Chef Ludo Lefebvre buys out his Petit Trois bistros, plans two more L.A. restaurants for 2023

Chef Ludo Lefebvre leans against the marble-topped bar of Petit Trois in Hollywood, arms folded and looking at the camera.
Chef Ludo Lefebvre hopes to open multiple new restaurants under the umbrella of his new restaurant group, L’Espérance Hospitality, beginning with two in Los Angeles.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

In a move to expand acclaimed French bistro Petit Trois, husband-and-wife team Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre have purchased both locations. The deal ends the bistros’ eight-year partnership with J&V Group, a company owned by chef-restaurateurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo.

“I mean, it feels good to buy something you believe in,” chef Ludo Lefebvre said by phone. “I’m very, very excited for the future, and I want to make Petit Trois better still and push the envelope a little bit.”

The decision, chef Lefebvre says, has been in the works for roughly one year and will ideally see the expansion of Petit Trois into other California locales and eventually into other states. Immediate plans for the restaurants include a renovation to the Hollywood location’s patio for winter and a slight rebrand with new menu items for both outposts. (Many of the restaurants’ classics, such as steak tartare, French onion soup and steak frites, will remain.)

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Making the sale possible is a new partnership between the Lefebvres and hospitality firm Apres Cru, who together have formed a new restaurant group called L’Espérance Hospitality.


The chef also plans to open two new restaurants under the L’Espérance Hospitality umbrella next year, possibly over the summer: one in the space adjacent to Petit Trois Le Valley in Sherman Oaks and another in the former home of Trois Mec — Lefebvre’s Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurant, which closed permanently in 2020 — next to the original Petit Trois, in Hollywood. The new partnership could also see the return of Ludobab, the chef’s takeout kebab pop-up created as a pandemic-era pivot.

“I know I’m [51] years old, but I’m still young and have a lot of energy and I want to push it more, my restaurants, and make them better,” Lefebvre said. “I’m still very motivated. I have an amazing team with me, so I’m keeping my team. It’s going to be great. Everybody is very excited.”

Though Lefebvre will use the former Trois Mec space for a new restaurant, which is yet to be determined, he isn’t ruling out reprising his tasting menu someday, be it in the form of Trois Mec or a return to fine dining more generally. After growing Petit Trois, he says, maybe he will attempt it again: “It’s not now, but we never know. I miss that; I miss the French froufrou — the creativity aspect.”

“We’re excited to see the next chapter for Ludo and his Petit Trois brand, as we focus on our own individual projects,” Shook and Dotolo said in a joint statement. This month, the duo opened their fourth Jon & Vinny’s location, in Beverly Hills, complete with the brand’s first designated Helen’s wine bar. “We look forward to what the future holds.”

Petit Trois L’Original: 718 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 468-8916; Petit Trois Le Valley: 13705 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 989-2600,