If you ask me, Ludo Bites, the latest restaurant concept from Chef Ludo Lefebvre, is kinda like that hot guy who sublet a room in your neighbor's house for the summer. He's pretty much the perfect man because he's super sexy, super smart, has classic features but with a rockstar edge, has tons of personality and best of all knows how to show you a good time. Problem is, he's only here for a few months so you have to get it while you can.
Until August 22, this "guerilla style pop-up restaurant event" is taking place every Tuesday through Sunday night at Third Street's Breadbar, a bakery-cafe that's normally only open for breakfast and lunch. It's a business model that's cost effective for all parties involved while also pulling in additional revenue, thereby allowing diners to experience high end food at lower prices. That's where smart comes in.
Now as for the sexy-awesome-personality-and-showing-me-a-good-time part, well let's talk food, shall we? At Ludo Bites, Chef Ludo Lefebvre creates food with so much personality that they may as well be men.
Several nights ago I was introduced to eleven of them. And I had all eleven in the same night--something which might normally make me feel like I was being a bad, bad DG but since they're not here for long I felt every desire to indulge.
Deconstructed Bloody Mary, you are hot blooded but the fact that your spicy tomato puree, vodka gelee, celery mousse are served in deconstructed mode leads me to think that your bark is worse than your bite and that you're more cool than you let on to be. Oh yeah, and your little bits of vodka gelee felt really good on my tongue...which is always a good thing.
Tuna Sashimi with Sushi Rice Ice Cream, Fried Onions, and Shichimi Togarashi, you'd think I'd know you, because everyone and their mom has had tuna sashimi with fried onions and some kinda sesame soy sauce. And I like that and all, but you really had me fooled with that sushi rice ice cream. A tad skeptical, I thought to myself, Is he pretending to be something that he's not? But no, turns out that you're creative, imaginative, and a little complex. It works with you.
Sweet and Sour Shrimp with Rosemary and Lemon Zest, you're a nice balance of both nice (sweet) and sarcastic (sour) and once you take off that marmaladey cloak, you reveal a body that's plump yet still firm and meaty. You were so damn huggable but I wasn't even able to touch you all that much since I was instructed to have you in just one bite.
King Red Salmon with Smoked Vinegar, Watermelon and Mint, I wasn't able to get to know you all that well either since you were a one bite kind of guy with your salmon roe topping and all. And how sweet of you to come bearing a watermelon and mint gift for me...but only after having you. I liked you, but I can't be bought, so I'm not sure if there'll be a next time.
Chilled Chorizo Soup with Onions and Cornichon Ice, you're a bit of a jokester, aren't you? You mean you didn't puree Nacho Cheese Doritos? I say coyly, twisting my hair and batting my (non-existent) eyelashes. Youre smooth, and your sense of humor is addicting.
Foie Gras Tart with Mushrooms, Lemon Paste, Mushrooms, and Truffle Oil, fucking-a you rocked my world. Your foie gras, raw mushroom and truffle oil combo is simply luscious and goes reaaaal deep but is subtle enough not to be overkill. I also love me a down-to earth guy who's a little sweet (maple tart crust) and a little feisty (lemon paste). If there's such a thing as love at first bite, this would be it.
Diver Scallop with Port, Bacon, Onion and Creme Fraiche Foam, hawt damn you had a perfect body and I mean PER-fect body but unfortunately that's about it. You tried really hard with that pink foamy emulsion, but I've come to see that you're all brawn and no brain.
Tonnato-Style Halibut with Spiced Butter, Porcini and Wilted Lettuce, you struck me as really, really smart. Halibut's kind of a safe choice, so you're not edgy in any particular way, but everything you showed me was done with precision and lots of care. Tell you what, though...I do find nerds sexy.
Almond Brittle-Crusted Duck with Crispy Skin Puree, Tapenade and Turnip, you too had a perfect body, but I couldn't really figure you out. Your turnip's tough exterior made me feel like it was hard to get through to you but I also got hints of an overly sweet crust. And your tapenade just didn't pique my interest enough. But we can still hang out, if anything for that perfectly cooked body on you.
Mr. Cheese Course, you're a super sensitive emotional rollercoaster with your pungent valdeon bleu cheese one minute and your outrageously smooth affinois the next. Despite being a little moody (umm, you showed me five that night to be exact) your housemade fruit and nut accompaniments showed that you seek balance in your life amongst all that passion. I actually think sensitive is sexy; hopefully the fact that the etorki and date puree pairing made me purr is enough evidence.
Panna Cotta with Caviar and Caramel, I couldn't keep my eyes (or my mouth for that matter) off your glistening dark skin. But what I love about you most of all is that you're a regular fun loving guy who pops Milk Duds at the movie theatre, but you're also a classy gourmand who loves his caviar.
The night came to an end and suddenly my love affair with these eleven was over. And just like that neighbor's hot subleter, they'll one day be gone. I don't know where your aspirations will take you next Ludo Bites, but I'll be back for more.
Thanks to FoodDigger for hosting this wonderful dinner, to Chef Ludo and wife Kristine for the amazing food, hospitality and service, and to all of the above for letting me be a total food ho at Ludo Bites.
There. I admitted it. I was a ho.
And I liked it.
Ludobites at BreadBar
8718 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Every Tues-Sun through August 22
My fellow hos from that delicious evening:
Diana Takes A Bite
Kung Food Panda
Two Hungry Pandas