Ludo Lefebvre is one of the best chefs not only in Los Angeles, but the country. I have known Ludo for years and have had the pleasure of eating many, many meals with him when he was at Bastide. See below for a retrospective of just some of his best dishes when he was at Bastide.
I think Ludo Bites 8.0 at Lemon Moon is one of the best of the pop-ups. We had plans to eat the entire menu as splits, but got full, missing 3 dishes I really wanted to try – the John Dory, the Jidori Half Chicken and the Duck.
BYO Champagne – even though we brought our own wine, Whitney from Domaine LA handled the wine service with graciousness and aplomb.
“Brioche Seaweed Yuzu Butter” – A thick perfectly executed Brioche, lightly toasted and spread with a luscious seaweed yuzu butter
“Chicken Tandoori Crackling” – This was chicken liver mousse that had been made with Tandoori spices with a light sprinkling of salt on top sitting on crispy chicken skin “crackling” – this was just an oh my dish – inventive, creative and in a word delicious.
BYO White Wine
Sweet Shrimp, Miso Cream, Beans, Smoked Salmon – The shrimp itself was the freshest sweetest shrimp imaginable – talk about ingredient quality! It sat on a bed of miso cream “sauce” and cannellini beans mixed with chorizo oil. Slices of smoked salmon were draped around the plate and the whole was sprinkled with dried crumbled Chorizo – another absolute winner.
“Big Eye Tuna, Somen Noodles, 7 flavor Vinaigrette” – Jeff, our wonderful server explained that Ludo took the whole tuna and let it sit under a heat lamp most of the afternoon slathering it with olive oil so that the skin becomes crispy but the tuna is still raw inside. The 7 flavor vinaigrette contained shallots, Meyer lemon, capers, cumin, 5 spice, balsamic. The noodles had been cooked in charcoal water. My notes say absolutely amazing and the noodles were to die for – probably the best I have ever tasted.
“Uni, Creme Brulee, Coffee” – The menu doesn’t begin to explain how complex and elaborate these preparations are. The wonderful staff is more than willing to explain each dish in detail.
On the bottom was the uni creme brulee, then a layer of salmon eggs topped by coffee flavored foam – the whole excelled the sum of the parts.
“Day Boat Scallop, Leek, Potato, Black Truffles” – The scallops had been delivered alive in huge shells – think labor intensive kitchen prep here. The scallops were sliced thin and served raw. The leek and potato resembled a vichyssoise type of saucing. The dots of green on the plate were the green parts of the leek that had been pureed with agar agar – A+
BYO Red Wine
“Raw Beef, Radish, Beets, Eel – American Wagyu Beef from Nebraska served as tartar with bits of eel sitting on a bed of horseradish mayo topped off with shaved radishes and beets served with toast points on the side – Ludo’s creations are unusual, but make extraordinary culinary sense reminding me of Pierre Gagnaire in Paris when he is at his best.
“Foie Gras, Tamarin, Turnips, Daikon” – Lobes of foie gras in a tamarin, daikon lemon grass broth with turnips. You let the foie sit for about 2 minutes before eating the dish so that the foie “marries” with the broth. This reminded me of the Shabu Shabu dish served at Urasawa – decadent and rich.
“Monkfish Liver, Cucumber, Cornichons, Mustard Seeds” – A large piece of monkfish sat on spinach puree surrounded by Japanese cucumbers, hot house cucumbers, cornichons and mustard seeds – we were getting quite full but managed to eat every bite.
As I said above I hated to miss the John Dory, the Jidori chicken and the duck but we were very full! Ludo’s dishes are very rich and I would rather enjoy each one to its fullest rather than just have a bite of everything on the menu.
Krissy insisted we try one dessert – “Lemon Meringue, Poppy Seed Crumble, Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
All in all Ludo Bites 8.0 is not be missed – a wonderful culinary journey.