Thursday, April 8, 2010

sneak preview of ludobites 4.0 at gram and papa's *arm pump*

the last time i got so excited about an invite to anything involved getting shitfaced over at napa valley. last month, when i received an invite from will at fooddigger for a sneak preview of ludobites 4.0, i almost peed in my pants. ALMOST. you would too if you swoon over ludo like i do and yesterday's bites at gram and papa's was definitely fattier and sexier than any of the previous bites i've had. ludo, you are indeed masterful!

first off, how delightful was it to get a place card and the longest, crackliest baguette ever? trust me, it was delightful.

to accompany this long baguette was a trio of jenny craig will disapprove spreads, aptly named the three fat textures. the white one is lavendar LARD (reminincent of his lavendar honey butter at the breadbar and my favorite of the three), brown sugar butter, and clarified butter. who would have thunk this was the decadent precursor for an over the top dinner.

carrot salad with saffron anglaise. this dish was presented like a contemporary art piece. two long carrot slices poached in their own juices sitting on a bed of carrot ribbons. delightful.

the egg, potato mousseline, lobster, borage flower also known as GIVE ME ANOTHER ONE PLEASE! this dish reminded me of christmas in someone else's house (i'm buddhist so i don't get presents but i have a good imagination) and you find little suprise packages underneath your tree. oh my how tasty that this suprise involved a lobster and an egg under a mound of potato puree. one of the prettiest and tastiest dishes of the night.

peek-a-boo, i see you! get in my mouth now!

foi gras croque-monsieur with lemon turnip chutney. the bread is made with squid ink which gave it its mysterious midnight color. a generous slab of foi gras with ham and cheese lies in the middle while the chutney cuts the decadence in your mouth with a tarty kung-fu kick. delicious!

nothing like oozing foie gras to make you wimper with joy.

burgundy escargots in a garlic flan with green jus and yellow flowers. the yummy escargot nuggets had a slight crispy texture to it which paired well with the garlicky flan. the yellow flowers reminded me AND the land snails of the garden they used to live in :0 pretty.

king salmon confit, spring cabbage, orange skin & juniper berries sauce, and agar. when chef ludo described this dish, all i heard was "agar, agar, agar!" unfortunately, the piece of agar was not impressive but the salmon, the star of the dish was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin. smear the juniper sauce on it and you have a delightful bite.

poached jidori chicken with crispy chicken skin, garden vegetables, and bacon royale. my absolute second favorite dish of the night. a hearty medallion-like piece of poached chicken topped off with fried skin bits introduces you to a sophisticated kind of ludo chicken. masterful, moist, rich, and decadent. every component of this dish was a slam dunk and dunk i did as they went into my mouth.

the brie chantilly napoleon with honey comb, balsamic, and frisee salad. the brie cheese was whipped into a butter-like taste and consistency. over-the-top decadence once again. the sweet honey comb was a neccessary addition to cut through the thickness.

and finally, to top off all the decadence that came before it, a decadent dessert to make my belly rounder, the dark chocolate souffle with black pepper milk chocolate ice cream and chocolate cream. the souffle rose to a perfect chocolatey height and must be paired with the uber peppery ice cream which is quite spicy on it's own. drizzle the dark chocolate sauce on it and you have a fantastico dessert to round out the night...and fantastic it was.

what a wowzers tasting it was ludo! the creativity you breathed into your dishes left me a few pounds heavier and in a food coma high at the end of the night.

and the wine pairings by jill of domaine oh man, i'm crushin' on you lady! the 2008 julien fremont, cidre brut par nature "greniers" and the 2006 jo pithon "les 4 villages" rocked my world. seriously, a great meal gets elevated to a new level of delicious adjectives with a thoughtful wine pairing, and thoughtful it was.

and of course, meeting and talking to all the food enthusiasts that convened at a communal table to break bread and relish in a well planned, well executed luscious ludo meal: will and marshal of fooddigger (yo whuz up), cathy (yay, wedding!), bianca (staycation is great!), linden (i want your aussie accent), misty (you're hilarious!), helen (i love your shoes girrrl), julian (i will make you a list of food adjectives :), christine (i love your shirt!), and hong (don't show kim the pictures, she will be jealous).
so if you want to taste some of this decadence, ludobites 4.0 will be at gram and papa's for 2 months, but a little bird told me that they are already booked up. perhaps you can jump on someone's reservation? or just drool to death :(
Gram and Papa's
227 E 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
price: (adopt me will chi, come on do it! i am adorably feisty)
verdict: omg, i love it!
Ludo Bites at Gram & Papa's on Urbanspoon
Ludo Bites 4.0 at Gram and Papa's in Los Angeles


  1. double armpump!! she'll just have to read it and weep! great recap and photos!

  2. Yay! Good times. So nice to meet you last night!! :)

  3. Adopt you? I'd go broke.
    Thanks for coming out and being so much fun! This is such a great post...thanks for getting it up so soon. Don't you have to work???

  4. Amazing food, amazing company, amazing wine... does life get much better than that? Me thinks not. Especially when the night ends with chocolate souffle cake and black pepper milk chocolate ice cream. :)

  5. lol it was great to meet you amy!

    gawd.. i hope i'm not the LAST person to post up my review. EEK!

    until next time, happy eating! ;)

  6. OMG thats a lot of foie goodness! I can't wait to try it!!

  7. hong- haha, you're mean :)

    misty- good meeting you too! we will have to do this again soon!

    will- it was such a fun event! thank you for the invite. and if you really think about it, i'm kinda cheap to adopt because i have a full time job AND you don't need to pay for my diapers...just feed me, that's all i ask. i'm on vaykay right now, woot!

    diana- oh how i love nights like these....

    helen- nice to meet you too! go do your write-up girrrl. can't wait to read it.

    stuffycheaks- can't wait to read your post about the foie. mmmmmmm.......

  8. Yay! Great meeting you and sooooo happy you enjoyed the wines. Phew! SOOOOO happy!

  9. So excited for 4.0! Thanks for the rundown!

  10. It was great to meeting you! Thanks in advance for the list of adjectives. Looking forward to new words and not using deliciousness all the time.

  11. Great meeting you! And great writing! Thanks for the shout out. Next time I'll turn the accent right up for you ;P

  12. Great post! And what a fun night we all had!

    Word up to a fellow blogger!


  13. I like what you said about the snails. It made me laugh out loud! Amy, a shame I didn't get to sit next to you! Next time, ya hear?

  14. Was so nice to match a face to a blog! Nice getting to know you! See you at the next one!

  15. jill- you did such a great job! the wines really heightened the flavors for me. one day i'm going to show up at domaine l.a. and purchase all the wines you showcased at ludo and i'm going to be broke BUT extremely happy.

    weezermonkey- can't wait to read yours. mmmmm...

    julian- always remember to use nouns, adjectives, and possibly verbs :) it was great meeting you too!

    lindon- it was great meeing you! you were one of the first yelpers i read when i joined :) yes, turn up the accent next

    elliott- it was a fantastic dinner wasn't it? yummmmmmmmm.....thanks for dropping by! i wished we had time to chat. till we meet again.

    cathy- i KNOW right. next time, we need to sit so close to each other that we violate all personal space rules.

    bianca- i love how enthusiastic you are about drove far! man, about time we met :)

  16. Ha! If you read me at that "other" site, then my reputation precedes me ;)


  17. just your reviews and not any smack LINDEN. i THOUGHT your name was spelled wrong, but now it's confirmed. "e" it is.


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