Hi Ludobites, welcome to DTLA!
When Krissy and Ludo tweeted they were looking for their next pop-up space for Ludobites 4.0, I wrote back I really hoped it was going to be in Downtown Los Angeles. By fate or chance, it worked out they signed a 2-month stint at Gram & Papas.
Then of course, the next anticipation was getting reservations. I am signed up for their enewsletter and when the call came, I happened to be doing an early St. Patty’s day bar crawl. I tried to complete my reservations via my (non) smart phone but never got a confirmation. I redid them in the morning and to my surprise, I got reminders last week for not one, but two reservations. I was able to pass my reservation to a friend who wrote me a sweet note in the morning. She proclaimed the food was better than a dinner she recently had at Providence. I was really happy she and her friends enjoyed their night.
Our table wasn’t ready yet when we arrived for our reservations but I didn’t mind as it’s just joyous to be around the buzz. Ludo was kind to send out the brie chantilly napoleon while we were standing around. We tried to take pics standing up but those pics definitely did NOT work out. Thank goodness our table opened up and I was able to snap this piece of art.
My poor Noodles Partner has discovered an allergy to escargot. We stilled loved this dish but I don’t think I can convince her to eat snails again. The pretty flower is edible though and the great garlic flan in the green jus just worked.
Chef Ludo is probably the only man who can get me to eat carrots. I hate carrots. I love Ludo. I love Ludo’s carrot salad.
The veloute was the favorite appetizer of the night. We first attacked with our forks (after we photographed the hell out of it, of course) and then went in for the kill with our spoons. Not a drop was left.
One of the most artfully arranged and pretty dishes of the night, we encountered first the perfectly cooked scallops, the almond puree, the pickled grapes, the capers and finally marveled at the cauliflower ice cream.
As we were sitting waiting for our next dish, we noticed a pot of flowers Holly of The Michelin Project was plucking from. Holly is working at Ludobites in preparation for culinary school. Though I imagine if she works for Ludo long enough, she may not need such formal training! Back to the flowers, they ended up sprinkled on top of the turbot ceviche.
I absolutely loved Ludo’s chorizo cantaloupe soup from his pop-up at Breadbar. It was what made me fall in love with his food. And his bread soup at Royal/T was amazing. This ham soup was the best of both worlds. The saltiness of the ham combined with the bread and swiss cheese. But then the radish added a bright, fresh note to it.
I was kind of bummed to have missed the foie gras croque that everyone raved about the first week Ludobites 4.0 opened but this dish was excellent. It was entirely inventive and actually, I was quite pleased because I felt I was having something not a lot of people had experienced yet.
Watching your carbs? This squid “pasta” carbonara may be the solution. The poached egg was so amazing.
Strangely, my dining companions felt this dish was overcooked but I really liked it. The flavors were great and I didn’t think the fish was overcooked. Just exactly, precisely cooked.
The steak was the favorite among the foodies I talked to. It is visually very stunning. If I doubted it was a good steak, it only took a lunch at a run-of-a-mill spot to confirm I had a superior piece of meat in front of me.
Oh my god! The mint! The mint in this is what sold me. Visibly, there was not a single speck of mint leaf on this plate. Mint oil? How lovely! I loved this dish and not because my name is Minty.
Woah! Am I back at Royal/T? The cuteness of this dessert reminded of that cosplay restaurant.
After receiving our souffle, we adired it all of 10 seconds before we hacked into it, poured in the chocolate cream and relished it along with the black pepper ice cream. The flavors were fantastic together.
Although we had 14 courses, we never felt too full but definitely didn’t leave hungry. I wanted to start all over again after it ended. Good thing I have another reservation in May!