Chef Ludo Lefebvre gave a preview of his next LudoBites pop-up restaurant last Friday at Royal-T's grand opening party for In Bed Together, their current art show. Ludo cooked with only a few tools and a single aide inside of a large glass box, providing an ideal opportunity for fans to come in and get close. And get close they did, as quite a few people shook hands and gabbed with the chef while a steady legion of female admirers draped themselves around the Frenchman for photos. His wife looked on with amusement and more often than not, joined in the fun.
The box was just temporary as LudoBites will be in Royal T's dining room, while Ludo himself uses the kitchen. Ludo prepared just two small plates for the evening: one a scallop ceviche with diced pineapple and black squid ink that the chef had himself turned into something resembling chocolate sprinkles. This dish was absolutely alive, fresh, tangy, and invigorating, but ran out before we could score seconds. Ludo's other plate was a thin buckwheat blintz filled with goat cheese and crispy bacon spread.
We overheard personal chef John Gabaldon taking a second to meet Ludo. Lefebvre explained that he wasn't aggressively looking for a brick and mortar restaurant to call his own (a question we heard many asking), feeling pretty content with the pop-up scenario as it offer a personal connection with diners and lacks endless permitting issues and needless overhead, as well as the sense of freedom that comes with it. Ludo loves having a relationship with the city and its residents (just check out his Twitter page), and our quick chat with Teenage Glutster revealed that he would be coming to East L.A. the next day to learn how to make mole from Glutster and his mom.
LudoBites is set to start serving at Royal-T on December 2nd for just thirteen nights. Already mostly sold-out, Friday's sneak-preview has only made the demand for tables at LudoBites much higher. Hopefully, there will be mole.