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


Ms. Lin said...

I miss the foie gras croque monsieur!

Arbys Gift Card said...

these are good..
Thank you for the post..

Trekkie said...

im sad...

Trekkie said...

and hungry

Kat said...

Thanks @Arbys Gift Card!

I made sure to get some more foie gras croque monsieurs in before it ended @Ms. Lin O=9 jealous? lol

@Trekkie.... poor u... NOT! I gave you chances to come. lol Don't worry I ate your share... Mmmm Mmmm GOOD! ^_^ Hope you had a fun camping trip!!

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