Thursday, December 3, 2009

I apologize again for being so behind on my posts. The delicious meal at Ludo Bites on 12/02/09 has motivated me to post ASAP. I was very fortunate to be invited by Holly join Will & Eddie from and to see Diane again. =) Holly was able to pull off a last minute miracle to get in opening night. Krissy was so wonderful and sweet to squeeze us in. It was a great honor and pleasure to see them again and enjoy/devour a great meal. =9 I got a last minute invite to join the group and jumped at the chance to go to Ludo Bites again even though I have not slept more than 10 hours in 3-4 days. O=) It was worth it though! The ambiance was wonderful, company was spectacular, and to the "power couple" again was grand.
This time Ludo Bites has taken over Royal/T. I've been to Royal/T for an event a while ago, which I'll get to... ummm... one day. O=) There is a lot of cute stuff sold in the store and unique artworks are displayed throughout the place. Right now the theme is "In the bed together". There are many glassed areas where the artists display their work. I always enjoy the different unique pieces. Another great thing about this place is the cute servers! The women wear an adorable main uniform like those that you find in cosplay cafes in Japan, well that is the theme of Royal/T. =)
I really enjoyed their Winter Wonderland display. Okay, I will admit that I am a sucker for cute stuff. And.... I use to be obsessed with Hello Kitty/Sanrio. O=9 I welcome any gifts **cough cought** or Tokidoki or Hello Kitty + Tokidoki! Woot Woot! lol The tree they had set up was very adorable and inviting.
Now onto the food! Everything looked so delicious that we decided to just have one of everything to start, but 3 of the Foie Gras Beignets! lol We just went down the line in order of the menu. The first dish was the Caramelized Peanuts with Curry. It was a great starter dish to stimulate the tastebuds. This was bad because it inspired the table to order some beer to go perfectly with the nuts! lol Let the drinking commence. Will brought 3 bottles of wine; Chablis, Bordeaux, and a Riesling. Thanks again Will! We all enjoyed the crunchy texture and coating of the nuts. There is a nice slight kick of the curry at the end.
Next up was the amazing Scallop with Brown Butter, Pineapple cubes and Black Powder. I loved the way the scallops were cooked or the lack off. They were so tender, fresh, and sweet. The pineapple accentuated the natural flavors with its acid and enhance the sweetness. It was almost like scallop sashimi/ceviche. We were devouring this dish and added a 2nd order at the end! =)

The photos for the 1st 3 dishes are all with natural lighting.

A really unique thing they added was a photo tent/box where they have all the lights set up for the ease of foodies who want to take great pictures. We were fortunate enough to sit right next to the photo area so we were totally absorbed in taking photos that we almost forgot to eat... I said almost. =9 Normally we are not so lucky and have to depend on natural lighting to film, but why not use the set up to our advantage. ^_^ I'm going to post the 2 different photos to show a comparison. Using the box makes photo editing much easier so I ended up taking photos only in the box so that we can just eat faster. lol
Scallops in the photo box.

The five of us shared the Bread Soup with a Poached Egg ad Gruyère Marshmallow. At first I thought the soup was in a bread bowl but it is actually a soup that tastes like bread. Hey had me at Gruyère marshmallow! The soup's texture was very interesting. It was a thick liquid soup that tasted like bread and was enhanced nicely by the poached egg. We broke the egg and mixed in the egg yolk. It was a nice tribute to breakfast.
Diane loved the Monterey Squid with Chorizo Oil, Kimchi Puree, and Grilled Sweet Jalapenos. The squid was extremely tender and light. I enjoyed the bits of crisps in the sauce that added to the texture. There was a nice kick from the kimchi puree. The portion and presentation was very nice.
I was amazed by the Veal Udon with Kombu Dashi, Mushrooms, and Sesame Seed Miso. Normally I don't like veal but the meat was so tender, moist, and flavorful. The soups aroma was very fragrant and appetizing. It was hearty, as in full of flavor, but very light. We were all saying that we could have this to eat at home all the time. It's great to have since the weather has been so cold these days. =) I could taste the slight hint of ginger, which I disdain, but the ginger here really helped bring the veal and soup to perfect harmony.
Mmmmm Foie Gras Beignets with Yellow Celery Roots Remoulade. There is about 2 oz. of foie gras in each beignets. Right off the bat we ordered 3 orders because everyone is such a big fan of foie gras. The beignet had a nice glaze on the outside to give it a slight crunchy texture whilst the inside was super moist... and full of juicy foie gras! ^_^ When you cut into it, you will see all the juice and foie gras oozing out. The dough to foie gras ratio was very low so each bite was full of bliss. Even though the beignet was delicious, it is always about the foie gras. =9 Will and I were joking around about what will happen if he ate the last piece of foie gras. He said he'd die for foie gras and I said that I would kill for it. I told him that this would work out perfectly, a win win situation! lol
Just when you think it couldn't get any better... the Confit Pork Belly with Pickles, Mustard Tartine, Frisée came out. I guess they didn't have the pork belly the night before and boy did they miss out! Luckily we were able to try this. You would never think that anything can beat foie gras for me but this was the definite winner of the night! ^_^ The pork belly had just the right balance of meat and fat. There was a delightful crispy bite to the meat area. **drool drool** I really enjoyed the chewy bread with a hard bite on the crust. It worked wonderfully with the mustard grains and pork belly. I love the texture of mustard grains. They remind me of perfectly cooked tiny tapioca pearls. The fatty flavor of the pork belly, which is a good thing IMHO, was wonderfully balanced out by the sauce's flavors, the bread, and the frisée. I wish I could have this everyday! It has inspired me to try some new techniques and flavors with the pork belly I have at home.
The Wild Striped Bass with Garden Vegetables and Yuzu Aoili came at just the right time. It was super light and delectable. The bass was super fresh and poached in salt water. They said that the fish should be in its own natural environment. I thought it was flavored just right. It was slightly pink inside and the fish just melted in your mouth. We loved the vegetable medley and the color palette was wonderful. I actually really enjoyed all the vegetables on the plate with the sauce. Everything tasted great on its own and came together in harmony as well.
Apparently Chef Lefebvre just learned how to make Mole a few weeks ago from Javier's mom. The Hanger Steak with Crunchy Escargot, Baby Corn, Bok Choy, and Black Olive Mole was divine. Everyone was raving about the mole and how wonderful it was. You wouldn't have known that he just learned how to make it. The best part is h made it his own by adding unexpected elements while maintaining the true essence of mole. I really liked the hanger steak. It was super tender and flavorful by itself. The out layer was nicely cooked and had a slight tougher texture, which I loved, and the inside was beautifully cooked. The smoky flavor reminded me a little bit of beef jerky but as a whole the meat just melted in your mouth. I loved the baby corn! It was so adorable and delicious! Even the husk was delicious! O=9
Instead of serving a cheese course, the offer a Fourme d'Ambert Tourte with Red Pear and Honey-Balsamic. The pear is marinated in red beets. It is a savory tourte so the touch of fruit really brought out the flavor. Will was telling us how he had it for breakfast cold and it was still delicious! =) We were jealous that he had one all to himself! lol Still, fresh and warn has its benefits. Mmm flaky crust!
We finally finished having seconds and thirds of everything to get to dessert! lol First to bat was the Chocolate Cake with a Coconut Sorbet Soup and Pink Pepper Meringue. This was not your normal cake. It was like a silky smooth thick chocolate mousse. The coconut sorbet soup really complimented the chocolate with its own rich creamy flavor. Mmmm, I could go for some now. Even though it might sound like a heavy dessert, it is surprisingly light.
Last but not least was the Pistachio Rice Milk and Pound Cake. It was a very interesting take to rice pudding. The flavor reminded me of wasabi peas because I felt that there was a slight kick in the taste. The pound cake was very tasty and moist. I was tempted to eat the whole slice before they realize it was gone. O=)
All in all everything was delicious. I was very happy that I decided to come on a whim. Good thing I am crazy! I recommend that if you get the chance, you should follow Chef Lefebrve on his adventures and hunt him down for some great food. O=9 It is too bad Ms. Lin was not around and I don't think she will around in time to catch him this time around again. I swear I did think about you when I went! You can live vicariously through my site. O=P There was word about the Croque Monsieur coming back... **drool drool** If so, I will have to beg to come back or sneak in... to go, please? lol Did I mention that I live over an hour away and I drove in LA traffic hour to get there.... for those of you who live in SoCal, you know that is a lot... but it was worth it! Loved the people I was with, the food, Krissy and Ludo of course! Thanks again Holly for the invite, thanks Will for the wine, and a tremendous gratitude to Krissy for letting us in opening night! **I'm hungry for more right now! lol**
Porta-Party, this was in the back and it is so funny! I just had to take a photo to show! You can actually go inside. ^_^

Ludo Bites @ Royal/T
8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-6300
Ludo Bites at Royal/T in Los Angeles


Trekkie said...

one work... jealous > <;

Ms. Lin said...

Everything looks so yummy! I really wish I could have gone! Hopefully next time...

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