Monday, May 3, 2010

LudoBites @ Gram & Papa's

The LudoBites popup @ Gram & Papa's is more than halfway over and last week Whining 'N Dining, her husband and I had a great dinner trying about half of the menu. We ran into MidtownLunchLA and spotted KevinEats in the room. Wouldn't be LudoBites without the blogging community out in full force.

My camera was not able to capture all of the dishes we had as some pics came out too dark and others too bright but:

Marinated King Salmon, German ButterBall Potato, Red Wine Vinaigrette, Creme Fraiche. ($15) This was my favorite dish of the evening. The flavor of the salmon was so clean and the combination worked.

Snapper Ceviche, Heirlooom Tomato, Jalapenos, Red Onions, Meyer Lemon Paste, Olive Oil. ($14) This dish was also successful but less spicy than I thought it might be. I hadn't had ceviche with tomato before or at least so much tomato it was also a tomato salad. Heirloom tomatoes may have even been better than the fish.

Rack of Lamb, Fresh Goat Cheese, Smoked Eel, Artichokes, Potato Mousseline, Mint. I did not sample the smoked eel component of this dish but my dining companions enjoyed it. The lamb was delicious, this was my 2nd fave after the salmon. The consensus at the table was that this was a very good dish but was not good value for the price ($26). - better to get two appetizers than get the lamb entree.

Macarons, Organic Strawberry & Chantilly. ($12) What is not to like?

We also had:

Brie Chantilly Napoleon, Honey Comb, Frisee Salad, Balsamic ($7)
Scallop, Almond Puree, Pickled Grapes, Capers, Curry oil & Cauliflower Ice Cream ($14)
Seared Foie Gras "Pina Colada" ($29)
Squid "Carbonara", Pancetta, Poached Egg (63 degrees), Parmesan Snow, Chive Flowers ($18)
Dark Chocolate Souffle, Vanilla-Whisky Ice Cream, Hot Chocolate Cream ($13)

The brie was a nice start but not as special as the other dishes. The scallop was tied for best dish by my two dining companions. It was plated beautifully with the pickled grapes in a row and then a parallel line of the scallops, then a streak of green and finally the ice cream.

For the foie which included a small lobe, my dining companions brought along a bottle of Sauternes, the dessert wine which is the traditional pairing with foie gras. It was a treat and we continued to drink it with dessert.

The squid was another well presented dish. It was playful in that squid stood in for the noodles usually used in spaghetti carbonara. The parmesan had been played with to have the consistency of snowfall and the plate was strewn with purple flowers.

The Brie Chantilly

The Scallop

The Squid "Carbonara"

This pop-up of LudoBites is priced like a real restaurant and has an actual a la carte menu for you to order from. My last non-LFC ludobites was the infamous night at Royal-T Salon in which the sous-chef walked out partway through service and the menu abruptly switched to a prix fixe. Fortunately for us, everything went much smoother and there were no hiccups in our dinner. LudoBites @ Gram & Papa's is BYO although there is a small corkage fee.

Gram & Papa's: 227 East 9th Street between Los Angeles & Santee Streets. Phone: (213) 624-7272. Do NOT phone for reservations as all reservations are handled through LudoBites. Website:


  1. Right by the front window. Across the aisle from you but closer to the door. I spoke to Zach Brooks (midtownlunchla) who was seated next to you.