Archive for the 'Sherman Oaks' Category

Ludo Bites 6.0 at MAX – Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks)

Ludo Bites 6.0 at Max Restaurant - Sherman Oaks

Three days before the sixth iteration of Ludo Bites came to a close, The Astronomer and I finally scored a table due to a last minute cancellation. It was a bit of a nightmare driving from Pasadena to Sherman Oaks during rush hour, but a little traffic couldn’t stop us from experiencing Chef Ludo LeFebvre’s latest creations.

We arrived a little frazzled, but on time for our 6:30 slot. Krissy seated us immediately and presented us with the evening’s menu and a wine list. The tables were packed quite cozily in the dining room, but I didn’t mind because my neighbor to the right was the incomparable Jo of My Last Bite—I love how she brings good cheer wherever she goes. My neighbor to the left was sporting a DSLR camera and a little cell phone light, which helped to forge an instant bond between us too.

Ludo Bites 6.0 at Max Restaurant - Sherman Oaks

With so many enticing dishes on the menu, we decided to forgo adult beverages to save precious real estate. I was also thinking about forgoing bread, but thankfully, The Astronomer talked some sense into me. To start, we shared a warm baguette served with smoked butter and sardine-Laughing Cow cheese ($5). The bread and butter were both solid, but the highlight upon the wobbly plank was the sardine-laced Laughing Cow cheese. Fishy flavored cheese? Yes, please!

Ludo Bites 6.0 at Max Restaurant - Sherman Oaks

About midway through the bread course, the Vietnamese-style hamachi ($15) arrived. The presentation was reminiscent of the confit pork belly with Thai-style choucroute from Ludo Bites 5.0. However, the flavors and ingredients in this dish were much lighter.

Tucked underneath the jicama slaw were the most pristine slices of hamachi. Lightly dressed in a nuoc cham-like dressing, the plate was brimming with fresh, clean, and bright flavors. This was definitely one of my favorite dishes of the evening.

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{swoon} Caramelized Bacon and Salted Caramel Bread Pudding at Crème Caramel LA

Creme Caramel LA

The other day, Chef Debbie Lee excitedly tweeted, “Just figured out my dessert for the Eat My Blog holiday bake sale! Can’t wait.” In response, I tweeted back, “I hope it involves BACON and CARAMEL!” She baked individual-sized bacon coffee cakes with almond butterscotch drizzle for this past summer’s sale, and I was hoping for something deliciously similar.

Somewhere in a nearby corner of the Internet, Kristine de la Cruz of Crème Caramel LA heard my prayers and decided that I had to taste her latest creation: Caramelized Bacon and Salted Caramel Bread Pudding. And thus, a new friendship was quickly formed. Twitter has an amazing way of connecting folks in the food community, especially those with slightly unhealthy bacon obsessions.

Creme Caramel LA

On Sunday afternoon, Ms. de la Cruz delivered two still-warm-to-the-touch containers filled with freshly baked bread pudding for me to sample. I gotta say, girlfriend hooked me up fat.

Creme Caramel LA

As soon as she departed from my doorstep, I quickly snapped these shots and dug into the goods. Based on appearance alone, I knew this was going to be crazy good. The pillowy tufts of brioche (from The Village Bakery & Cafe) were painted with a glossy caramel sheen, while the pieces of Cajun bacon (from Cast Iron Gourmet LA) were sliced nice and thick. Not to mention, the smells emanating from the little paper containers were completely intoxicating.

Continue reading ‘{swoon} Caramelized Bacon and Salted Caramel Bread Pudding at Crème Caramel LA’

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