Life is built up of all of the different memories and experiences that we’ve had. Where did you go? How did you get there? What happened on the way? What kind of effect did that have on you? All of these questions make up who we are as humans and what we have done in our life. Our past, present, and future. People often think that who we are is defined by what has happened to us in our life. But that’s not necessarily true. See, the way I think of it, is that we are built up from the things that we choose to experience. The big, and the small things as well.
Simply The Best, Downtown La Restaurant That is
This week, I had the pleasure to experience one of the most unique and fun restaurants in Los Angeles I’ve ever been to. Yes, you heard me. I said “experience “. As you read further into this article, I will tell you all about my night at one of the most popular underrated restaurants in LA, known as “Trois Mec.”
Did Someone Say Trois Mec Tickets?
If you’re anything like me, it means that you’re the type of individual who likes to live life more spontaneous. I like to do things in the spur of the moment without putting much thought in advance.
When Trois Mec restaurant was suggested to me by my friends, I was really excited. I didn’t know what exactly it was, but it sounded right up my ally. So, as soon as I heard about it, the first thing I said was “let’s go there tonight!” Little did I know, that I couldn’t go the night I wanted… But I also couldn’t go the next night… or the next night…. or the next. My friends finally explained why.
The reservations for Trois Mec is a process I’d never heard of before. If you want to go there for the night you have to buy tickets two weeks in advance!
I have to say, I don’t think I was ready for that. Tickets for the following two weeks are released every other Friday morning at 10:00 AM.. You have to be a registered user on their website if you want to buy a ticket.
I was a bit skeptical when I found out about the details of the place, but at the same time I couldn’t wait to finally get some Trois Mec tickets.
I wondered why instead of normal reservations they chose the whole “ticket system” so, I called up and asked all of the relevant questions. After all, if I was already waiting 2 weeks to get in there I might as well find out all I wanted to know in the meantime! They explained that the reason they use a ticket system is because Trois Mec is a small space, and they want to create an intimate environment for the guests. By using tickets, it allows them to anticipate who is coming in and to give guests an all-encompassing experience at the best price possible. I felt satisfied with that information and got a really nice and warm feeling from them after that phone call.
A Few things to Know About Your Ticket
- When you purchase a ticket to Trois Mec, it covers your base meal, but it does not include supplemental, non-alcoholic beverages, coffee or tea.
- Once you buy your ticket online you can’t return it.. Just as with attending a sporting event, concert or the theater, all sales are final. They are not able to cancel your ticket or reschedule it for another night. (So make sure to save the date!)
- The price of the ticket will vary based on the menu for each ticket release period. Currently, the menu ticket price is $85 per person. The menu price is subject to service charge and tax at the time of purchase.
Location is Key
Location is a key part of any restaurants business. The area that surrounds the place can either attract of push away a lot of customers. Trois Mec restaurant is located on Highland Avenue in Los Angeles California. Highland Ave is one of the most popular streets in the entire downtown LA, which is a main factor in the restaurants success. Because there are so many landmarks and tourist attractions surrounding Trois Mec, a lot of customers are likely to hear about the restaurant. At the northern end of the Avenue you’ll find the ‘Hollywood Bowl’, a major amphitheater and a big Los Angeles landmark. To the south is the famous intersection of Hollywood and Highland, location of the Hollywood & Highland Center. No matter where you turn, you are in the prime area of downtown LA.
The Man Behind The Apron
So… who is this man behind this fun and exciting operation and what is he all about? Ludo Lefebvre is the owner, creator, and chef at Trois Mec.
Lefebvre was born in Auxerre, Burgundy. His love for food began in his childhood, spending many of his days in his grandmother’s kitchen.
When he was a teenager, he expressed his desire to become a chef. His father took him to a local restaurant named Maxime and asked them to give Ludo some boring and unimportant job in order to discourage him. Despite his father’s efforts, he ended up loving the job.
His early culinary training began at age 14 at the restaurant L’Esperance in Vezelay under a chef named Marc Meneu, where he worked for three years. He then went on to work with Peirre Gagnaire at his restaurant in Saint Etienne. After that, he then worked with Alain Passard at LÁrpege where he trained in what he describes as “the school of fire”. During that time he spent his hours learning to control and play with heat. Ludo concluded his formal French training with Guy Martin at Le Grand Vefour. Still today, Ludo says that he learned the business side of the food service industry from Guy.
Where Am I?
After waiting 2 long weeks, the night of my reservation finally arrived. I arrived at the address but I have to say that I was a bit confused. The place I was standing in front of, what looked like, an old fashion run down pizza parlor. I thought to myself that I must be in the wrong place. I started walking away and then I heard a man asking if I was looking for Trois Mec. I was so relieved. He must have saw me looking confused and knew I was looking for the fancy place. When I told him that I was indeed looking for Trois Mec I was expecting him to say something like “oh they moved to this and this place” but to my surprise, all he said was “you’re in the right place come on in!” Then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any stranger, they told me that they have valet parking. The rundown pizza store that I bought tickets to had valet parking. Things were making less and less sense. I thought to myself, I bought a non-refundable ticket and this guy is parking my car so I’m going in! And in I went.
I walked in not knowing what to expect. I was greeted by French people saying “bonjour”. This night was definitely full of surprises. I looked up to see this stunning little restaurant that looked nothing like a run-down pizza store! It was the complete opposite of the outside. For some reason (not sure why) they want to throw you off. The inside decor was modern and not overly fancy, instead giving it a relaxed and simple feel. It was a very intimate setting. I thought there was going to be a lot more people but there were only a few tables. There were a few tables seating 16 people and then bar seats (facing the open kitchen) for 8 more. I sat in the “lower” bar seats and got a front row view to the action (Ludo cooking, and supervising his staff very closely throughout each step of the process).
When I arrived at a Trois Mec restaurant, I felt that I was suddenly part of something secretive and exclusive. It was a place so exclusive that no sign was needed for promotion. That instantly excited me. I felt I was experiencing my night as opposed to just eating at a restaurant. Honestly, this was the most exclusive fine dining I had ever been a part of.
The staff at Trois Mec were lovely to say the least. Chef Ludo came by our table several times to see if there was anything that was needed. I was really impressed. I think that because there were about 24 people in the whole place, the Chef was able to make his way around introducing himself, and giving out autographed menus. Meeting a culinary legend like Chef Ludo was definitely my highlight of the night. The staff was able to make my time there feel like an awesome experience. They were super helpful and attentive. From the moment I walked in, till the moment I left, they were genuinely there to help and very entertaining!
Trois Mec Menu & Food
The Trois Mec Menu is amazing. The five snacks that started off the night in a great way:
- butternut squash soup with Chantilly cream in a really nice Japanese-styled tea cup
- the fried tapioca square
- the toasted bread square with garlic, cheese & chives
- eggy custard brûléed with salmon roe
- miso custard in a tart shell
The snacks filled me up in a crazy way. I didn’t ask too many questions so there was a part of me that thought this was the whole meal. To be completely honest though I was okay with that being the meal because I was full! Little did I know, there was a lot more coming.
The five course meal that nobody expected!
- Course 1- Nantucket Bay scallops with fennel, cucumber and caramelized almonds
- Course 2- Lamb tartare with buckwheat tabbouleh and avocado
- Course 3- Smoked eel, very rare, with white chocolate mashed potatoes
- Course 4- Grilled beef belly with eggplant Molé and charred onions
- Course 5- Carolina gold rice pudding with brown butter and egg yolk
Mignardises- petit fours – lemon/curry tartlets and peanut butter-almond cream puffs
I’m a pretty picky eater in general but I decided that if I wanted to say I had the full experience of Trois Mec I had to try everything. My favorite course out of the 5 was, by far, the Grilled beef belly. It honestly tasted like heaven! It was served grilled, with large green leeks and a side of eggplant mole. There was so much flavor on the belly that the mole wasn’t necessary, and the meat was super tender and served rare to medium rare. I didn’t specifically love the lamb tarte but that’s only because I’m not a fan of lamb to begin with. It was presented beautifully though. The smoked eel will either be a hit or miss. I found the combination of ingredients to be interesting…. like I said it was an experience!
- Juniper Stachi
- White sage citrus tea
- Mountain shrub water
- Mexican Cola with mulling spices
- Blueberry mugwort dry soda
- Coconut water with matcha (green tea powder)
The wine pairing:
- NV François Pinon, Vouvray Brut
- 2013 Domaine Ostertag, Vieilles Vignes Sylvaner
- 2013 Chateau de Roquefort Corail Cotes de Provence
- 2013 François Villard Version Saint Peray
- 2012 Domaine Faury Saint-Joseph
- 2012 Domaine de Durban Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
To say the Least…
Like I said in the beginning of the article, it’s the situations in life that you choose to experience that make up who you are. I can say without hesitation that eating at Trois Mec is one experience that will stay with me forever. It is definitely one of the top restaurants in LA.
Chef Ludo is a legend and I’m so honored that I had the pleasure to meet him. He makes his work become his life and passion. That is something inspiring to all. It’s been a while since I’ve seen true dedication, and yet Chef Ludo has reminded me that there are still people who love what they do. And it shows.
All the food that was served was divine. It had Different textures and flavors with every serving. The presentation was exceptional. Each course was a delectable and exquisite combination of many different ingredients perfectly prepared and bursting with amazing flavor.
It’s clear to see that a great deal of care, attention to details and a dash of showmanship flare is present at Trois Mec. At the end of the day, the food, and it’s presentation is an experience you won’t forget so easily.