Archive for May, 2009

Spago – Beverly Hills

Spago for lunch, particularly on Friday, is magical. The patio is THE place to sit.


Laurent is one of the best dining room managers anywhere. He always organizes our meal and I have yet to look at a menu.



BYO Chmpagne



Signature dish of Spicy Tuna Tartar in a sesame tuile 


Salmon Blinis - Spago

House-Smoked Salmon served on a Lemon Herb Blini with Dill Crème Fraiche


hamachi - Spago

Hamachi Ceviche with Baby Beets served in a Chinese spoon


bacon en croute

Bacon en Croute – an old favorite


inside bacon

Inside of the bacon en croute



Japanese Cucumber Sorbet with Diced Cucumber and Daikon – a nice palate cleanser before the main part of the meal



Bread Service



Duo of Crab 


crab 1

Panko Crusted Soft Shell Crab with Scallions, Ginger, Marinated Cucumber Salad and Pickle Vinaigrette – the soft shell was perfect – light, not a hint of grease


crab 2

Maryland Crab Cake, Basil Aioli, Tomato Vinaigrette – what was excellent about this crab cake is that it was pure crab – no filler, just crab



Pan-roasted Black Bass on a bed of carrot puree and wild ramps



Then artichokes, tomatoes and a wild ramp vinaigrette and olive oil vinaigrette is added table side to the bass – delicious, light, plus seasonality at its best


the women at Spago

Jackie Collins lunching at Spago


red wine

BYO Red wine



Risotto with Maine Sweet Shrimp,  Santa Barbara Uni and Baby Japanese Zucchini – what is not to like? – uni, shrimp and risotto


duck= Spago

Pan-Roasted Liberty Duck Breast, Onion Soubise, Porcini Mushrooms, Huckleberries, Natural Jus – excellent


starw 1

Friase de bois, Shortcake, Raspberry


straaw 2


A lovely lunch, well-orchestrated by Laurent. I often say that Spago is two restaurants in one. The best way to go is a tasting menu. Let the staff orchestrate the menu and you will have a fine dining experience.

Aquitaine Bis- Chestnut Hill

Aquitaine Bis is a French bistro type restaurant in the suburbs of Boston – Chestnut Hill.  Is it chef driven cuisine – no.  Is it fine dining – no.  Is it on a par with Church and State in Los Angeles – no. But, it is safe, bistro food and for the most part executed well.

Sunday Brunch:

eggs benedict

Eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon, hollandaise & fines herbes, lyonnaise potatoes – I didn’t taste this, but this is my Dad’s favorite and he loved it.



Omelette Alsacienne - with mushrooms, leeks & chevre, lyonnaise potatoes and toast – the eggs were a bit dry, but OK.


As Boston was packed during this time period (graduation time all over the city), we were relegated to where my Dad was a regular. So back to Aquitaine Bis for dinner on Tuesday.

Belgian Endive Salade with apple, roquefort, walnuts & watercress – not pictured

 I will have to let the photos tell the story as I didn’t taste the food from our dining companions.  I am assuming they liked what they had as each dish was completely eaten. I also didn’t take notes as this was a strictly social evening.

fish - aquitaine

Lemon Sole Meunière with pommes purée and diced tomatoes 


another fish - aquitaine

Potato Crusted Atlantic Salmon with butter poached asparagus, mango & papaya chutney and beurre rouge 


scallops - aquitainee

Seared Dayboat Scallops with spring vegetable succotash, sweet corn beurre blanc 


soft shells - aquitaine

Crispy buttermilk soft shell crabs – I am guessing that the saucing was the same as the scallops – a sweet corn beurre blanc. Also I have a vague recollection that the waiter said the soft shells were coated in panko – it did have a tempura quality.

No cheese and no desserts – an adequate meal with good service.

Capital Grille – Boston

Capital Grille is essentially a chain restaurant – they work on a formula, strive to use quality ingredients and basically do straight forward food and work on the theory of not messing it up. This was not a food trip; it was a reconnect with my Dad trip so  food was secondary. 


bread capital

Bread Basket


Caesar - capital

Caesar Salad | $9


oysters- capital

Wellfleet Oysters on the Half Shell (6) | $15


steak -0 capital

*Dry Aged Sirloin Steak 14 oz | $40 – split to share


steak 1 - capital

Close-up of steak


onion rings - capital

Vidalia Onion Rings | $8


This is not fine dining – it is safe dining.

Neptune’s Oyster – Boston

One of my favorite restaurants in Boston is Neptune’s Oyster in the North End. I have a weird way of ordering the fried Ipswich clams with the bellies. I order a half order at a time so the second batch is as hot as the first batch. This time I ordered  1 1/2 orders and got an half order first and then a full order second. Vinny pictured below was terrific and when I gave him the order he asked if I was lizziee from LA. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I certainly have a reputation.

Neptune is a small restaurant with most of the seats at the bar. As they take no reservations, I usually plan my flight from LA to land on the early side so I can have a late lunch at Neptune and not be stuck in a long line waiting to be seated. What a girl will do for fried clams with the bellies!!




oysters at Neptune

The oysters at Neptune are terrific and you check off from the list what you want.


oysters 1




My first order of fried clams were stupendous – lush bellies, juicy, just perfect.



My Dad ordered the Maine Lobster Roll with fries


close-up of lobster

Just see those beautiful chunks of lobster, perfectly cooked.


clams 1

Unfortunately my second order of fried clams had been overcooked – a couple in front were OK, but most were dry and shriveled. To Vinny’s credit, it was taken off the bill.

Now, I did a sort of no no and decided to take a photo of what our neighbors were eating as most of my photos from Neptune are nothing but fried clams. Descriptions are edited versions from the on-line menu.


closde-up of lobster next table

Maine Lobster pan roast, grilled corn, chorizo-spring onion, littlenecks, blueberries


scallops next table

Seared Georges Bank Scallops, Israeli cous cous, English peas, Littlenecks

This is essentially a gastropub version of a clam shack – fun, casual, very busy, great service with a very friendly neighborhood vibe.

LUDO IS BACK!!!!!!!!


ludo 1




A note from Chef Ludo:

 A Taste of LudoBites

Just as a concept reflects its creator, LudoBites is a true reflection of myself.

 I consider myself to be a chef like no other, and I created LudoBites to be a restaurant like no other. 

Only with the generosity of BREADBAR can this special concept come to life in the toughest economy since the great depression.  BREADBAR and Ludo will share the BREADBAR location on 3rd to deliver two completely different dining experiences, BREADBAR for breakfast and lunch and LudoBites for dinner.

LudoBites is a completely new kind of restaurant experience, reflecting today’s world of change and LudoBites revels in change.

You’ll find no maitre d’ at LudoBites, no reservation table, no tablecloths, no separation between the kitchen and the dining room. I want to receive each guest just like they were coming to my home.  I will be the deejay, the cook, the waiter and I may even clean your table. 

 The other members of my team will all provide the same kind of personal service dressed not in a uniform, but comfortably and casually attired, just as we want your experience to be:  comfortable and casual.

In this day and age, when we’re more concerned with the image of the cook than we are with the cooking, I want my T-shirted crew to be considered among the elite–not for the image they project, but for the quality of their cooking.

LudoBites cuisine will be developed using a combination of bistro type ingredients and the gastronomie cooking techniques, rigour and order.

At LudoBites, we call this Bistronomie.

The idea behind LudoBites is to seamlessly blend fine cuisine with a new type of bistro, where the best products available are served up in humble simplicity with some unpredictable flavors and creative mostly French  techniques; a romantic reconstruction of classic French dishes. Joyful, playful, tasteful, creative, personal and the most important the taste because I never forget about the taste, taste and taste.

Serving innovative dishes in a welcoming, lively, yet relaxed atmosphere is the key, along with balancing creativity and affordability.  That’s important to me.  I want to prove that you don’t need a trust fund to afford haute cuisine.  I hope to introduce my food to a whole new audience by offering food that is affordable to the public and in a non-intimidating environment. 

At LudoBites, because the size of the kitchen and small staff, you will create your own menu choosing between three appetizers, three entrées, and two desserts or cheeses.  You may choose to have an appetizer and entrée; or an entrée and dessert; or an appetizer, entrée, and dessert–all at reasonable and fair prices. The decision is yours.

LudoBites menu will be small and constantly changing, just as the seasons change, offering an array of different tastes every week. 

Here is a sample of what you can expect to find at LudoBites today:



-     Squid ink “crepe”, chorizo, egg, ham and cheese

-     Rare tuna sliced, pink beets, red berries, smoked vinegar

-     Lobster gazpacho, parmesan marshmallow, exotic fruits

-     Heirloom tomato salad, cucumber, red onions, feta mousse

-     Mussel Mariniere, verbena



-     Caramelized cod, blood orange, fleur de sel and broccoli

-     “Bird and strings” , fried chicken & homemade pommes fries

-     Braised lamb, black curry, ratatouille, harissa

-     Pork ribs, English peas guacamole “Francaise style”, with wasabi and imaginary choucroute

-     Monkfish, sake-honey soy sauce



-     Rum baba, aloe vera, passion fruits

-     Rose ice cream, rice with milk, cookies

-     Spicy chocolate mousse, orange juice, extra virgin olive

-     Apple gaufrette tart, caramel


My staff and I invite you to join us for a taste of LudoBites today, and experience our special blend of Bistronomie served in a casual and comfortable restaurant that is like no other.  LudoBites is a fun, relaxed environment where you can leave the stresses of the world behind and join our intimate little party for a night. 

LudoBites is for a limited time only at Breadbar.  May 19th-August 22nd.  Who knows where it will be next. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2009



-Foie Gras Miso soup with Root Vegetables

-Pot au Feu, Yellow Carrots, Citrus, Bean Sprouts, Cilantro, and  Peanut Vinaigrette

-Rare Tuna, Pink Beet Bath, White Beets, Watermelon, Tapioca Pearls, Smoked Vinegar



 -Asian Fried Chicken, Herbes de Provence, and Basque Vegetables

-Cassoulet of Cod, Fava beans, Garlic, Fresh Herbs

-Braised Lamb with Black Curry, Rosemary Polenta, Harissa



 -Chocolate Mousse, Orange, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Strawberry Soup, Rhubarb, Hibicus, Marshmallow Ice Cream

-Fromage Du Jour






I don’t know about you, but I will go wherever Ludo goes.

See here for a retrospective of some of Ludo’s creations:



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