This post is soooo totally delayed. I’ve sorta abandoned my blog as I feel like my camera takes subpar pics in those poorly lit restaurants. Fortunately these pics were taken by WonTuan’s SLR. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the food as well since this meal took place months ago. But I shall try…
I first heard of Ludo Lefevbre from Top Chef Masters. He was portrayed as the extremely Frenchy and arrogant chef, who ate it pretty hard with his poor rendition of a quesadilla filled with, what was it? pig ears?? Anyways, after that I began to hear of this place called Ludo Bites on a lot of food blogs. It’s not a traditional restaurant, but rather a gorilla style restaurant that sets up in restaurant spaces that do not usually operate for dinner. It keeps costs low supposedly, which then get passed on to the customer. So I’ve been reading on the food blogs about how mindblowingly spectacular the food is @ Ludo Bites. From unique innovative creations to simply delicious food, it’s really caught my attention. So when I heard it was making its second round, this time @ Royal-T Cafe, I definitely wanted in on the action.
I don’t know about passing on the low costs to the customers, because things were still pricey and we felt underfed. Also, I did not feel the food was consistently spectacular. Lotsa hits and misses.
Tuna sashimi, sushi rice ice cream, soy sauce gelee, and smoked ginger –> HIT!
This was one of my favorite dishes. The sushi rice ice cream added great flavor. I wouldn’t say it tasted so much like like rice, but it did have a vinegary sweetness. It was so unique. The little hunks of soy sauce gelee were great little surprises interspersed through all the goodness.
Foie gras beignet and saffron dried apricots –> MISS!
I had read good things about this dish from other bloggers. I was hoping for something like a donut with smooth savory filling. Somehow I always hope foie gras will taste like pate, since they kind of come from the same thing, liver. I love the smooth, creamy, saltiness of pate. I hate the organ taste of foie gras. Once in a while, foie gras will be prepared in such in a way that it tastes like delicious fat without that innards taste. Then, and only then, will I like it. As for pate, I’ll eat it any day, any way. On to this dish, it tasted like little lobes of liver (literally you could see the lobes after you broke into it) stuffed in a too thin fried doughy exterior. The apricot sauce was too sweet. I can see how it would add something had the dish been good to begin with. In the end, OVERRATED and DISAPPOINTING.
Braised veal, udon, caramelized onions, kombu dashi, enoki mushrooms –> HIT!
This was probably my favorite dish of the night. I’m not quite sure if I know how umami tastes, but I think this dish would definitely be packed with it. The broth was out of this world flavorful. I really to eat the dish all on my own, but alas, I had to share. You can barely see it, but it came with some sesame paste on the side. I don’t know how you were supposed to eat it with the dish but every single element was just DELICIOUS. When I told Ludo that this was my favorite dish, he seemed a little bit disappointed because he didn’t feel it was particularly special like the tuna sashimi with sushi rice ice cream dish. Oh Ludo, so hard on yourself!
Crispy confit pork belly, thai coconut foam, plantain, burnt eggplant puree –> MISS
This was another disappointment. The pork belly was on the dry overcooked side, the coconut foam added no dimension or flavor, andthe burnt eggplant really tasted too burned.
Duck breast, orange blossom something, peanuts –> HIT
I particularly liked this dish for being a tender succulent piece of duck breast. It was probably more rare than I would have liked, but it was an intresting blend of sweetness from the orange blossoms and something that was similar to peanut butter. I guess we got too lazy to take this dish over to the lightbox for another spectacular photo.
Some other dishes that we did not get pictures for:
Celery root soup with black truffle parmesan –> MISS
Carmelized endive and grapefruit salad with gingerbread –> MISS
Squid with kimchi puree, chorizo oil, and black olive –> HIT
Fourme dambert tourte, red pear, honey balsamic
–> MISS? HIT?
This was a very interesting savory dessert, if a dessert could ever been savory. I guess I’m not sophisticated enough to appreciate cheese as a dessert. I appreciated the flakey crust, the subtle creaminess of the cheese, and subtle sweetness of the very little honey balsamic that was swirled on the plate. I was trying to mop up as much of it as I possible could to make it feel like I was really eating dessert.
Guacamole, exotic fruits, ginger ice cream –> HIT? MISS?
This was another interesting dessert because of the guacamole. No joke, it was various ice creams with a dollop of guacamole. It tasted more like a dessert than the cheese tart, so maybe thats why I ate more of this than the other dish. Sorry for the lack of picture.
We topped off the night with some time with The Chef. He came to our table to share with us some of his Frenchy charm. Boy oh boy is he HOT stuff. The accent, the tattoes, the hair, the enthusiasm for food and his patrons. He’s such a sport allowing us to get a nice picture with him too! DROOOL. Even though his food that night seemed about ~50% HITS, ~50% MISSES, I would still go back to see what more interesting things he creates.
Ludo Bites @ Royal-T Cafe
8910 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA