you kidding me? Sounds like fun! Let’s GO”!
So up we went from San Diego to Los Angeles, sitting in traffic for THREE (count em’) 3 hours, arriving 10 minutes late for our reservation. Krissy on the phone, couldn’t have been nicer, telling me we had the table till 8:30pm, so it should be fine. And the girls from Pleasure Palate (not to be confused with Pleasure Chest… lol) already seated were so kind and forgiving regarding our tardy entrance.
So that’s the front end story. Now here’s the dish about Ludobites 8.0 at Lemon Moon is Los Angeles Feb. 17, 2013.
I can tell you that it was suggested we order everything on the menu. And if we were 6 or 8 people we just might have! Never in Los Angeles has there been such a menu, or been so many fabulous choices that I would later come to realize were all special in their own way. Here of some of the highlights of the evening:
Scallops…. like no scallops you have ever eaten before.
Hey, wait a minute! I don’t even like scallops. I want to say here and now, these were delicious. And just look at the presentation!
As I look all over the web, to see if I can get a recipe, or more of a description, there is none. Everyone falls to the pictures. And I guess that’s enough to satisfy. It’s hard when most of the dishes are tiny miracles, to recall each bite. Next time I will record my impressions on my iphone!
I promise you, there are better pictures of this on the web. It’s just that it was so funny. It looked so good, smelled so good, tasted soooo good.
Wait! Wait! I didn’t get a picture! So here you have it folks! The last bite of a wonderful dish.
What was that recipe? What were those flavors? I am starting to feel like I am going to have to invest some cash and get his cookbook. That’s hard for me, since I never follow a recipe. But maybe the concepts would be worth the price.
French black truffle, scrambled eggs…… mais NON! Yes! Was it raw eggs? No. Was it your typical scramble? No! How did they do it? The waiter was happy to let me know that Chef Ludo whipped the eggs with butter to get this consistency. But what’s with the color green? Was it green or just my camera? Only time will tell (after I get that cookbook)!
Anyone want to buy me that cookbook? (I’m just askin)’! lol
wait just a second! I DON’T eat COW!
Well, I must say right here and now…. it didn’t matter to me that I didn’t eat cow. This was the most incredible dish.
And to taste a Chef’s food, is to taste it how it was intended….. all of those great flavors combined.
So I threw in the towel, bit the bullet and the steak too… and guess what? It was gooood.
Memories…. all alone in the moonlight…. Do I have to just look at pictures?
Can’t I have more of this food RIGHT NOW? That’s the only bad thing about writing this blog.
I remember how wonderful everything was……how surprising, how inspiring, how little I got of each dish…lol
No. It’s better to have bites. After all, it IS LudoBITES!
Celery root soup, foie gras, browned butter, mushrooms, red port gelee and ash.
Yeah. Ludo went to the volcano and scooped up some ash, and then…..
Nooooo…… The ash is really bread crumbs dyed with squid ink which look like poppy seeds and gives the dish the crunch it needed.
Do You SEE what I mean by ‘Presentation is everything! You eat with your eyes”?
Lemon Meringue, Poppy Seed Crumble, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
I remember hearing someone at the table say: “I don’t even like lemon”…… But this is one dessert that will stay in the recesses of her mind. One dessert she will probably never get again but SHE WILL REMEMBER….. she will know she had the very best money could buy.
That’s how I felt about eating food from Paul Bocuse. And that’s how I feel about Ludobites!
You missed a fabulous night out!
At the end of the day, Andree, Anna, Catherine and I were a totally happy, satisfied crew having sampled the best of the best…. With new ideas of presentation, flavor combinations, allure and flavor. I want to thank Andree from Pleasure Palate for including us!
Have an extra seat at a Ludobite Pop Up? Call me! I’ll come running!
And boy! Wouldn’t I like to get them down to San Diego to interview them and cook with him on my show. So, I am starting this campaign and I hope you will take a couple of minutes out of your busy day to EMAIL the text below to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanking you in advance!
Please come to San Diego and be on Chef Marian’s Cooking Show! It would really put us on the map down in San Diego. You can see her blog at ChefMarian.com.
Your biggest fan,
YOUR NAME HERE
San Diego Foodies
References and Credits http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/2012/01/ludobites_8.phpMore from the LA WEEKLY BLOG http://www.burpandslurp.com/2012/02/12/a-culinary-gypsy-caravan-at-ludobites-8-0/ http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/upcoming.php?event_id=429 L