Thursday, December 3, 2009

FoodDigger Dinner @ Ludobites at Royal/T (Culver City)

Royal TLudobites @ Royal T

Ludobites @ Royal/T

Ah....has it only been three months when Ludo Lefebvre swept both the women AND men in Los Angeles off their feet with his ingenious and unique portrayal of his French cooking techniques at Ludobites Breadbar? Well, luckily for both you and me, Chef Ludo has returned, and this time at the Japanese cosplay cafe Royal/T in Culver City. The Ludobites at Royal/T event will occur for 13 days beginning on December 2nd, but luckily for me, I was able to try out new menu before its open to the general public, courtesy of FoodDigger!

Royal TIn Bed TogetherDining RoomCosplay MaidsDining RoomDining RoomDining RoomDining Room

Various shots for In Bed Together at Royal/T

Marshal of FoodDigger

Marshal of FoodDigger

Before the meal starts, Marshal of FoodDigger gave us a few words of wisdom and various updates involving FoodDigger. Again, as discussed in my previous FoodDigger dinner at Bond Street, FlavorMatch is something everyone should take a look at!


FoodDigger Ludobites dinner for 12/1/09

Chef LudoFrench Chef Wife: Krissy

The coolest French Chef and Head of House duo, ever!

Light Box courtesy of Krissy!

Best thing EVER for us bloggers. Thanks Krissy!

Chef LudoChef LudoChef Ludo

Before the meal starts, we were lucky enough to see Chef Ludo in action


1. Scallops Brown Butter, Pineapple, Black Powder

A wonderful preparation of scallops. Slighted "cooked" scallops topped with pineapples, "black powder," which was actually squid ink powder, in wonderful brown butter. Simple, yet complex. Refreshing, yet flavorful. The meal was off to a great start!

Bread Soup w/ gruyere marshmallow and poached egg

2. Bread Soup with Gruyere Marshmallow

When I saw the dish on the menu, I had no idea what to expect, and what I received was a creamy, yet nutty (slightly charred tasting) soup. Very, very nice. In addition, I truly enjoyed the perfectly cooked poached egg. The gruyere marshmallow added a nice texture and a temperature contrast to the warm soup. Quite an unique dish.

Foie Gras Beignet
Foie Gras Beignet

3. Foie Gras Beignet, Celery Roots Remoulade

2 oz of Hudson Valley foie gras packed into a beignet (pretty much fried dough). What an utterly, sinful goodness! The celery roots remoulade was a refreshing complement to the heavy, creamy taste of the foie. One warning I'll state though, I'd suggest you share this dish with another dining partner as it almost did me in on course 3! Nevertheless, I loved it!


4. Squid, Chorizo Oil, Kimchi Puree & Red Onions

Fantastic idea to follow this dish after the foie gras. The squid was tender, delicious with great complements of flavors from the chorizo oil, kimchi puree, and the pickled red onions. The eggplant skin added a nice touch to the dish. Very nice!


5. Veal, Udon, Kombo Dashi, Mushrooms,& Sesame Seed Miso

Since Royal/T is a Japanese themed cafe, Ludo decided to add a touch of Asian to his cooking repertoire. In this case, a veal udon soup dish with the essence of kombo (kelp, large dried seaweed) broth. Generally, veal could be a hit or miss for me, but the veal here was cooked perfectly. The kombo broth was quite nice with the udon and enoki mushroom and it all meshed very well. The sesame seed miso I used after finishing the udon and veal, and it added an interesting flavor to the dish. I can't say I'm in love with the miso, but some people may prefer to add it to the broth.

Wild Striped Bass

6. Wild Striped Bass, Garden Vegetables, Aioli

With any fish dish, it has to be cooked well. And in this case, it was on the spot. However, to me, the star(s) of the dish were actually the various garden vegetables presented on the dish. Colorful and tasty, it balanced the taste of the fish quite well.

Marinated Hanger Steak

7. Marinated Hanger Steak, Crunchy Escargot, Baby Corn, Bok Choy & Black Olive Mole

I really loved this dish. First of all, the steak, cooked perfectly to my liking, a perfect medium rare. The bok choy and the wonderfully grilled baby corn enhanced this dish, however the black olive mole was the star. I really enjoyed the mole that Chef Ludo learned from Javier's mom that I used it fairly liberally on the hanger steak (and this from a guy that doesn't like black olives). Finally, the crunchy escargot had a distinct flavor. I'm not sure I like the escargot cooked in this method, but it was definitely inventive!

Fourme d' Ambert Tourte

8. Fourme d' Ambert Tourte, Red Pears, Honey Balsamic

As we rolled onto the cheese course, we were presented with a tart made with one of more ancient cheese, the Fourme d'Ambert. It was the first time I've had this particular cheese and I definitely enjoyed it. In fact, I thought it was thoroughly stuffed from the previous 7 course, I had to skip this dish. I was wrong. I gobbled up the tart without hesitation. In addition, the pear soaked in beet juice was a nice finish to the cheese course. Delicious!

Chocolate Cake

9. Chocolate Cake, Coconut Sorbet, Caramel Coffee

I was afraid this would be a heavy dessert, but it was not. The coconut sorbet washed down the chocolate quite nicely, but it was the pink peppercorn that enhanced the chocolate immensely. This was quite a surprise, a good one at that.

Ludo & Krissy LefebvreLudo & Krissy Lefebvre

After the meal we were able to chat with Chef Ludo and Krissy about the meal, the future of Ludobites amongst the many topics. What makes Chef Ludo popular is not just his awesome preparation of French cuisine, but it's also his welcoming personality, and eagerness to learn cuisines from other cultures. I wish Ludo and Krissy nothing but the best of luck in the next 13 days at Royal/T, but I have no doubt it'll be a successful run. I'm ready for a permanent location of Ludobites, let's hope we can make it happen in 2010!

Again, thanks to FoodDigger and its team for hosting such a fantastic dinner for us, and Brian and Will for a wonderful wine pairing as usual. Great work to Chef Ludo, Krissy, and the rest of the Ludobites team for a wonderful experience. Bon Appetit. Au Revoir!

Ludobites @ Royal/T
8910 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Official Website

Ludo Bites at Royal/T in Los Angeles


FoodDigger said...

Very nice! Went back last night and stuffed myself again. I loved the mole. I still can't fathom how Ludo learned to make such a gorgeous sauce after only one lesson. Javier's mom did good!

MyLastBite said...

mmmm... love your Foie Gras Beignet photo!

and this blog said...

Im so jealous! that squid ink powder!!! looks awesome... and that beignet! nice... i tried to get reserv but it's all booked =( that's what happens when ur on the other coast

Remil said...

Wow!!! It was as if I was reliving last night's dinner again. The foie gras beignet was awesome!!!

weezermonkey said...

I don't like black olives either, so I'm thrilled to hear that you liked the black olive mole!

kevinEats said...

Regarding the black olive mole, the essence of olive was actually very mild. In fact, HC mentioned that he wouldn't have even noticed it had it not been pointed out to him.

Gastronomer said...

Still not tired of reading about our dinner at Ludo 3.0. It's like I get to relive it over and over ;-)

Kung Food Panda said...

Will: Fun times, fun experience. I give you props for going back 2 nights in a row though, I needed to rest =) Thanks again for the invite!

Jo: Love the taste of it too!

and this blog: If you're going to be in LA, I'd contact Krissy via Twitter or something. There are cancellations too!

Remil: Glad you enjoyed your first Ludo experience! :)

weezermonkey: As what Kevin stated, the taste of olives were very minimal, but it was quite a good mole. Holy mole it was good!

Kevin: You're right. Very very mild olive flavor. Quite subtle in flavor.

Cathy: Are you going back? =)

Food, she thought. said...

Whatever you did within the light box with your own camera was genius with these shots. Some of the light box shots, while well saturated with color, seem a little flattened out. Yours have a beautiful depth of field without losing focus. Best shots I have seen so far. AND, what do you do with the photos to tile them next to each other like that? Is this within the blogger program?

So nice to see you, we will have to sit closer some time so we can chat!

Pandalicious said...

wow, everything looks so good and beautifully presented! lucky you!

Kung Food Panda said...

Liz: Thanks for the compliment! I really appreciate it :) In terms of answering your questions, I had to go into the html settings of the post and make sure 2 pictures line up and fit correctly length and width wise. I think I had it set at 260x173 for each of the smaller pictures. I hope that helps!

And yes, I don't think we've sat in the same table at any event, as of yet!

Amy: Thanks! It was a great dinner. Do you plan on visiting Ludobites anytime soon?

Pandalicious said...

No plans to visit this time.. maybe #4.