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Jul 4, 2009 07:47 AM

Ludobites Review with Pics

Ludobites at Breadbar (til 08/22)
8718 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310 205 0124

Breadbar is BYOB, no corkage. Lee's Liquor on 3rd is about a block away, so we stopped in there and among their kinda not so great selection found one lone bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. Louis Bernard Red Rhone Wine, 2005. A lower priced Chateauneuf, but after breathing a bit it was perfectly serviceable for wetting our whistles while noshing on Ludo's small plates.

What the hades is Ludobites? Ludobites is a guerrilla style pop-up restaurant created by Chef Ludo Lefebvre, recently featured as the melt-down king of pig's ears quesadillas on Top Chef Masters. Please do not hold that against him, different people work well in different kinds of situations, and in his own kitchen Ludo's food shines. He has a very loyal following of bloggers and food eaters in Los Angeles, and it can be hard to get a reservation right now at Breadbar. From his website Ludo says that the goal is to, "create a new 'bistronomy' cuisine that features Michelin style French cuisine with modern technique offered at affordable prices". The plan is to offer a "restaurant within a restaurant" by coming in to do temporary dinner service in restaurants that only typically offer breakfast and lunch. Genius in concept, one of my favorite recent restaurant experiences in execution.

Food. Wonderful food. All the food is small or moderately small plates intended to share. We started by sharing the White Asparagus Veloute with Mozzarella Ice Cream, Shaved Fennel, Dried Olives and Lemon Zest. Starting off on the right foot, this was elegant and innovative.
Look at this pic carefully and you can see the differences in the two soft textures. On the outside the soup is, well, thick and soupy and the ice cream remains just barely frozen in the middle. The temperatures mixed interestingly, the soup being served at a fairly ambient temperature, and the ice cream just barely cold enough to be able to discern the differences in texture and flavor. Flavor from the dried olives was very intense, keeping the asparagus and mozzarella flavors from being too mild.

Poached Egg 65 Degrees with Savory French Toast, Black Truffles and Parmesan-Onions. Soft poached egg with black truffle and whatever those two delicious sauces are on the bottom of the plate. I wish I snapped a pic of the egg broken open. The yolk was that perfect bright orange with a luxurious almost pate-like texture. Spreadable, and not the slightest bit runny. Good thing the bus person came along when he did, because I was about embarrass my easily embarrassed husband by licking the plate. I swear.

Cod with Spiced Butter, Fresh Porcinis & Almonds served Tonnato style. This was the only meh of the evening. The ingredients all look and sound wonderful together, the quality was good and the freshness and texture beautiful together. But the flavors were flat. There was nothing popping on this dish. Next.

Next was good, very good. Creamy Polenta, Cantal Cheese and Oxtail Meat. While fairly well buried in the delicious and not overly rich polenta, the oxtail meat was generously portioned. Basically it was just barely surrounded by polenta. I might make this at home with the leftovers the next time I make oxtails. Because I rarely cook, it takes true inspiration to get me in the kitchen. If I want to riff on something a chef does, that is the highest compliment I can give.

Surprisingly, D was less inspired by the Heirloom Tomato Salad, with Red Onions, Feta Mousse and Oregano. He said, this isn't that original or unique. My thought was this is the perfect spin on a classic summertime heirloom salad, with the feta mousse. Not much needs to be done to a Greek style tomato salad to improve upon perfection. He wisely agreed. It was acidic marvelousness balanced by the creaminess of the cheesy mousse.

Strangely, we ended with the Chicken Liver Mousse with Cornichons and Green Apples. Strange because it's really an hors d'ouevres. It was super good though, the sweet green apple surprising against the sour of the pickle and the richness of the liver.

We had a really wonderful meal, with great service. Really great, comfy personal service. Nothing pretentious or ever the least bit formal. I love this kind of service, like these people could be your next door neighbors or someone you sat next to having drinks at your favorite bar.

review with pics:

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  1. I think there is modest corkage; $5 corkage the last two times we went. We went last week again and had a nice meal, tried quite a few of the new things on the menu (daily menus are online on ludo's website: We particularly liked the chorizo soup and poached egg. Only small gripe is that prices went up quite a bit on several of the more entree-like selections vs. the time we went earlier in June; our bill was about $50 more than the last time we went and we ordered slightly less food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ericat

      you are right, i looked on the website and it did say $5 corkage. our bill was about $80, but we ate a lot.

      1. Thank you for the review; I was curious about his restaurant after TCM aired.

        1. Hey Lotta Lox - Great review as always; I always enjoy reading your reviews!! We are planning to go to Ludo Bites tonight --- I'm sure the waiter can stear is, but how many items do you suggest? Are the small plates like 2 bites, or more to share? Thanks in advance!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Obessed

            wow. my response is really late but I would advise 3-4 per person. that's what we did and left full but not over full.

          2. I have a question for anyone that's been, I'm thinking of a spot for an anniversary dinner.
            I really like Ludo's food and will go, but am debating whether this is the occasion.

            What's are the room and tables like? Decent? Decent service? Decent wine stems?

            I see the menu listed above. For an extensive meal for two foodies, would eight dishes be about right.? As an example, I think at Bazaar, not.

            2 Replies
            1. re: john gonzales

              NO! no stems, i think we drank wine out of tumblers, IIRC. also, it is super casual, go for an anniversary if you are both DYING to go. The food is certainly worthy. However, the atmosphere is really not celebratory. the room is v small, we ate outside against a wall. remember this is a b'fast and lunch place known for their bread.

              The service, however, was sublime. More casual and friendly than Bazaar, but just wonderful. I haven't had better service anywhere. 8 dishes for two people would be great. I plan to go again in 2 weeks with friends in town from UK.

              1. re: lotta_cox

                Exactly, it's just a nice little breakfast/lunch cafe. So if you sit inside you'll be at one of 4 or 5 counter-like tables on backless stools. Each table seats 6 so if there are only two of you, you'll likely be seated with another party or two. Assuming that's not desirable for an anniversary, you'd probably want to sit outside on the patio where there are regular metal cafe tables with basic whicker chairs. But it's all pretty casual.