As he hinted during last month’s ALOUD panel with Roy Choi, chef Ludo Lefebvre will be holding his tenth (and maybe final) LudoBites pop-up at Gram & Papas on weeknights only from December 4 to 21. This time around, the meal will take the form of a best-of, featuring greatest-hits dishes from the past nine iterations of LudoBites. According to Krissy Lefebvre, the concept was inspired by the couple’s journey putting together the LudoBites Cookbook, which came out in October. Reservations will again be done using UrbanSpoon lottery system, which opens at 11 a.m. on November 28 and closes at 11 a.m. on November 29. Tables will be assigned by a computer at random on November 30.
We’ve been lucky enough to attend every LudoBites since the start (except for the one in Hawaii—a fact which we regret for many reasons), and while almost every dish was memorable, there are a few that still haunt our dreams. Here, we pick out the ten most unforgettable dishes from LudoBites history that we pray make an appearance at Gram & Papas next month:
1. LudoBites 1.0: Brocomole
Here, we started to understand what LudoBites was going to be all about: unique, surprising, delicious, but most of all, fun. Just try to say “brocomole” without giggling.
2. LudoBites 2.0: Fried chicken in duck fat, piquillo ketchup
The birth of a legend! Sure, his truck nuggets look a little different, but it was easy to tell here that Ludo had a way with fried chicken.
3. LudoBites 3.0: Bread soup with gruyere croutons
Some of our favorite dishes throughout the run have come in soup form. Here, as advertised, the soup tastes precisely of tangy, warm brown bread.
4. LudoBites 4.0: Ham Sandwich Soup
Again, the man knows his soup. Here, the rich hammy broth practically oinked, while our table made a slew of other noises.
5. LudoBites 5.0: Cheese cupcake with chicken liver chantilly
Why Sprinkles hasn’t already come up with a liver-flavored frosting, we’ll never understand.
6. LudoBites 6.0: Squid pad thai
One of Ludo’s several successful squid pasta dishes. This one captured all the brightness of authentic pad thai.
7. LudoBites 7.0: Bouillabaisse milkshake
We were hesitant when Ludo began to play around with temperature? Cold fishy cream? But sure enough, it worked. One of the more memorable dishes of the run.
8. LudoBites 8.0: Chicken tandoori crackling
A carbophobe’s dream. Crispy, tandoori-spiced chicken cracklings topped with chicken liver mousse.
9. LudoBites 9.0: Vanilla panna cotta with caviar, caramel, and Hawaiian sea salt
We tried this at a previous LudoBites and still think it’s one of the most diabolically smart desserts ever. Using caviar in place of salt? Genius.
10. Anything foie gras…
While we know it’s wishful thinking (and illegal, and un-PC) we feel it’s just not a LudoBites without some astounding foie gras preparation. Nobody does foie like Ludo—nobody.
Good luck in the lottery, folks! Hope to see you there.