Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ludobites - Ludo Is Back 4.0! (Los Angeles)

Ludobites 4.0 @ Gram & Papa's

Ludobites @ Gram & Papa's

Welcome back Chef Ludo! After writing my recent recap of Ludobites 2.0 & 3.0, I was ready to chow down at Ludobites 4.0 at Gram and Papa's (Which will run until the end of May). I was joined by my usual Panda Crew at the cozy location in Downtown Los Angeles. Since Umma Choisauce and J were at the recent FoodDigger dinner, I let the experts take over, though we ended up doing the "gamut" a la kevinEats style, but ordered extra of the good stuff!

Wine GlassWines for the night minus 1

Wine for the Night Minus a Bottle

One more thing I love about Ludobites, BYOB! Don't forget to bring a bottle or two of your favorite wine to accompany the meal.

Raw Scallop

Raw Scallop - Almond Puree, Pickled Grapes, Cauliflower Ice Cream

Refreshing, light, accentuated by the tartness of the grapes. Very nice starting dish!

Carrot Salad

Carrot Salad - Saffron Anglaise Cream, Pearl Onions, Citrus Confit, Mustard Powder

Superficially, it's quite a simple dish, but the carrot salad had a nice blend of flavors. The tartness of the citrus, with the zing from the pearl onions, and finished off with wasabi. The finished product was quite enjoyable.

Burgundy EscargotsBurgundy Escargots

Burgundy Escargots - Garlic Flan, Green Jus, Yellow Flowers

I'll first to admit I'm not the biggest escargot fan in the world. The flavors is something I'll have to get used to. With that said, I enjoyed the escargot mixed with a flan mixed with garlic. In a way, to help tone down the flavors of the snail, also, to add a nice silky texture to the dish. I enjoyed this quite a bit as Wesley of Twohungrypandas allowed me to finish the dish clean!

Tartine Plate "Warm Baguette"

Tartine Plate "Warm Baguette"

Here we have a warm baguette with 2 types of butter. One was a whipped brown butter, and the other was a crack-infused (joking) lavender butter. The lavender butter was something I loved from Ludobites 2.0 and I was glad to see it return to the menu! We must have went through 4-5 orders of the baguette and butter. Simply fantastic!!

Brie Chantilly Napoleon

Brie Chantilly Napoleon - Honey Comb, Frisee Salad, Balsamic

The rumor was, the brie was churned for over two hours by hand, and that was just it, a rumor. However, the brie itself was damn good! DAMN good! A little honey, a bit of that warm baguette, that's all I really need along with that churned brie. Ya, any cheese lover, or even a non cheese lover like myself could dig this!

Parmesan Sable

Parmesan Sable - Sweet & Sour Cherry Tomato, Zucchini Ravioli

Honestly, I'm not sure what think of this dish. It didn't really stand out for me, but I didn't dislike it. Taste wise it was fine, but sadly, it wasn't too memorable.

Egg, Potato MousselineEgg, Potato Mousseline

Egg, Potato Mousseline - Lobster, Borage Flower

This dish is probably my favorite dish I've had a Ludobites. It's so good, I wish I had a dish to myself that night, errr which I actually did since we went through 6 orders. Ya, it's so good I wish I could eat it right NOW! Soft poached egg, potato puree and lobster, what can go wrong with that combination?? The softness of the potatoes, the creamy egg yolks, and the sweetness of the lobster, it's simply divine! I hope to see this dish return when I go back next month!

Foie Gras Croque-Monsieur

Foie Gras Croque-Monsieur - Lemon Turnip Chutney

Ludo's Foie Gras Croque-Monsieur really needs no introduction. Foie Gras, Ham, Cheese all meshed together on a squid ink bread. Is it rich? Yup! Will your doctor care if you eat it? Probably. Do I care? Nope! Even though I normally don't like sandwiches unless I have no other choice, the foie gras croque monsieur is fantastic. This is another one of my Ludobite favorites.

Poached Jidori Chicken

Poached Jidori Chicken - Crispy Skin & Hazelnuts, Leek Salad, Black Truffle Bacon Royale

Do I normally like chicken? The answer would be a big fat NO! However, when I heard from Choisauce this was, quote: "...this was EASILY the moistest chicken I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. like WOAH, LIKE WOW." I knew I'll like this dish, simply because I trust her palate. The chicken, as promised was simply delicious! The accompanied black truffle bacon royale was fantastic as well. Ya, I dig this chicken. Simply put, bar none, one of the best chicken dishes I've had to date!

Steak "Au Poivre" Steak "Au Poivre"

Steak "Au Poivre" - Shallots, Polenta Bone Marrow, White Asparagus

I'll say this, as I mentioned above, that Jidori chicken dish was probably one of the best chicken dishes I've ever had, but I think Steak "Au Poivre" was even better. Let me just say: Steak (I think flank) cooked rare to medium rare, add in some polenta with a bone marrow sauce, finished off with a nice crisp white asparagus, does that sound good or what?? So yes, this dish was fantastic, and I'd order this again, and again!

Merlan "Colbere"

Merlan "Colbere" - Lime-Lemon, Celery Root, Fresh Herbs

Compared to the first two dishes, the Merlan "Colbere" (Deep Fried Whiting) was very simple, but did not stand out. The fish was cooked to perfection and delicious. All in all, a very simple dish, perfect for those that doesn't care for the richness of the steak dish.

Holly of The Michelin ProjectHolly of The Michelin ProjectHolly of The Michelin ProjectHolly of The Michelin Project

Holly of The Michelin Project

During dinner, Remil tweeted (I'm too lazy to look for it now) that "Holly was quite Hot working the blow torch" at the counter for Ludo. So here are some shots for the rest of the general public :)

And on that note, onto dessert!

Raspberry Religieuse

Raspberry Religieuse - Pistachio Parfait

For this, think cream puff, just with a tart berry filling. I was surprised how quickly we attacked it as it was SO good. So good in fact, we had to get a 2nd order of it. I thought it would be a sweet dish, but it was quite the opposite. A very nice palate cleanser. In addition, as a pistachio fan, I enjoyed the accompanied pistachio parfait.

Dark Chocolate Souffle

Dark Chocolate Souffle - Black Pepper Milk Chocolate Ice Cream, Hot Chocolate Cream

Finally, what's a better way finish off a meal than a chocolate souffle? Rich, but not too rich, and with the added ice cream and hot chocolate cream, it's quite the chocolate trifecta! Delicious and quite enjoyable, especially for those chocolate lovers out there.

Quite simply, Ludo Lefebvre did not disappoint. The menu was spot on, the dishes were spot on, and should I say I liked it A LOT more than Ludobites 3.0 at Royal T? I can't wait for my next dinner at Ludobites in May. I hope to see some new dishes and some of my favorites along the way. 2 thumbs up from this Panda!

Here are some other reviews of Ludobites 4.0:


food, je t'aime
mattatouille written by FoodGPS

Ludobites @ Gram & Papa's
227 East 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Official Website

Ludo Bites 4.0 at Gram and Papa's in Los Angeles on Fooddigger


weezermonkey said...

Going soon! Thanks for the handy guide. :)

djjewelz said...

finally! Great pics and write up!

Lady Ducayne said...

Hey! I'll be there on the 15th of May! What day are you going? Maybe we'll run into each other or something.

Gastronomer said...

Definitely the best incarnation of Ludo Bites yet! I wanna return after I get back from Espana.

food je t'aime said...

Beautiful pictures! Some of my favorite pictures of Ludo's latest dishes I've seen so far...and there really are a LOT out there. The lobster dish was also my favorite :)

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see Ludo on Top Chef Masters? As far as being back, I wish he would go back to France! Arrogant jerk, France might not even let him come back. I am gonna stick with Flossie's and Popeye's! You are one of the lucky ones Ludo allowed to eat his food.

catty said...

Geez, everything here looks delish! well, except for that one course you didnt like so I dont even know what that is but aside from that, everything is mouthwatering! I especially like the look of the little brie sandwich things between thinly sliced (toasted?) baguette. i want!

Nomsnotbombs said...

Nice! My tummy got so happy remembering how all of this tasted :) And beautiful pics! Now your LudoBites Kungfood Panda series is complete.

LIMER35 said...

Since you tweeted that teaser photo yesterday, I was looking forward to your post. Excellent job D. And BTW, thanks for the mention. D'oh!!

Anna A. said...

Wow, looks great. I can't wait for the crack butter, tater-lobster dish and the pistachio laden dessert!

Diana said...

Hold the phone - you don't like cheese?!?!

Appalled, Danny, appalled!

But I'm with you on the chicken. I typically avoid it when I'm going out for a nice meal out. Too bad this wasn't on the menu when we went - I could have definitely dug that bird!

Bonnibella said...

I'm really upset but super jealous of you that I didn't get res to Ludobites. Maybe next time. I like how he added black pepper to the souffle.

Kung Food Panda said...

WM: I know you went last night, how was it?

Julian: Thanks! I'm slow, behind the game...

LD: LOL Maybe if you're lucky

Christina: Thanks! :) That lobster dish was friggin amazing!

Anon: I still need to watch that ep, as it's in my Tivo. Umm, I guess I'm lucky, as Ludo has been great to me. Did he do something to you at your dinner?

Catty: Big fan of Ludo's cooking. That brie was pretty damn delicious. More incentive for you to move to LA! :)

Kung Food Panda said...

NomsNotBombs: Thanks! :) I can't wait to go back! Too bad I didn't visit 1.0, that would really mean my series is complete!

Remil: Hey, I'm always helping a fellow Panda :)

Anna: When are you going?

Diana: Cheese, only in moderation! Yup, surprised the chicken was good, though I had a good tip beforehand from Choisauce!

Bonni: I'm pretty sure you'll get a chance to eat at Ludobites one of these days....

Starry Kitchen said...

... We likey Ludobites 4.0. (end comment_ ^)^

Kung Food Panda said...

Nguyen & Thi: Are you going back anytime soon? :)