To celebrate my recent birthday, I asked The Astronomer to take me to Trois Mec. I’ve wanted to dine here since the restaurant opened last year, but my busy schedule and the restaurant’s tough-to-snag tickets kept me away until now. It was definitely worth the wait.
The “three friends” behind Trois Mec are Chef Ludo Lefebvre, who takes care of the food and beverage program, and Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal and Son of a Gun, who manage the front of the house. While service was on point this evening, I quite missed having Krissy run the show a la LudoBites. Ah, memories…
As a nod to their partnership and the restaurant’s name, Trois Mec’s logo features the letters “L”, “D”, and “S” intertwined.
After years of popping up ’round town, making due with others’ dining rooms, kitchens, and equipment, Ludo at last has a permanent space to call home. As a longtime fan of the chef, I was absolutely tickled to see him finally settled and in his element.
The Astronomer and I were seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen, which meant we had front row seats to watch the evening’s cooking and plating action.
Trois Mec serves an ever-changing five-course set menu, plus “snacks” to start and mignardises to finish, for $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. This format reminded me of one of my favorite restaurants in Paris: Le Chateaubriand.
The snack portion of the meal began as soon as we were seated. Each one was intended to be consumed with our bare fingers.
The first bite of the night was a small dish of puffed buckwheat. The texture was something like Grape Nuts, while the flavor was full-on vinegary.
Hitting a much milder and earthy note were the sunchoke chips dusted with wakame powder.
My favorite snack was the salt cod onigri, warm sushi rice stuffed with savory fish.
The final snack, simply called “garlic bread,” was unabashedly smoky and buttery. It was so rich that I probably couldn’t have handled another bite! Probably…
The snacks were followed by a wonderfully bright crab ceviche with avocado, citrus, and buckwheat popcorn. The sourness from the citrus, coupled with the sweet crab meat and luscious avocado, made this course one to remember.
Next up was a supplemental course ($15 per person) featuring Nantucket Bay scallops, sesame brittle, cauliflower puree, and lemon curd blanketed in tandoori powder.
I loved how the tandoori powder camouflaged the landscape, making each bite a surprise; I didn’t know what was on my fork until it hit my lips. The Astronomer adored the liberal use of Indian spices.
Equally excellent was the next course highlighting grilled cabbage and miso flan. Whipped horseradish, fennel pollen, and a smoked almond milk anglaise played backup.
It was important to get a little bit of every component for the most balanced bites. Still, the flan’s richness was pretty intense by the end.
And speaking of intense, Trois Mec’s signature “Potato Pulp” was really something. The dish, which is comprised of potato puree layered with “riced” potatoes, drizzled with browned butter and onion soubise, and finished with bonito flakes, was as delicious as billed. The Astronomer loved the fluffiness of the spuds, while the bonito flakes kept my interest.
The portioning was quite generous, making the final bites a touch less pleasurable than the first ones.
The final savory dish, and my favorite course of the night, brought together an unlikely cast of ingredients in the most spectacular way: thin slices of grilled ribeye cap accompanied by charred broccoli, smoked peanut butter, pickled shallots, and shrimp chips. It was wildly flavorful and astonishingly delicious. As with Ludo’s best creations, these seemingly disparate ingredients were destined to come together somehow.
Dessert consisted of layers of apple butter, creme de brie, and hay whipped cream finished with a toasted barley streusel and fresh thyme. The whipped brie brought me back to LudoBites 4.0, while the flavor pairing was completely novel. This one was easy on the taste buds and not too sweet.
And finally, a sunchoke ice cream choux and a black sage marshmallow. A totally strange finish, but in the best way.
I just might celebrate every birthday at Trois Mec!
716 North Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
- Ludo Bites 2.0 at BreadBar – Los Angeles
- Ludo Bites 3.0 at Royal/T – Los Angeles (Culver City)
- Ludo Bites 4.0 at Gram & Papa’s – Los Angeles (Downtown)
- Ludo Bites 5.0 at Gram & Papa’s – Los Angeles (Downtown)
- Ludo Bites 6.0 at MAX – Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks)
- Ludo Bites 7.0 at Gram & Papa’s – Los Angeles (Downtown)
- Ludo Truck – Los Angeles