Friday, April 30, 2010

I have had this site for less than 3 yrs and I have reached my 500th post! Yay! What better way to start off the next 500 posts with a bang! Thanks to Holly I was informed when reservations were up and running online. The window of opportunity was about 9 hours before it all got booked up and I was lucky enough to get opening night as well as a few more. O=9 I actually have a reservation tonight that can be up for grabs if anyone is interested ^_~. You can see the master, Chef Ludo Lefebvre, at work and catch a glimpse of our favorite new aspiring chef, Holly! Why not start of this post with a wonderful clip of her hard at work!
The new location for LudoBites is in Downtown LA at Gram & Papa's. Don't be fooled by the location, sure it may be in sketchier parts of downtown but it is pretty safe. You can park right in front so you won't have to worry about your car and everyone on staff as well as dining there will keep you safe and warm. Do expect a little wait certain nights because they are so popular and high in demand that some tables might hang around longer than expected, but don't worry you will eventually get the chance for some delicious food. I like this new location with a huge visible kitchen that allows you to see how all the food is prepared and allow me a chance to chit chat with Holly as well as film her. Don't be surprised to find Mattatouille as your server. They have a wonderful group of people helping out this time.
Before making any vital decisions for the night, I had texted Will from to see what he recommended. He said the lobster was to die for and I told him that he had me at lobster! lol The Lobster was prepared with a nicely poached Egg and Borage Flower on top of a Potato Mousseline. At first I didn't even notice that eggs were part of the ingredient but I found the whole dish to delightful and came together in harmony. The lobster was wonderfully done and melted in my mouth. I think I am drooling onto my laptop right now thinking about it. The potato was superb and had a great lingering flavor. Immediately after my spoon hit the bottom of the bowl I placed another order. O=9 I just loved the soft texture of the potato and egg mixed with the tender chewiness and sweetness of the lobster.
As many of you know that I am a huge fan of cheese so when I saw the Brie Chantilly Napoleon served with Honey Comb and a Balsamic Vinegar reduction, I just had to try it. The brie is slowly whipped to perfection and texture before scooped onto the toast then topped with a Frisée Salad and enclosed by another piece of toast. Be sure to scoop up a generous helping on the honey comb to enhance the flavor of the cheese. It's a very light yet heavy snack. The brie has a very interesting texture and flavor. It's almost like butter! lol The honey comb and balsamic vinegar really help compliment and bring out the flavors of the brie. I really enjoy the crispness of the honey comb.
The dish that I have been longing and waiting for is the Foie Gras Croque-Monsieur! C'est Magnifique!! Everyone had been talking about it since its first appearance and every time I heard about it, I was so jealous!!! lol Finally, today was my day and it's my turn to make everyone jealous! lol **cough cough Trekkie** Only in my dreams had I heard about the Black Squid Ink Bread that enveloped the mouth-watering foie gras! Little did I know, but inside the sandwich was a huge surprise... it was sumptuous slice of pork. The soft texture of the foie gras mixed with the delectable texture of the meat plus the crisp bit of the bread just mixed together in harmony. It was pure bliss! I wished I had not invited my Mom to dinner because she limited me to ONE sammy!! Booo! lol If I hadn't been driving all night to SF, I would have been able to eat an endless amount! O=9 As well as end up in the poor house! lol They are $29 each, but well-worth the price!
Holly was stationed to prepare the Raw Scallop with Almond Purée, Pickled Grapes, and Cauliflower Ice cream. This was a really interesting dish with many things going on. I actually really enjoyed the thin slices of cauliflower. This is rare for a meatatarian like myself to say but the texture was a lot more delicate than I imagined. The ice cream helped to bring out the natural sweetness of the scallop and kept the scallops chilled as I was working my way through all the dishes. O=p
My goal for the night was to try every dish on the menu... or at least almost! lol I had to ignore the pure vegetable dishes as it is against my religion/belief. O=9 lol Helen was able to join me for the night and she chose the Steak "Au Poivre" with Shallots, Polenta Bone Marrow, and White Asparagus. The steak was nicely cooked with a soft red center. Helen wasn't too fond of the dish because it came out lukewarm. Since it was opening night there were high chances of snafus to occur. I thought the steak was fine but a cold sauce did put a damper on it... luckily I ordered the other main courses. O=9
The table next to us forgot to take pictures of the Poached Jidori Chicken and asked if they could take pictures of mine. Who said food can't bring people together? We had a very nice chat with the two couples next to us. If you thought I took all the reservations, they had 9! lol Spread the love of food. We all agreed that the Jidori Chicken was the best main course dish. On top of the chicken was chopped bits of the Crispy Skin and Hazelnuts accompanied with a Leek Salad and Garlic Flan. The chicken was extremely tender and nicely complimented with the crisp bits of skin on top. Adding the small slices of the garlic flan brought out the flavor of the chicken. I must say this is a 100x better than the Jidori chicken I had at Michael Mina's XIV and I really liked the interesting take on a classic dish.
Little did I know that my Mom was already full by the appetizers. I was greedy and ordered the Columbian River King Salmon Confit with German Butter Ball Potato and a Red Berries Puree on the side. The potatoes were a buttery delight and the best part of the dish. They do leave the delicious crispy skin on and layer the top with fresh chips.
Even though I was getting pretty full since I ate most of the dishes myself, I just had to have some dessert. They offered a Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Black Pepper Milk Chocolate Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Cream. Normally I am not a big fan of souffle because I haven't been able to find one I really like, but I am always ordering to find that special one! lol The chocolate soufflé was very tasty and I love the black pepper ice cream. It really adds a kick to every bite and helps heat up the sweetness. Even though my Mom said she was "full", she decided to help out and gobbled this dish down. Did I mention that she is diabetic? Bad Mom! But that just shows how good it is and her blatant disregard of her health. >=P
The evening was super fun and I was glad that I was able to enjoy it with my Mom and good friends! I sat RIGHT in front of Holly so I was able to film her some more. When I saw her pick up that torch, I just had to press record! Too bad I forgot to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy, but then again I had to stay up all night driving up to SF... I shouldn't and wouldn't drink. If you plan on coming be sure to bring your own bottles of wine to add to the enjoyment! I forgot again to bring one last time, so I will be sure to bring one my next time... I promise! It's time to break out the wine I brought back from Florida! ^_^

Every time you come back there might be a slight change in menu or it might even be a completely different menu! The one thing they are going to keep for sure is the delicious Foie Gras Croque-Monsieur! Which is great news for me. Mmmmm Goooood. I have been to LudoBites at Bread Bar, Royal T, the Street Food Fest, Akasha, and now Gram & Papa's. Each time he comes out with new innovative ideas and I always enjoy seeing the wonderful couple. Both Chef Ludo and Krissy are great to see and I will be sure to bring them some yummy strawberries from the California Strawberry Festival!

LudoBites @ Gram & Papa's
227 E 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 624-7272
LudoBites @ Gram & Papa's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I apologize for being MIA for the last few weeks, but I come back bringing good news about some deals O=)
Today, 4/28/10, is the annual Baskin-Robbins 31 Cent Scoop Night. It starts at 5PM-10PM at participating locations. The Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is donating $100,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Come join in the fun and help honor/support the cause.

I also happened to stumble upon a Häagen-Dazs store and saw that they are offering a FREE scoop of ice cream on May 18th, 2010. I believe it is between 4PM-8PM, but just in case I would call or visit your local store to make sure of the time. If you are really into getting free goodies or to join in the fun then by all means get your well-deserved free ice cream scoop! If you don't want to brave the crowds, then I'd recommend picking some up at your local grocery store and sit at home slowly enjoying the goods. O=9
Another new thing that I happened to stumble upon was The Coffee Bean's new deal. They are offering a Complimentary Espresso Shot with Purchase of Any Hot Coffee Beverage from Monday-Friday after 4PM and All Day Saturday & Sunday. I saw this banner at the Santa Ana location across from Main Place Mall, so I am not sure if it is every single Coffee Bean or just that location. If I happen to pass by another store that has the same promo, I will be sure to post updates in the comment section to let everyone know.

Hope these little tidbits help and that you will enjoy some of the deals around town. I am definitely going to be out in the crowd for some 31 Cent scoops of ice cream! ^_~

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thanks to all my loyal readers and friends. This has been a great event and I hope everyone enjoyed it as well. Just in case anyone was wondering how I did the drawing, I wrote every name from the clues on a sheet of paper and cut them up then put all of it in a bowl and drew the names out. **Drum Roll Please**

The winners of the ZAP Zinfandel Grand Tasting & Cookoff are:
1) May Pig
2) Trekkie

Congratulations you two for each winning a pair of tickets. I will submit your name at Will Call so just pick them up there! ^_^ I hope you all have a wonderful time there! I'm sorry that not everyone can win but be sure to check out the festival even if you didn't win free tickets. Be sure to purchase them online ahead of time to get the best deal on the tickets. Have fun and a great week everyone! ^_^

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

There is so much going on this month that I can't wait to join in on the fun. I also added info of the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard below too because I am definitely attending in May. O=9 Sadly I won't be able to attend all the festivals listed for this month because they happen to coincide this year. I will link my past year experiences to give you a glimpse of how fun they are. Just looking at the pictures makes me want to drool and sad that I can't go to all of them this year!

Also to remind all my loyal readers, I am giving away 2 pairs of tickets to the ZAP Zinfandel Grand Tasting and Cookoff so be sure to enter! Two lucky readers will win a pair of tickets to enjoy great food and wine. Hope to see everyone at the festivals!

April 2010

Date : 8th - 11th
Event : Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival
Location : Pebble Beach, CA
Website :
Ticket Price : $100 and up
Description : Hosted on one of the most pristine strips of coastline in the world, Pebble Beach Food & Wine celebrates 60 celebrity chefs and 250 wineries during this unforgettable four-day event. There will be internationally acclaimed wineries and chefs together with California's regional superstars to create an unbelievable series of luxurious luncheons, delectable dinners, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and one of the most decadent grand tastings in the country.

Date : 10th - 1th and again 17th - 18th (Note : The Grand Parade is Sunday the 18th)
Event : Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival * click to see last year's experience =) *
Location : Japan Town - San Francisco, CA
Website :
Ticket Price : Free! O=)
Description : The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival now celebrating its 43rd year, is one of California's most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions. Each year, over 150,000 people attend this dazzling display showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture and the diversity of the Japanese American Community. Please join us and become a sponsor of this popular Japanese American community event.

The festival will be held on Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets. There will be food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program, and more. The Grand Parade will be held on April 18, beginning at City Hall and concluding in Japantown.

Date : 18th
Event :
ZAP Zinfandel Grand Tasting and Cookoff
Location :
The Palm Garden at the Island Hotel
660 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, California 92660
Time :
4:00-7:00 PM
Website :
Ticket Price :
ZAP Members - $39, Non-members - $49, Annual ZAP Advocate Membership - $44
Tickets at the door - $60
Description :
Taste spectacular Zinfandel wines from over 40 premier ZAP member wineries.
Mingle with top winemakers and principals in an intimate setting.
Learn about the remarkable richness and versatility of Zinfandel.
Discover why Zinfandel is "America's Heritage Grape!"
Sample hors d'oeuvres prepared by future chefs.

Date : 18th
Event : Fallbrook Avocado Festival * click to see last year's experience =) *
Location : Fallbrook, CA
Time : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Website :
Ticket Price : Free! ^_^
Description : There is more to the annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival than guacamole. The popular street fair, held along Fallbrook's Main Street, celebrates the versatile fruit with over 300 vendors, numerous family-friendly activities, cooking competitions, a farmers market and an art village.

Date : 24th
Event : The Grilled Cheese Invitational
Location : Los Angeles Center Studios
1201 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA
Time : 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Website :
Ticket Price : $10 + $2.40 processing fee
Description : Mountains of Grilled Cheese, amateur and professional grilling competitions, multiple food vendors with samples for sale, free samples, beer garden, trophies, poetry, music prizes, yelling, kittens, and tons of fun~!

May 2010
Date : 15th - 16th
Event : California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard * click to see last year's experience =) *
Location : 3250 South Rose Avenue
College Park in Oxnard, CA
Time : 10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Website :
Ticket Price : $12 for normal entry, $8 for Seniors, $5 for Children 5-12
Description : Awesome and amazingly sweet strawberries! Beyond the bountiful berries served every imaginable way, wherever you go on the Festival grounds you’ll find multiple ways to ripen your experience with participation. From the free rides and shows in Strawberryland to the exhibits and presentations in the Strawberry Promenade, and more, everything is always sweeter when strawberries are the main ingredients.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I have lived in OC all my life and I have almost exhausted all the options nearby. What is a girl to do for lunch? I am getting sick of eating the same old things and too lazy to drive further outside my radius to eat all the time. Recently I was at a loss of what to eat and what I would really want or crave for. So I decided to just drive around Culver and go on a spur of a moment dining adventure. As we were driving in the plaza near the 5, I happened to come across Royal Kitchen. Even though we didn't know anything about this place, we still decided to walk in and try their lunch special. It was quite empty inside and we were seated immediately.
As usual the lunch specials come with their daily soup that happened to be Hot & Sour Soup. It was actually a decent hot and sour soup, which is a good sign because if you can't even make soup then I'd be scared of what is to come. The prices for their lunch special wasn't as low as some other places around but still reasonable. They also offer the lunch special price for the entree late at night. It's good to know that they are open later so that if I am ever hungry or running late at night, I can always come here for a quick bite.
I chose the typical Walnut Shrimp because I love fried shrimp with caramelized walnuts. Unfortunately they were just regular cooked walnuts and no sugar! =*( Oh well. The portion was a bit small, but it tasted fine. My Mom really enjoyed it but I wasn't too impressed. The batter on the shrimp was a bit on the thicker side which changes the texture. Overall it was fine and edible.
My Mom ended up choosing the French-Vietnamese Style Tender Beef Cubes, can't remember what they called it on the menu since we just order it in Chinese. This was actually pretty good and the portion was good. It was a much better choice than my walnut shrimp. The meat was tender and flavorful. It had just the right balance of salt and pepper mixed in with the natural sweetness of the meat. I love eating the raw white onions to help add an extra kick of flavor. Based on this dish alone, I would come back here again for lunch or maybe for a late night snack. O=9

All in all I am glad that we happened to stop by here to try something new. It is always good to add some more restaurants to my site and to try new things. Can't always eat the same thing every day, although if it is really good... I can do it! O=9 Even though this plaza isn't as happening as the one on Jefferey, there are still a bunch of restaurants to choose from to try.

Royal Kitchen
14310 Culver Drive
Irvine, CA 92604
(949) 733-9200
Royal Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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