Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ludobites 8.0 at Lemon Moon Review

A. came in town from NYC yesterday and we scored a last minute reservation to Ludobites 8.0 at Lemon Moon last night. I had submitted to the Urbanspoon lottery (along with K. and 2 other friends) and none of us were able to score a reservation, so we got lucky. I had been to Ludobites twice at Breadbar on 3rd Ave (back in the day when it was easy to get reservations) and Royal T in Culver City, but have missed the last few as they've all been either Downtown or in the Valley and reservations have been increasingly difficult to obtain. We had a really nice meal; I thought the menu / food was typically Ludo: rich decadent ingredients (like foie gras, butter, chicken liver, etc) but composed with a light and well-balanced touch, and some modern techniques to keep it fresh, fun and interesting. Favorites were the foie gras and the duck. The menu:
Brioche, Seaweed Yuzu butter. I always like Ludo's bread and butter, just a great way to start the meal. This was no exception, the buttery yet airy brioche with the soft butter with just the right bit of tang from yuzu
Chicken Tandoori Crackling. Rich little bite; I always love chicken liver mousse, so I liked this a lot. Not sure the crackling adds a whole lot since chicken liver mousse is so rich anyway, but I enjoyed it
Foie Gras, Tamarin, Turnips, Daikon. I really enjoyed this dish; the foie gras was so silky and light, and I liked the balance with the tangy / sour tamarind broth, fresh thai mint / basil, and crunch from the daikon
Duck, Orange, Olives, Carrots. Another perfectly balanced dish between the fresh and caramelized citrus, salty olive, glazed carrots and perfectly cooked, tender duck, with just the right amount of fat. There was a bit of a sesame crust on the skin of the duck which was nice; reminded me of a fusion Chinese / French dish
Steamed John Dory, Squash Spelt Risotto, Fennel, Lemon. I liked the combinations in this dish, with the sweet squash puree, chewy spelt and freshness from the fennel and lemon cream. The fish was just a little overcooked and dry to me.
Apples, Caramel, Orange Creamsicle. A simple but good dessert with big chunks of apple. Can't really go wrong with apple, caramel and orange

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