MAN VS. BEER Tonight At Far Bar. 20 Japanese Craft Beers for $25. 7 PM. Augustfest!

This just in via the Chuy-Wire…Puro Pinche Pari!

Far Bar in Little Tokyo is hosting the last night of MAN VS. BEER. In celebration of their exclusive “Augustfest” celebration they will offer the chance to taste 20 different, unique Japanese craft beers for $25. Here is the the scoop directly from the website.


As part of the Augustfest celebration, every Thursday come to FAR BAR Lounge and get the opportunity to taste 20 differently unique Japanese craft style beers for only $25. There will be music, Japanese horror and Samurai Movies and free popcorn! Challenge yourself and if you can finish, get your photo on the “WALL OF FAME”. Come early as the fun begins from 7pm-midnight. Only at the FAR BAR Lounge!

Girls-drinking-Beer

Pues, hay que aprovechar! Not sure if this is true or not but I heard that the portions will be allotted to five oz. of each beer. Let’s see x20, that is, hmm, hold on, carry over the one….100 pinche oz. of thick, high Alcohol luxurious Japanese craft beer!

This probably isn’t a good idea, I am the spitting image of a latino-fangled Gumby at 6’3 feet tall and like 135 lbs. But fuuuuuuuuuuck it, one last hurrah before I go back to 13 units of hardcore schoolage next week.

In the words of my beloved East L.A homies, “You’re not doooooown! Ahhh, gonna be a little biiiiiitch or what?”

Haha. I’ll see you guys there at 7 PM sharp, and wish me luck.

Cheers and more beers!

Maison Akira: Punks On Pâté

I don’t have much old school friends that are really into food. Most of the time, I know more about their mom’s homemade food than they know themselves. I mean, there always is drunk talk about “going out to go eat one day maaan!” whenever we hang out. And one time, I did take one of my vato loco friend’s out for some Dim Sum once, but most of their money spending goes towards more altering sources of fun

Then there is the homie Dan Barr. I first met the guy at a Guelaguetza dinner one of my readers from out of town had organized. I knew the guy was not like the rest when he knew the difference between a Huarache and a Memela. We’ve chilled out ever since.

dan the man
Dan the Man

He told me his old man had given him a $100 certificate to Maison Akira a while back, and it was in our post-‘mosh’-pit daze after a Fear and D.I show one night that he remembered about it, saying he was saving until it was ready…and it was time.

We decided to incorporate an early dinner into our crackin’ Friday night this last weekend. I was pretty damn excited, the Kyoto-born Chef Akira trained under Chef Joel Robuchon for a good amount of years. Hence, his classical French themed menu with an innovative, deft Japanese flair.

ambiance shot
A Little Fine Dining Before A Night Of Ultra Violence?

Mohawked and patched out, we were ready for an under $100 certificate feast to remember for the rest of our lives. Tonight, instead of power chord anthems, our theme music for the night was a fairly “ambient collection of jaunty, spring season classical” ballads, courtesy of Maison’s smooth Muzak.

frozen butter
Frozen Butter: With Essence of Food Storage Fridge

Butter was colder than a mo’fo, with a lingering background taste of an economy food storage fridge. Not the Plugra, extra rich stuff I had envisioned. Good thing I’m not a butter snob.

Then came the small-portion onslaught. The menu was recently redeveloped to include a “Tapas” sized option, that was basically half the portion and price. We took this approach for every dish tonight to maximize our eating diversity.

First up, was an tiny Amuse of Salmon Rillete with a Sweet, Piquillo Pepper Sauce.

salmon spread
Salmon Rillete: Such a Tease!

A dolled up Salmon Salad, hmm…ok. Tasty though meager, that Piquillo sauce was like Ketchup without the Vinegar-y twang.

duck pate
Duck Pâté: Umami…Straight Up ($7)

What’s French Food without a forcemeat, right? This one was quite meaty with immense dark-meat nook and cranny chunks of the fowl. Green peppercorns were tame and engaging.

bambi carpaccio
Venison Carpaccio: I Killed Bambie’s Mom

Served with a Wasabi Aioli Sauce and Petite Salad ($9), this wowed both of us with its tenderness. Was unlike any Venison we’ve had before, not gamy in the least and that emulsified Aioli linked with its leanness to round out the rich experience.

lobster chunk soup
Brandy Flamed Maine Lobster Bisque: Rich, Rich, Rich!

Dan has a soft spot for Lobster anything. This soup packed a briny punch, Lobster Bisque if there was ever a thing man. It seemed like a roux-base, with no cream. Hence, the drowning-in-the-beach unadulterated taste.

scallops with zucchinni flan
Zucchini Flan N Canadian Scallops: Tasty Eyy

Sautéed Canadian Scallops with King Oyster Mushroom Sympatic and Zucchini Basil Flan($16) I love me some Scallops. And these were creamy, sweet and tasting of a fresh shuckling . The creamy, green Flan’s texture was a molecule away from the scallops texture, both creamy and sweet, a magnificent side for the shellfish.

smoked duck
Smoked Duck: Blazing That Duck Out

Pan-Roasted Smoked Duck Breast & Duck Leg Confit Parmentier in a Calvados Sauce($18). The smoke was deep and complex, enough to appease the bacon loving masses and lovers of juicy, rare cooked fatty birds. The Parmentier was pleasant too. The chef really loved those king oyster ‘shrooms though, used it without abandon through out the night!

And last but not near the savory least.

grilled miso honey seabass
Miso Marinated Grilled Chilean Sea Bass: A Bad Ass Savory Clincher Indeed

Miso Marinated Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with Grilled Ratatouille in a Honey Lemon Jus($19). Chef Akira’s esteemed signature dish that he served to the Emperor & Empress of Japan during their visit to Los Angeles in 1994 was a bad ass savory clincher indeed. Buttery was an understatement here. Not as bold as the Nobu typical Black Cod preparation but in fact, the exact opposite. Subtly seasoned, minutely sweet and downright moist. The grilled Ratouille was served like a pilaf on top of extra wide grains of rice that were like whatever. But that fish!

And I nearly did a back flip when I saw a Baked Alaska’s on their dessert menu. I’ve only gawked at pictures and read about this super-elusive dessert since I first started with food. You know what they say about your first

my first baked alaska! (green tea)
A Baked Alaska: Four and A Half Years in The Making

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Akira’s version was revamped with a generous amount of well balanced, green tea ice cream and a tangy Rasberry Sauce ($12). And hell, even flambeed table side, literally. The waiter pours a couple of ladle-fulls Mandarin Liqueur that he torches up himself onto the thick, layer of soft peaked Meringue. This creates a rather pleasurable charred s’more like texture to mix with the chilled green tea ice cream and thin sponge cake inside.

green tea baked alaska
Igloo Destruction is My Middle Name

Dan and I don’t really remember the rest of that night much but I’m sure we will never forget that blue ember burning Alaska…

Maison Akira Restaurant
www.maisonakira.com
713 East Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91101-2111
(626) 796-9501

Maison Akira in Los Angeles

Maison Akira on Urbanspoon

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill: My First Omakase

There is something to be said about visiting a city where your older brother lived at for seven years. It makes things a little bit less overwhelming to know that there are a few people around who are just a degree closer than a complete stranger. It also helps if those friends also happen to work at Blue Ribbon Sushi, one of the few New York established Sushi slinging counterparts of the Blue Ribbon restaurant family.

motif driven signage
Blue Ribbon: Distinction

A newcomer to foodblogging scene, Teresa would be the girl to know in this unknown food megalopolis, my brother was right. After a couple of random FB messages, we had decided to go the Sushi and Grill outpost, one of their more snazzier joints located right in front of A train Columbus Circle stop, atop the 6 Hotel. Would of been optimal walking distance in the relentless blizzard outside, but of course, the train that I was in overheated and broke down one stop before. But for the meal that followed, I wouldn’t of minded walking in the strongest of flurries all the way across town…

We started off with one of their Namazake’s that still in their tasting room floor, Harushika Shiboribana.

Harushika Shiboribana
Harushika Shiboribana: Bold

A Namazake is a certain type of “live” Sake that is only brewed seasonally and is not been heated past 65C, thus, ‘unpasteurized’. Its usually drank in its younger state, and the taste is a little more brash and dry around the edges, kind of requiring of small sips only. However, this one proved to be quite fruity, nonetheless a little more viscous with an acquired thickness probably due to the umami content in the liquid itself. This one has not yet made it to the menu but there are four more in stock from the $9-$12 range.

Amaebi Sashimi

After this, the chef had sent out a sample of his Amaebe Sashimi ($17.50), Maine Sweet Shrimp with a light Wasabi Yuzu. Delightfully creamy without the sinewy chew of raw shrimp I’ve had before, he fried the heads, whole and they served as decapitated crispy chips to go elevate the experience even more.

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Ankimo: Foie Gras of The Sea?

Shortly after, a few generously thick, silver dollar sized slices of compounded monkfish offal known as Ankimo($13.75) showed up. Apparently, she ‘always has to have it’ every time she eats here, and I could see why. What Foie Gras would taste like if Trader Joes ever made a “reduced fat” seafood variety, I preferred the mild, liver-y luxuriousness of it actually. Maybe since the last time I was served the duck stuff , I was nearly induced to a lipid induced seizure with a full 2 oz of it

After the fist dishes, I knew that if there was ever a time to splurge in my short stay in NYC…it was going to be here.

We had decided on the Sashimi-only Omakase; Toshi’s Choice ($80 per person here)

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Yaki Hama: Baked Oysters w/ Miso Butter

The Panko topping soaked in the butter and ponzu beautifully, nice buttery crunch to contrast the chewy oyster.

Then came what Teresa explained to be “very Blue Ribbon”, two platters of artistically presented bounty:

Lobster Sashimi Platter
Sashimi, Mushi and Karai of Ise Ebi: How Much Lobster Can You Handle?

In awe of the presentation, I dug right in the raw lobster flesh. The sinewy meat snaps at the slippery bite, almost like a tendon. A texture I am slowly getting used to as this is only the third time I have it. I enjoyed more the set rolls of the cooked stuff with the foundation of rice.

But I was then completely swooped off my feet with the presentation of their Omakase:

Blue Ribbon Omakase
Behold: Blue Ribbon Omakase

From bottom to up:
Noresore–Baby Sea Eel (Shooter in a Ponzu Dashi; Kyushu, Japan)
Binnaga–Albacore (behind cup; Pacific Ocean)
Hotaru Ika–Reef Squid (Lemon Shell drizzled with Mustard ; Setouchi, Japan)
Oshinko–Assorted Pickles (Kyuri Cucumbers, Japanese Squash)
Masu–Tasmanian Sea Trout(Next to Cucumbers; Australia)
Chu Toro–Medium Fat Blue Fin Tuna Belly (Light Pink; Japan)
Shime Saba–Wild Mackarel (Silver Skinned, Crimson Meat; Kyushu, Japan)
Sujiko–Marinated Fresh Salmon Roe (House Cured w/ Soy; Canada)
Uni–Sea Urchin (Pacific Ocean)
Kamasu Sashimi–Torch Seared Barracuda (Last; Japan)

The soy sauce that is issued with the Sashimi is an aged one, as thick as blood and as dark as opaque paint; all the better to complement everything all these rich fishy’s.

stunning omakase (angle 1)
The Money Shot: Working The Angles Baby

Suffice to say, I was Omega-3’d the hell out and blown away by the distinctness amongst each fish, especially compared to recent Sushi expeditions. I know this because I was not able to plow through everything like I usually do, a new kind of richness I’ve never encountered before.

But we all know that there is ALWAYS room for dessert.

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Ginger Bread Pudding w/ Butterscotch Sauce and Ginger Ice Cream

Another one of Teresa’s “must haves”, surprisingly light I must say.

chocolate bruno
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Chocolate Bruno w/ Green Tea Ice Cream: My Finale

Reminiscing about it now, I think this is my first ever REAL sashimi experience ever and worth every single penny.

And, NO, this was not a fucken PR meal…

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
308 West 58th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 397-0404

www.blueribbonrestaurants.com

Otafuku: Let’s Get Rid of New York

“Lets Get Rid Of New York”

Randoms (Dangerhouse Compilation Album: 1977)

Don’t know what came over me that Cyber Monday afternoon, Mattatouille had sent me a text first thing in the morning and told me that there was some great deals on Virgin America. So I did, with the rationalized excuse that I was going to check out NYU finally and decide whether I want to attend their Food Studies program or not…once and for all.

And now…I’m here.

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Brooklyn Heights

Every time I step out of the tiny place I was fortunate to be able to stay at, I am hit with ten thousand piercing needles that is typical East Coast climate. Chilly L.A Winter twilights of 40-50 degrees definitely did not prepare me for this. All of my L.A Winter clothing that I have scarcely acquired over the years have only proven to be futile during those breezes that make me forget I have fingers and feet. Four layers, five layers of clothing…no difference to me.

I will not lie to feeling a little overwhelmed being in a new city, even if not long. Culture shock aside, the overwhelming masses of people brushing you left and right seem unescapable no matter where you are, the 2x priced public transit is not easy to grasp for a transit deprived born and raised Angeleno and the winds only seem to be getting stronger and colder.

Nonetheless, I came for food. And food is what I shall do.

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Otafuku: Saves the Day

After getting snootily turned away from a tour at the NYU Welcoming offices, I still decided to check out the scattered campuses by my self. At the Stern building, I gawked at the tall, slender Asian goddesses as they scurried frantically to get to class, at the Tisch School of the Arts, I compared the Hipster look to that of L.A, slightly more formidably colorful I must say. But at the Steinhardt campus I ate Japanese griddled deliciousness.

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Standing Room Only

My first restaurant meal in the city was take out from Otafuku, a tucked up Takoyaki dispensary right in front of campus. Chiquito pero picoso!, this two by four take out only place slanged one of the best lunches I’ve had in my life. All they have on the menu is Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba, more than plenty when it comes to quality, taste and portion.

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Combo C Is All I Need: Takoyaki and Squid Okonomiyaki

Maybe it was the fact that I have had always wanted to try Takoyaki since the first time I saw a weird video of it on Mikey Hates Everything blog, or maybe it was just that I hadn’t had breakfast today, or maybe it was the simple fact that it was only $9. Whatever it is, these savory griddle cakes were LOADED with the tasty Japanese street lipids of Mayonnaise, wide flaked Bonito flakes, powdered Nori, Ichimi Togarashi(Japanese Chili Powder) and that sweet, umami intensive Takoyaki sauce.

Like a pancake sphere with the tender gift of a chunk of octopus in the middle, I relished alternating the donut hole-like Takoyaki with the crispy edged, thick Okonimayaki filled with shredded cabbage, spicy ginger and several pieces of chewy squid.

Maybe New York isn’t so bad after all, although I certainly held it up to L.A standards last time I was here…

My Earlier NY Posts.

My First Night in NY: Pizza Epiphamy and GOOD Vegan (Lombardi’s and Teany)

Glutster goes To N.Y!!!

Night In N.Y: Dabbling with Dumplings and Truly Living the Good Life

3rd and Last Day in N.Y.: Not-Your-Average Lunch at the C.I.A. (no not “C.I.A.”, The Culinary Institute of America

Otafuku
236 East 9th Street
New York, NY
10003-7503
(212) 353-8503
Open Weekdays 1pm-10pm; Weekends 11am-10pm

Kabuki Blogger Dinner: FULL Menu Privileges

As P.R dinners continue to flow in steadily into my inbox, I gain an even stronger motivation to take my writing even more seriously than I do now. I don’t know about other bloggers but these sort of things are what keeps The Glutster going strong, especially since I wish to somehow do this for a living in the someday. I still think its pretty freaking awesome to get invited to cover these sort of events. Not to mention, I wouldn’t nearly have the amount of resources necessary to experience these kind of foods otherwise at the moment…

As is the pricey case usually with Sushi. Where I would of normally only been able to get only the cheapy-est of rolls with a side of rice to fill up, I was able to sample a good chunk of tasty offerings, thanks to being offered the chance of covering the popular Kabuki Restaurant. For the set dinner, their Hollywood location was chosen.

Kabuki Hollywood complex
(photo courtesy of press kit)
Just Walking By: Façade

I would always walk by this place as I got off the metro to catch the Sunset Bus down to the Sunset Strip, the only place classic L.A Hardcore Bands bands play nowadays, those were a splurge enough already though, so I never really had a chance to eat nearby.

I was excited a little more than usually for this dinner though, given that I’m finally twenty one and knowing that it was home to the only Master Sake Sommelier in North America, Yuji Matsumoto. Back in 1997, he was one of the founders of The California Sushi Academy.

Yuji Matsumoto
(photo courtesy of press kit)
Yuji Matsumoto: Sake Is A Way Of Life

Walking in, instead of being greeted with the blaring but warm traditional sushi bar Japanese welcome of irashaimase! You are greeted with trendy-listening, top 40 stuff mostly. If not indifferent, then annoying to me but a plus for mainstream music people I suppose. Tables are filled with easygoing sets of couples, girlfriends gathering to catch up, for a rainy Wednesday afternoon, its pretty cracking. All probably getting a bite before hitting the Hollywood scene.

Kabuki Hollywood 1
(Photo courtesy of press kit)
Comfy But Loungy

Our welcoming cocktail was a Fuji Apple Saketini. A pretty clever concept actually. It was clear in color, thin in texture with an ever-subtle taste of biting into a Fuji apple in the peak of Fall. A definite upgrade from the fluorescent Green Apple Puckers I grew up with.

fuji apple saketini
Balanced: Fuji Apple Saketini ($7.95)

Soon after, we were given a sampling of some their brand new menu items that will make it into the regular menu in a couple of months.

tuna poke
Tuna Poke: Black Sesame, Avocado, Seaweed

At $7.95, it was quite a generous portion. Tuna quality is usually not the point in these style of dressed dishes, wasn’t too bad here.

sashimi
Yellowtail Sashimi w/ Jalapeño: Their Take On The Nobu Classic

The thin slices held a slightly fishier taste than I expected, not sure if it was supposed to be like that but I guess that’s what the spicy sauce was there for?

At this point we were served our first sipping Sake of the night.

kikusui
Kikusui (“Chrysanthemum Water“): $7.50 A Glass

Subtle and soft, this Sake was almost as soft as water, had a slightly vegetal taste, the nose was very elegant hinting of grass.

It always gives me a kick whenever I see rolls on the menu with zany names, only to find out that really only means its going to be some sort of a concoction involving cream cheese or deep frying it. Tonight they were unveiling some of their new rolls soon to be put on the regular menu:

vegas rolls
Vegas Roll: Cream Cheese, Surimi, Salmon, All Deep Fried

I can totally see where the name came from; I would totally dig this if I were drunk as hell with a serious case of the beer munchies, otherwise…kind of excessive.

lasagna rolls
Lasagna Roll: Surimi, Cream Cheese, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Baked

I didn’t know what to think when this landed on the table, looking like some sort of creature that was stopped dead in its tracks with a layer of molten, golden brown cheese. I would of liked this ten years ago in my “Lasagna-Is-My-Favorite-Food-Phase”. But now, with purist values instilled deep in, it just looked like something a stoner would dream up in the peak of their high. I did enjoy my ONE piece though.

Baja Rolls
Baja Roll: Surimi, Pico de Gallo

The only roll that didn’t involve cream cheese actually and a favorite, everyone agreed “why haven’t we had something like this before?”. I remember eating some tasty fusion sushi in Mexico City not too long ago, where they would do these same type of rolls but with a Chipotle Japanese Mayo and grilled, adobo spiced onions, these were in the same realm as those. I just wish the sushi rice was a tad less sweeter, got kind of cloying after a couple of chopstick-full’s.

It was pretty awesome to hear the words “you may now order anything from the regular menu” right after this half baked-nouveau roll assault…

ginjo
Ginjo Mizbasho (“Water Lily”): $6.95 A Glass

The second sipping Sake was a medium acidity Ginjo Mizbasho, a little bit more viscous with more of a zing, just enough to go well with the umami factor of the food though.

lobster dyn-o-mite!
Lobster Dynamite: $10.95

Nothing better–I think–than a heaping platter of soft, lobster chunks baked with the lipid intensive white stuff known as Mayonnaise, Japanese kind of course (a little sweeter).

TORO
Toro Sushi
: $9.95

I think everyone in the table at least got one order of this ethereal cut of fatty fish, buttery and melting at your tongue, I was saving my two pieces for a savory dessert. Although I ended up eating like five pieces by the end of the night because everyone had gotten trigger-happy and full real quick, not to say I didn’t get trigger happy as well though.

chilean sea bass
Sake & Soy Chilean Sea Bass w/ Sauteed Asparagus and Chili Sesame Sauce: ($17.95)

Yes, I know, I know. I’m evil, I got the Chilean Sea Bass. I used to carry around the sustainable seafood watch card in my wallet too, but I never really had it before so I rationalized under that. The order came with not one but TWO thick fillets of the fish, and it only continued with the decadence reign of buttery fish. That accompanying sauce was like a sweet demi-glace thickened with some sort of starch or something.

I ate many more things so by the time dessert came, I was ready for something refreshing.

Before then, a picture of the Award Winning Kids Meal!

award winning kids meal!
Way Better Than IHOP!: Ha Ha

Full dessert menu privileges were also granted.

coconut sorbet
Thawed Coconut Sorbet Served In Shell: ($)

After gorging in rich after richer savories, this hit the spot with its fresh fruit qualities, shredded mature coconut was in every bite. A little too thawed for my liking, edges were watery but great nonetheless.

free green tea birthday surprise!
Green Tea Birthday Ice Cream: Awh…So Cute!

Not even a minute after someone uttered that I had just turned twenty one, the servers had rallied up and were singing Happy Birthday in the fastest of time signatures I had ever heard it in, I kind of preferred it actually, kind of punk rock sounding. I tried to record them in action but they were done by the time I turned on my camera.

Oh, how I love being a foodblogger in L.A.

Ludobites at Royal-T Fooddigger Preview Dinner: He’s Back

better ludo shot
The Berzerk French Chef

Ludo Lefebvre is back at it yet again, this time going with the Japanese feel of his new venue Royal-T, an Akihabara fangled art space and–gorgeous maid served–cafe located in the center of the continuously restaurant booming epicenter of Culver City.

royal t

cathys picture maid

Thanks to the food enthusiast folk over at Fooddigger, a set preview dinner for a few fortunate bloggers was set to take place a day before the highly anticipated opening night of Dec. 2. An esteemed position indeed, given how he will be slinging his skills for only Fourteen day’s hereafter this event, I heard some rezziez were even being sold on ebay or something?

I myself just couldn’t wait to taste how his rendition of my families Mole would turn out and what the hell he was going to with it, after the day-long Cabral Mole Boot Camp Session, I knew he had the technique down, but knowing Ludo’s unruly approach? I had no idea…

Keeping with the Fooddigger passion for good food, good drinks and good times, the early birds were greeted with a couple of splendid liquid ice breakers, boy they smelled good!

san tomas
San Tomas: Slovenian and Smooth

brut
Chartogne Taillet: Dry and Crispy

In a matter of minutes, I was socializing around and got to see which other foodblogger homiez were around:
Caroline on Crack
Gourmet Pigs
Food She Thought
Kevin Eats
LA-OC Foodventures
Active Foodie
Kung Food Panda>
Gastronomy Blog
LAist
FoodGPS
Elina Shatkin from The Los Angeles Times
Rachel Hirschfeld

Not wasting too much time, we were showed to our designated eating quarters and the French-Japanese Fusion was to shortly begin.

Before anything started, I was personally lured away by Chef Ludo into the small kitchen, actually smaller than what he had to work with over at his Breadbar series before.

kitchen confrontation
Kitchen Confrontation

And then…there it was! In all it’s sweet, rustic and frenchified glory: A black olive enhanced rendition of my Mom’s Mole. Keeping ENTIRELY old school, keeping the rustic texture, its sweet and spicy balanced dominance over only the subtlest of subtle notes of fruity olive. My mom would be proud.

ludos transalation of moms mole
Mexican-French Mole

Back at the table, Ludo’s significant other, Krissy, made every foodblogger realize what they really wanted for Christmas and actually got a professional food photography artificial light box. No more complaints about incandescent lighting in restaurants anymore! She said the box will be available everyday for the patrons food immortalizing pleasures.

food paparazzi
All The Better to Look At You My Pretty…

But enough of this required ambiance stuff already, on to the food finally!

1st
scallop
Creamy and Buttery

Scallop, Brown Butter, Pineapple & Black [Squid Ink] Powder
Just when I thought the natural creaminess of a good, raw scallop couldn’t get any better, its highlighted even more with the aid of the nutty, smooth brown butter and the naturally protein-tenderizing bromelaine of the pineapple. Squid ink powder was only my palates suspicion for its dull, and characterless flavor, and turned out to be true after inquiring, did not do much more other than adding a stunning visual appeal though, nonetheless, genius.

Was totallly harmonious with the accompanying white, a light and oaky ’08 Spanish Nava.

basa

2nd
bread soup
This Can’t be Carbs..or Could it?

Bread Soup [and Rare, Coddled Egg] with Gruyere Marshmallow
Like shaving all the deep, dark crust off an artisan winter bread and eating it–buttered of course–in liquefied form. For the crust oriented, this will be great. The Gruyere marshmallow turned out to be fluffy and super light, not what you would expect. Best part was the hidden egg within the soup, yolk caught right before the stage of soft-boiled, a congealed, lipid induced swoon!

foie gras beignet
2 oz. of Foie a Pop! : Almost knocked Out The Glutster Even

Foie Gras Beignet [w/ a Port Glaze], Celery Root Remoulade
Just when you think the Ludo-meister couldn’t get any more animated with his Foie Gras antics, he busts out with this, probably the premiere epicurean indulgence of L.A at the moment, elegantly brimming with two unctuous ounces of the high quality stuff. This is only my third time having the stuff, so it’s still an acquired decadence I have yet to master, yes I couldn’t finish it. Like eating duck flavored butter..
.straight up!

The next flight of wine was a dominating, tannic and beefy 2003 Chateau Charmail: Haut-Medog Bordeaux that tamed that rich duck and rekindled my appetite for fat yet again.
red red wine

3rd
squid with kimchee puree
Lean Squid to The Rescue!

Squid, Chorizo Oil, Kimchee Puree & Red Onions
Lean squid was like a godsend after the richness assault of the previous course, Chorizo oil was everyone’s favorite, Red Onions and the Kimchee puree cleaned up our palates with their spicy zing.

4th
udon soup
Veal Stock meet Udon

Veal, Udon, Kombu Dashi, Mushrooms & Sesame Miso
This dish best captured what Ludo was going for in this edition of Ludobites, melding his incorruptible French upbringing with this venues theme. The Broth was beautiful with those caramelized onions, the Udon noodles were kept in tact, with that signature snap and slurp. Veal itself was a bit tough and stringy but that wasn’t the point here.

5th
striped bass
Wide Flaked but Still Tender

Wild Striped Bass, Garden Vegetables, Aioli
At this point, I’m realizing Ludo is pretty much always solid when it comes to Seafood. The Aioli picked up in richness where the fish leaves off. Vegetables were also something to go home and write about with such an elegant texture on their own.

6th
mole
What You Guys Have All Been Waiting For

Marinated Hanger Steak, Crunchy Escargot, [Grilled] Baby Corn, Bok Choy & Black Olive Mole
Ludo definitely had his way with it (Crispy Escargot?!) that’s for sure, demoting it to a supporting role in the plate with that meager smear of it, instead of the exuberant star, which it always is–and should be. But then again, it was a lot sweeter and unrefined. Nonetheless, it was fine for a first time attempt from a guy that’s never had it before other than the time I taught him, it’ll due Ludo, it’ll due. The grilled baby corn–husk and all–was an awesome touch, purveying that deep, sweet corn taste that fresh, handmade Tortillas deliver when one is eating it. Don’t know what the Bok Choy was doing there though?

7th
cheese tart
Like a French Cheesecake

Fourme d’ Ambert Tourte, Red Pears, Honey-Balsamic
Creamy, sweet, nutty french cheese encased between two really flaky puff pastries…need I say more? Red Pear slice finished faster than the tart. Balsamic was sweet and sour–

8th
chocolate cake
Mmmmm….Spicy and Chocolaty

Chocolate Cake [w/pink peppercorns], Coconut Sorbet [soup], Caramel Coffee
Ethereally creamy and flourless-like in texture, the simple addition of crispy and spicy peppercorns is what makes this stand out, creating this stimulating feeling of wanting more! Coconut soup was nice n’ coooool.

With such experimental food, the humble and always curious Ludovic Lefebvre is the living example that not all French Chefs are snobby.

To many more infinitely progressive Ludobites and perhaps a permanent spot soon!

And thanks again to the food-serious people at Fooddigger, for making the effort to make spectacular events and dinners like these happen and finally providing a effective measure for all to reliably find out about Los Angeles restaurants.

LudoBites and Royal/T
8910 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
310.559.6300

Ludo Bites at Royal/T in Los Angeles

In the Midst of Chaos (and still making every meal count!)

Everyone always associates college with an excuse to eat corporate mush, but I beg to differ. Just because you go to college does NOT mean you have to eat the same old food, every single day or not eat at all. In my refusal to be a creature of habit, I strive to stay somewhat adventurous throught my burden: preparing breakfast’s the nights before, getting up illogically early to be packing rather gourmet sandwiches, and going out as much as I can humanly afford. If anyone does read this, please accept my apology for the lack of maintenance lately.

Anyways, here a couple of new places that i’ve sacrificed for in trying:

1) Soul Vegetarian
Strips of tender Pot Roast smothered in a dark savory gravy, crispy crab cakes that are still soft on the inside and–of course– served with all the fixings; buttery, golden cornbread with a dallop of butter all to smear it with, mashed sweet potatoes spicy enough to catch your attention, creamy coleslaw and an even creamier mac & cheese. All vegan! Yes, even that Pineapple Upside Down Cake!
(thanks Brent)

Soul Vegetarian
4067 W. Pico Blvd (corner of Norton)
Los Angeles CA
(323) 734-4037

2) Shaab Restaurant
By far, the best value in pasadena you can get, seriously. Japanese shabu-shabu, perfected. Be itSeafood (Salmon, Squid, Clams, Mussels) or Beef, whatever you fancy, with plenty of veggies and a duet of noodles (udon and glass) and 8-10 little bowlfuls of that wondrous spicy miso broth (make sure to ask for it) for under $10! It’s hard to believe it’s actually in Old Town Pasadena where just next to door you would pay 4 times as much for a similar meal. Thank You Shaab, thank you.

Shaab Restaurant
77 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91003
(626)683-1150