Kenny Yamada Sushi Pop Art at Royal T Cafe

Ceviche Tower | tuna, laibut, salmon, yellowtail, gyoza skin, jalapeno, red & green onions

For the next couple Wednesdays and Thursdays until September 9, 2010, Kenny Yamada (Hell’s Kitchen, soon: Katsuya Encino) will be running his Sushi Pop Art Series. I had the privilege of tasting a few of the dishes on his 7- ($45) and 13-course ($90) menu. Wine and sake pairings are also available for an additional cost. Truth be told, I was pleasantly surprised with how good everything tasted, not just looked – right down to the miso soup.

Sushi Cake | cake formation with layers of crab, spicy tuna, rice, mashed potato with caviar

Favorites included the delicate yet delicious Ceviche Tower – with that jalapeno kick; the “sauce art” that decorated many of the dishes and were integral to many of the tastes; the Sashimi Garden Salad with its halibut & a very distinctive green tea sea salt seasoning; the simple yet perfectly executed Sushi Platter and especially the Sushi Cake – garnished with different flavored, caviar-laced potato salads.

Sushi can indeed taste just as good as it looks. Since this is just for the next couple weeks, be sure to make your reservation. Or, if you like you can lounge in the back area of Royal T (enter from Lindblade Street) and enjoy the entertainment and custom drinks while ordering from the menu a la carte.

Wednesdays, Thursdays

September 1, 2, 8 & 9, 2010

6 – 10 PM


Royal T
8910 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

New Year, New Decade: The NYE Dinner-Party Round Up

Photo credit to Stephanie Hillberry on Flickr

It’s not even Christmas Eve but if New Year’s plans give you a fraction of the headache it gives me, you could use this list. Whether you’re simply looking for some celebration bubbly with the guys or gals or for a full-on (or not so full-on) dinner, I’ve got plenty of options all over L.A. for you. There’s a little something for everyone, no matter your association.

Little Cave (Highland Park)

Did someone say free on New Year’s?! Because free will happen at Little Cave on the Eastside. Not only is there no cover charge, but drink specials will flow all night and free tacos will be given out from 9 PM through the countdown to 1 AM. Amazing! And that’s not even the last thing that’s free – you’ll get a glass of bubbly so you can toast fellow hipsters in between your swigs of PBR. Party favors will keep things festive.

9 PM – 1 AM

Free admission, free tacos, drink specials

Little Cave
5922 N. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Royal/T Cafe (Culver City)

The cosplay cafe in Culver City (say that 5 times fast) that has played host to LudoBites the past couple weeks and a Hello Kitty exhibition before that is hosting their own party to usher 2010 in – in the theme of “10,” of course. The $10 cover includes a midnight champagne toast, and all 2-for-1 drinks are $10. So grab a partner for those twofers and get on the dance floor because there will be a DJ spinning all night. Bonus: RSVP with 9 other crazies (for yes, a total of 10) and your partay gets a free bottle of champagne! Oh, groupies.

10 PM – 2 AM

$10 cover includes Champagne toast
$10 2-for-1 drinks

RSVP: RSVP [at] royal-t [dot] org with password “10”

8910 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-2326


Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar (Santa Monica)

In honor of the new year and new decade, Pourtal is offering “Bottomless Bubbly for $20.10.” For just a Jackson, your glass will never run empty. Your cup, instead, shall runneth over with Marquis de Perlade Blanc de Blanc, Pierre Sparr Rose and Kir Royale. Or just one, if you prefer. What a steal. No RSVPs for this one, though, so get there early and max out the bottomless. A little more lipstick on your champagne flute never hurt anyone!

9 PM – 12 AM

$20.10 for bottomless bubbly

104 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401


8 oz. Burger Bar (Melrose)

The controversial burger bar on Melrose will be closed to the public and open for the purposes of their private New Year’s Eve party – offering passed hors d’oeuvres, a dessert buffet and Champagne toast at midnight, along with a DJ to keep the tunes flowing all night. Not bad for $35 in advance, though set aside some more dough for the drinks. Hopefully the finger bites will prove plentiful.

Call to make a reservation, as 8 Oz. will be closed to public

9 PM – 2 AM

$35 Presale, $45 At the door

8 oz.
7661 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046


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LudoBites For Lunch?!

Me, Ludo, Caroline on Crack at Domaine LA Wine Shop Opening (Krissy behind the camera)
Me, Ludo, Caroline on Crack at Domaine LA Wine Shop Opening (Krissy behind the camera)

It was just another ordinary day in Twitterverse.

I work nearby the Miracle Mile outpost of the ongoing food truck revolution. My target today would be the Grilled Cheese Truck and I would ultimately miss – thanks to their popularity and resulting 30-foot line. From what it looked like, the line was stagnant and my suited arse had to be back at work.

Aborting @grlldcheesetruk, the line is 30 feet long. I need to get back to my day job,” I lamented.

Krissy, a.k.a. Mrs. Ludo Lefebvre, referenced our lunch at Jitlada last week, which was organized by Jo of MyLastBite. I had played hooky for delicious Thai food, but also to pick my cat up from surgery in the boondocks. “@estarLA: I guess only @jitladala can force you into a day of hookey from work. :)”


Or something else that wasn’t in my wildest dreams available. I responded: “LMK when LudoBites does lunch then we’ll talk ;)”

Yes. Do: Let me know. And she did – right away. It was tentative but not expected, and that was enough.

FrenchChefWife came back: “That might not be too far off 🙂 RT @estarLA LMK when LudoBites does lunch then we’ll talk.”


The bulk of the news was exchanged in Twitterland, and to round out the story: They’re between two places for LudoBites’ next stint after Royal/T – which, by the way, hasn’t even started yet and has been sold out since last week. Never fear. They’ve been planning for mid-January 2010 at the earliest for their next potential lunch and dinner spot. Yes, lunch! Squee…!!

Bummed you didn’t get in on the sold-out In Bed Together LudoBites installment at Royal/T? Well this is your chance. And if you don’t work nearby, believe me – this lunch will be worth playing hookey for. 😉

I’m looking forward to the launch party on Friday. Krissy says she will be debuting the new LudoBites T-shirt, which “is very funny and semi-tasteless, but it is all in fun.” Oh! We knew that! What is LudoBites if it isn’t fun?! (Aforementioned t-shirts will also be available for sale.)

P.S. – Culver City would be peachy. Kthx.

Further reading:

LudoBites Take 2 – FoodGPS

Checking Out LudoBites (Twice a Week) – GourmetPigs

LudoBites Pops Up at Royal/T This December – CarolineOnCrack

(All 13 dates sold out)

December 2-4, 9-10,13-17, 20-22; 2009

LudoBites: In Bed Together with Royal/T
8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232-2326

This Weekend: Beach Cleanup, BevMo!, Beer…and Kitty. And Food.

Americans on a non-American beach (autumn in Italy)

Wow. There is so much going on this weekend – I can’t wait to tell all of them to you because I won’t be in town to enjoy hardly any of them! (I also can’t wait to be done with the press releases that are coming out of my ears!!) Too bad I can’t pull my weight at the Blogger Beach Cleanup – put on by Siel of Green LA Girl and Sara Bayles of The Daily Ocean! 🙁 The cleanup fun starts at 4 PM on Saturday between lifeguard stations 26 and 27 in Santa Monica – and the best part is, you don’t even have to be a blogger to participate. Also, afterwards you’ll even reap rewards beyond your eco-conscience and get to enjoy an awesome happy hour at Pourtal. I mean, who wouldn’t get a chance to hang out with Siel and Caroline on Crack?!?!?!?!?! (You’re crazy.)

I’ll be at a wedding, which is a welcome obligation (yeah – I guess you could call him a “Good friend”) much aided by the fact that it’s at a winery in Paso Robles. That’s north, which means that I will be able to catch The Food Event in Malibu on my way back to LA. Super excited about that! In the meantime, here are the plethora of things to choose from this weekend…

Saturday, October 24, 2009

BevMo! Torrance Grand Opening

There’s a new BevMo! opening in Torrance and the launch party is on Saturday. You’ll have the opportunity to donate $15 to The Boys & Girls Club of South Bay, plus take home a 100th store commemorative wine glass and a goody bag full of miscellaneous … goodies. Complimentary hors d’ouerves will be served as well as Jim Beam BBQ. BevMo! will also be hosting a silent auction and live entertainment. I think it’s a good day to make it to the South Bay as any – especially with a chance to taste $6,000 cognac!

11 – 5 PM

2533 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite A
Torrance, CA 90505

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Dressing For Pinks: Lolita Party at Royal/T

I didn’t know much about the Lolita craze (or any other Japanese craze, for that matter), but when Julie Wolfson of LAist told Caroline on Crack and me that she had girls that would be participating I decided to give the scene a look-see. Cute? Yes. Pink? Certainly. Youthful? Of course.

There were abundant helpings of cotton candy for all guests to enjoy and one could get a good glimpse of the Lolita movement by looking at Royal/T‘s merchandise – as well as all the girls who came dressed to be photographed themselves. It was great to see personal style embraced through dressing up in the genre. I found myself saying, “Oh that’s cute!” probably a hundred times too many.

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