Licensed to crow: LudoBites returns (in Version 007) to Gram & Papa’s in August
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Best bring your online-reservations A-game when slots become available for the next incarnation of LudoBites (you might recall that the last few pop-ups crashed the reservations system). LudoBites -- this time dubbed ‘007' -- will return to Gram & Papa’s downtown, Tuesday to Friday nights from Aug. 3 to Sept. 10. Online reservations via OpenTable will be available starting at 4 p.m. July 14, in honor of Bastille Day.
‘It’s the French revolution -- no, the French evolution!’ says chef Ludo Lefebvre. Lefebvre and his wife and partner, Krissy Lefebvre, have just wrapped up several weeks of shooting the first season of their Sundance Channel television series, ‘LudoBites America.’ The show, to begin airing July 19, follows the Lefebvres as they open pop-up restaurants in a new city each episode.
Now, LudoBites the pop-up will return to its regularly scheduled programming in Los Angeles. Ludo says the menu will be ...
Twelve to 15 dishes served tapas-style (most of which are expected to be priced below $20) -- an homage to his roots in France and to his travels during ‘LudoBites America,’ from Raleigh, N.C., to Redondo Beach. ‘The menu is going to change often,’ he says. ‘Modern and playful, a take on traditional French dishes and dishes from ‘Ludobites America’ like ‘pig’s head, cheddar and barbecue gelée’ or ‘red chile-grilled octopus’ and ‘tortillas soup.’ ' Other dishes in the works: steak tartare flambé; cold bouillabaise, whipped potato and smoked fish eggs; duck ‘au sang'; frog legs with butter emulsion; oyster and pigs feet; eggs and sea urchin; ‘playful’ deconstructed pot au feu; peach Melba; lemon tart; and chocolate cake with mint ice cream. ‘I’m 40 now and am still looking for my style,’ Ludo says. ‘I know it’s boring to say, but I go back more and more to my roots.’ Expect boeuf bourgignon -- Ludo’s way.
About those reservations.... LudoBites 007 will operate for 22 nights, with 110 slots available each night for a total of 2,420 seats. According to OpenTable, the last LudoBites drew more than 150,000 searches for the 1,616 reservations available (about a 1:100 chance). All reservations were gone within about an hour -- that’s with crashes. ‘We’re working very closely with LudoBites to ensure that diners have a positive booking experience,’ says Tiffany Fox, a spokewoman for OpenTable. ‘At the same time, we recognize that LudoBites is an incredibly popular concept and many diners are likely to be disappointed. Diners should ... anticipate the event being sold out in a matter of minutes.’ Bonne chance!
-- Betty Hallock