clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hard to Land Tickets But Fanastic Cooking at Trois Mec

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Trois Mec opened in April to an incredible amount of anticipation, the result of chef supergroup Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo. Lefebvre was just off the heels of Ludobites' final installment, the pop-up that started it all back in 2007, while Shook and Dotolo had established their second concept, Son of a Gun, which arguably ignited the seafood craze pervading L.A. right now. But Trois Mec was a very different animal (of sorts), a tasting-menu only affair (via tickets, not reservations) located in a former pizzeria, tucked away from the main drag of Highland Avenue. The subject of much laud from around the world, Trois Mec is carrying the banner of modern fine dining for Los Angeles, though some detractors inevitably remain. Below, a compendium of critical acclaim, blogger backlash, and Yelpage on Trois Mec.

The Word from Jonathan Gold: "Lefebvre has taken revenge of sorts on his mentor with his own potato purée: slightly undercooked Weiser Family Farms potatoes passed through a ricer directly onto a plate of brown butter, onion soubise and Salers cheese from the Auvergne, then sprinkled with dried Japanese bonito flakes. The texture is not cloudlike but substantial, not just grainy but super-grainy — the onion sweetness, the funk of the cheese and the smokiness of the bonito not overpowering but enhancing the mildly acerbic sharpness of real potato flavor. If ever there was an anti-Robuchon potato dish, it is this one, constructed by a chef who knows the rules all too well ? a potato actually served by itself as a main dish...You don't come to eat anything specific here. You come to eat Lefebvre's food." [LAT]

The Carrots and Asparagus: "There was butter-poached white asparagus from the Netherlands, served with chicken wing confit, English peas and a dab of chicken liver mousse. A carrot was blackened on the kitchen grill and dashed with a bracing sauce of orange juice, vinegar and curry on a plate napped with yogurt." [NYT]

The Getting Tickets (and Insanely Cool) News: "As I left, to go back to my hotel and try to grab a little digestion time ahead of the evening's possible double-header, Willie Nelson's promoter was offering Jon concert tickets in return for tickets to Trois Mec, and being turned down...You'd have to be insanely cool, or me, to know that Trois Mec was even there. (London restaurants are doing a bit of "misleading signage" now, to try to ratchet up the cool, but nobody really gives a damn.)...Food fans, I baulked. I blenched....I muffed it. It was my third massive, highly sought-after Los Angeles blowout in six hours." [Times UK]

The Sheer Bliss News: "The place is hip, but the fey seriousness of hipster minimalism is absent. You can joke around with the now heavily tattooed Lefebvre, even asking him to turn down the dreadful French rap music (he may or may not oblige)...Trois Mec is about nothing more than great taste, at least on the plate. The atmosphere you can laugh along with. Five courses, lots of extras, for about $75, with wine pairings another $49 — cheap for sheer bliss." [Esquire]

The Tastes Like A-1 News: "When the dinner peaked with wood-grilled rib eye cap dabbed with fermented black walnut paste ("It tastes just like A.1.," says sous chef Doug Rankin), then culminated with almond ice cream and neon-pink rose granita, the magic of Trois Mec hit us. This trio of chefs is primed to launch the bistronomie movement into another stratosphere altogether." [Tasting Table]

The McDonald's Comparison News: "Yes, it's a bit on the expensive side, but shit, you're not eating at McDonalds. Yes, the portions are smaller, but you're not ordering a big ***king Mac. If you commission an expensive painting from a famous artist, you're not paying for the fact that your 5 year old kid could do the same drawing for 1/100 of the price, you're paying for the artists name. That's how economics works." [Yelp]

The Five Tiny Courses News: "After our entire meal which included the wine pairing and extra portion of grilled cheese, the total was close to $800.. And seriously, we left sober and hungry. It's a business... I get it.. But we felt rushed the entire night. Food marches out of the kitchen in lightning speed. The wine sommelier rushes over to explain the pairing.. If he's busy then somebody else will rush over to explain...First, the portions are WAY tiny and you only get about 5 tiny courses. The bite-size appetizers weren't spectacular. Macaroon was good, but he buckwheat nuts, hummus, and a couple more that were very uneventful." [Yelp]

The Trois Mec versus Ludobites News: " It was worth the wait though. As someone who's consumed more than my fair share of LudoBites dinners (dating back to 2.0), it's clear that the Chef has upped his game here. The cooking gives the impression of more polish, more restraint, while at the same time jiving with the concept of presenting something fancy, but not too fancy--call it bistronomy if you wish. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that, taken as a whole, this is the best food Ludo's ever presented (with apologies to his work at L'Orangerie and Bastide, which I did not have the pleasure of experiencing), and I have no doubt that Trois Mec is well on its way to become one of LA's iconic dining destinations. Dinner and a show? No, dinner as the show." [KevinEats]

The Counter and Service News: "I can safely come to the conclusion of this dinner at Trois Mec being my favorite meal of 2013 so far. In addition to all that's been written about the food, every other aspect of the restaurant clicked as well. The decor and ambiance, while minimal, had the comforting and intimate effect of dining in someone's kitchen. I especially love that open kitchen, and the close view from my counter seat – echoes my love of sitting at the counter at sushi restaurants...Service was great as well – very casual, but everyone was extremely informative and courteous, and some courses were served by the chefs/cooks themselves. In no way did I get the impression that I was "lucky to be there" or "I didn't know any better," which were the sentiments shared by some of the Yelp reviews critical of the restaurant (god, Yelpers are dumb)." [Chowhound]
·All Trois Mec Coverage [~ELA~]
·All Good News/Bad News Coverage [~ELA~]

Trois Mec

716 North Highland Avenue, , CA 90038 (323) 484-8588 Visit Website

Trois Mec

716 N Highland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038