My family of five and our comedic, wine sommelier cousin David walked out of Trois Mec -- the refurbished Raffallo's Pizza in an LA strip mall -- turned to one another, and asked, "What just happened?!"
Yes, it seems that we blacked out during a frenzy of oddly amusing flavor combinations at the hottest top Los Angeles "pop up" from Chef Ludovic Lefebvre. Only the most adventurous foodies could adequately analyze and enjoy the chef's approach, which portrayed culinary talent of the highest degree. To match the menu's rarity, the 24-seater restaurant does not offer reservations like most; rather, you must purchase tickets at least one month in advance for one of two seating times. Pre-paid, might I add...
My family felt like we were undergoing a science experiment on our taste buds. We quickly decided that Trois Mec is not a family dining spot; or at least not a Greenstein family spot. The five of us are unfortunately known for substitutions, kosher dietary restrictions and rarely desiring the same dish. So when we were handed a pre-fixe menu of uncertain ingredient lists during our 6 o'clock seating, we were in for a ride. I highly enjoyed it - a gastronomic affair, if you will.
Once seated, a waiter suggested the wine pairing option of six glasses, all of which hailed from the executive chef's home of France. My heart, which will always miss Paris, felt right at home, too! Yet the attention to plate timing (frankly, to get us out of there by the second seating at 8:45) left me feeling like I was taking shots instead of sipping leisurely. Before I knew it, the next dish would arrive with a third or fourth wine glass to join my pile of half-finished reds and whites.
We were treated to six snacks, beginning with a vinegary buckwheat "popcorn" that confused yet intrigued me. I knew I was in for a culinary adventure! While I will not go into complete detail on every dish (we'd be here for hours), here is the menu from our evening. Notice the deconstructed presentation to highlight each individual ingredient, as listed on the menu.
Raw beef, grilled yogurt, fermented black walnut, caramelized eggplant
Grilled cabbage, smoked almond milk anglaise, bone marrow flan, cured egg (pictured above)
Nantucket bay scallops, tandoori, sesame, cauliflower, citrus (pictured above)
Potato pulp. brown butter, bonito, onion soubis, salers (my favorite, pictured below)
Duck, endive, duck skin pureé, candied orange (least favorite, too full to think!!)
Apple butter, créme de brie, toasted barley, hay (I'd rather apple pie than crumbs that tasted like it)
I highly recommend Trois Mec, simply because you won't get this anywhere else. So grab your seat (ticket), enjoy the ride, and don't worry if you feel like you blacked out afterward, too.