Ludo Bites, Again

Cherry tomato aigre-doux, rigatoncini pasta, poached lobster in tamarind butter

I went back Ludo Bites a few times since my post but haven’t written about any new subsequent dishes. And there are new dishes or little edits every week! My initial plan was to go eat there every week but unfortunately this did not come to fruition. But next week is the last week of Ludo Bites and a small panic set in. It’s been over a month since I ate there and I wanted to come back and see what was going on.

The usual serving of delicious food was still intact. With the quite chilly weather these days the large bar tables inside were moved closer together making room for a few small tables making the internal space more intimate than usual. We started with the customary basket of Bread Bar bread. Their bread blows me away. A perfect crust with ever so soft insides. Spread generously with Echire butter and consumed with glasses of French sparkling wine (the name escapes me) it quelled our hunger until our mains arrived.

Since it was just me and my friend Han Nah we didn’t go crazy ordering too many dishes. Instead we stuck with what really made our mouths water. First off that would be the butter poached lobster pasta dish pictured above. A combination of the sweet and sour from the tomatoes and tamarind, the goodness of butter, and meltingly tender lobster made us a pair of quite happy girls. I’m completely scared to cook lobster but having this butter poached version may motivate to bring that spiny scary looking thing home for once.

Beef Tenderloin, herbs sabayon, aligot potato puree

For our second course we went with the bacon-wrapped tenderloin. When it first came out I was wondering what all the stuff was on top of the steak. I took a sumptuous bite of the bits , the juicy tenderloin, and one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, bacon. The topping was a bit sweet and savory with a very soft texture. I couldn’t figure it out so I asked the server. They turned out to be chestnuts that had been braised in red wine. I love the combinations of ingredients that come out of this kitchen. This was one tasty steak dish. And the potato puree? To die for. Besides the cheese, creme fraiche, cream and butter that fattens it up, right before serving the potato puree is cooked in a pan to concentrate the flavor and also reduce some of the moisture. The results are awesome. I’ll have to try their method at home sometime.

Of course we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to eat some yummy cheese plus a housemade condiment. This time we tried the Roaring Forties Blue with the date puree and sea salt. It was a great combination. The date puree provides a sweet counterpart to the pungent blue cheese, rethinking the common honey to blue cheese pairing. I’m not sure how the dates are prepared but looks like it’s been pounded out to a thick paste and seasoned with sea salt. Perhaps another future experiment.

Vanilla panna cotta, caramel, caviar

For dessert we got the vanilla panna cotta with caramel sauce and caviar. This is just one of those brilliant ideas. Everyone loves sweet and salty, especially salty caramel these days. Except this time caviar takes the place of salt by lending its mildly briny saltiness. Innovative and delicious. I actually forgot to take picture of this before we ate it but I dug up an old photo I took. The only difference was that this time around the caramel surrounded the base of the panna cotta for a prettier presentation imo.

Pork belly, frisee, fruit salsa

Since I didn’t post my other dinners at Ludo Bites I thought I’d share a few photos I took a while back. The above is a braised pork belly dish with pork jus, frisee salad, and an extremely small diced salsa of various fruits. I think pineapple, mango and a few others. The pork belly is seared in butter to finish for some crispiness. I absolutely love this presentation. (kudos frankie!)

Miso soup with foie gras, fava, peas, enoki

This soup was what my miso soup was modeled after. Obviously the original version is much more luxurious! I haven’t gotten around to buying foie gras and preparing it at home. Yet. This was my second experience of having foie gras in soup. The first was an excellent lentil soup I had in Paris that had bits of foie gras all up in it. It was soo good. That meal was the first time I tried foie gras and I’m not looking back what so ever. This miso soup brought back those warm memories of my meal at Le Comptoir. There is something really comforting when a bit of foie gras melts in your mouth surrounded by savory warm soup.

Ludo Bites – a lil piece of France in LA for me. Until next week at least.


6 thoughts on “Ludo Bites, Again

  1. hi santos – when you come back to la hopefully his new restaurant will be open!

    hi hannah – can’t wait to try next week’s dishes.

    hi oppa – unfortunately next week is the last week according to schedule. but ludo’s new restaurant is in the making so you can always try that later

  2. That panna cotta dessert w/ the caramel and cavier sounds soooo interesting. I love the salty sweet combo, too! I wish we tried that the last time we went there.

  3. That looks so great. Very different from when I went. That pasta in particular looks great. Have you heard that Osteria Mozza is now doing pasta tasting menus? I so want to go check it out.

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