2 Dinners at Ludobites! [Report w pics]
The second time I went to Ludobites, the waiter stared at me and said "Weren't you just here ...?" Hey, that was 5 days ago! It's not like I come every day ...
The first time I checked out Ludobites, they were still offering their 3-course prix fixe for $39 and a small selection of appetizers you can order separately.
We started with an order of Gougeres with Mornay Sauce ($4)
Cheesy puffy pastry with creamy mornay sauce. Yum! I've had gougeres that ended up falling flat or became soggy, but these as you can see from the photos, weren't like that at all.
Next, we ordered the Foie Gras Miso Soup and Radish ($10)
Yes, it worked! I've been very curious as to how this would taste. Well, it tastes like miso soup! The cubed foie gras only made a much richer and denser "tofu" and giving it more body.
After the soup. we started with our prix-fixe meal.
Appetizer choice #1:
Sauteed Diver Scallop, Curry-Yogurt, Spinach (on a la carte menu: 2 scallops for $12)
This was one of my faves from the first night and I ordered it again when I went back. The yogurt curry is not overwhelming and pairs well with the fresh scallop.
Appetizer choice #2:
Tuna, Multi-Color Beets, Watermelon, Balsamic Pearls (on a la carte menu: $12)
This was a very pretty-looking dish with bright red, well, everything! Quite an interesting dish although towards the end I think it was too sweet for me. Both appetizers were good, but we ended up preferring the scallop.
Entree choices were black cod (which neither of us ordered) and
Braised Lamb "Seven Hours", Black Curry, Rosemary Polenta
Overall a good dish, although I expected a more tender lamb considering it was braised for "seven hours." The curry flavor was definitely there but not dominant - mostly we were tasting the lamb.
For the dessert options you can also get a cheese plate which consisted of three cheeses. The one I remember the most is the creamy, rich, oh-so-deliciously-pungent black-truffled goat cheese!
Strawberry Soup, Rhubarb, Hibiscus, Marshmallow Ice Cream (on a la carte menu $7)
I really enjoyed this strawberry soup. The soup by itself is sweet and thick enough that I won't drink it on its own, but along with the light and cold marshmallow ice cream, it was perfect. The ice cream's coldness cuts the sweetness just right and you end up with a refreshing bowl of dessert.
During my first trip I wasn't able to try the famous duck-fat fried chicken, so naturally I made my way back (5 days later). Especially after hearing they changed their concept from prix-fixe to small plates to share. And yes, the duck fat fried chicken was on the menu.
The menu was largely the same with some changes here and there. It's time for me to try thins I didn't get to try before!
Poached egg, Mayo, Black Olive bread ($5)
The poached egg was fairly well done - I like it better that way, less messy. A nice starter which I'd love to have for breakfast too.
Cheesy Rosemary Polenta, Oxtail Beef, Yellow carrots ($10)
The oxtail was buried within the cheesy polenta:
The cheesy polenta was delicious - rich and aromatic with a nice slightly-gamy taste from the oxtail. The oxtail was pretty tender but could be more tender for my taste, but definitely flavorful. Overall, a dish worth getting.
Calamari, Avocado, Lime, Fresh Almonds ($9)
This was one of those good-but-not-memorable dishes.
And last but not least, I made sure to get the now-famous Fried Chicken in Duck Fat, Basquaise Vegetables ($13)
Not just because 'everything fried is good', but because anything fried in DUCK FAT must be that much better. First of all, this was dark meat chicken, which in my not-so-humble opinion just tastes waay better than white meat. And fried. And fried in duck fat. From the crispy skin you can taste the richness of duck fat but it wasn't overwhelmingly fatty or greasy. The meat itself was tender and juicy and very flavorful.
The dessert choices were the strawberry soup (as above) and chocolate mousse with bell pepper sauce. The chocolate mousse was rich and delicious, but I'm not so sure about pairing it with bell peppers. Others might enjoy it but I personally am not a big fan of spicy and all this capsaicin stuff, so while it was definitely interesting, I tried to eat as little of the sauce as I could.
On both occasions Ludo comes out to greet the customers and asked how our meals were and we talked a bit about how often he's going to change the menu (about every 2 weeks or so).
As I was leaving the waiter waved and shouted out "See you next week!"
Not next week, I'll come in 2 weeks, when you change the menu :P
I went on 5/27 and it was pretty much the same menu that fdb posted, albeit with a different sauce for the asparagus and for the chocolate dessert (no bell pepper). It was a perfect meal for four people, we were able to order everything off the menu. Favorites were the chicken liver mousse, steak tartare, cheese board (loved some of the accompaniments), fried chicken and the strawberry rhubarb soup.
Ended up going last night and was really pleased with the food. I mean this price level, the food is just highly creative and thoughtful. I ended up running down the street to some grungy liquor store to pick up some moet white star because I forgot my wine at home. My favorites were probably the ultra creamy polenta with oxtail, the nicely spiced fried chicken, tuna with watermelon, and foie miso soup. Actually I loved pretty much everything. The cheese plate with accompaniments ranged from simple classic pairings to more challenging ones like the black miso conconction. I think Ludo strives to create the perfect bite of food using a creative combination of ingredients. I think I may be coming back.
I went last night, and think the chicken liver mousse is a MUST - served with bacon bits and green apple.
also really enjoyed the scallop with curry yogurt. we tried the pea guacamole, and while i thought it was interesting and well carried out - the tortilla were not. i'm not sure if they were overcooked but they tasted stale. we told our waittress, who took them to the kitchen, came back and said it was because they were cooked. i don't recommend that dish for that reason.