Ludo Lefebvre is going back to the pop-up game once again, a genre he helped unleash upon Los Angeles 13 years ago with Ludobites. But instead of innovative, genre-bending fare influenced by Lefebvre’s fine dining background, the French chef is doing a food he grew up eating in Paris: kebabs. Dubbed Ludobab, the pop-up is opening tomorrow inside the Michelin-starred Trois Mec, which closed in July permanently due to the pandemic.
Lefebvre plans to serve a slew of French-inflected skewer kebabs, such as lamb with vadouvan curry, herbs de Provence and Dijon mustard chicken, turkey kafta, grilled ratatouille with tomato sauce, and peppercorn-marinated beef sirloin. Prices range $8 to $9.75 per single skewer, while a house plate includes rice, hummus, salad, steamed pita, and a choice of kebab and sauce for $17.50.
Growing up in Paris, Lefebvre says kebabs were a big part of the culture, especially on the street, where it’s most often consumed. “In the 5th and 6th arrondissements, kebabs is a big part of the culture. After work, after the nightclub, you do kebab. After going to Paris a few years ago, I had so many kebabs that it gave me the inspiration to open a kebabs place in LA,” said Lefebvre.
Last year, Lefebvre announced he would be opening a Parisian kebabs restaurant in Sherman Oaks next to his restaurant Petit Trois, though he eventually cancelled those plans. Now the chef is using Trois Mec’s former space to test the concept for replication, like he has done with Ludobird fried chicken, which had locations inside Staples Center and Universal CityWalk (they are both temporarily closed at the moment).
Since Trois Mec had a wood-burning grill, the chef plans to one-up the typical kebab experience in Paris with the extra firepower of natural fuel, though many of the sides and other dishes have direct inspiration from his hometown. Sides include tomato salad, coal-grilled yams, wood-grilled mushrooms, marinated feta, vegetable pistou soup, and eggplant “fries.” For dessert, a vanilla rice pudding with salted caramel sauce and nougatine looks like a nice inspiration from the riz au lait at L’Ami Jean, a highly regarded Parisian restaurant. Eventually Lefebvre may add on shawarma and wraps, as he was heavily influenced by Grillé, a quick service kebabs chain in Paris.
In addition to the kebabs fare, diners can take away soft drinks and wine bottles like an Austrian rose for $21 or bottle of Domaine Brazilier brut for $18. When asked how long he would operate Ludobab, Lefebvre said he honestly did not know. Hours will run Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.