Cafe Society

Food porn! Money shots! The pictorial essay of celeb chef Ludo Lefebvre at Biker Jim's!

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It was Wednesday night at Biker Jim's brick-and-mortar, Jim Pittenger's new salty, meaty sausage-slinging emporium that, for one night, had been transformed into a guerrilla restaurant -- a pop-up -- as part of a new Sundance Channel television show called LudoBites America. The show, which will begin airing this summer, is the vision of vagabond Los Angeles-based celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre, who, along with his wife, Kristine, roam from state to state, city to city, to turn existing restaurants into something entirely different from what they really are -- a hot dog joint, for example, that suddenly morphs into a buffalo stampede.

Reservations to the dinners are extremely difficult to come by -- and scalpers have been known to list tickets on Ebay for far, far more than their face value worth. Last year, in LA, OpenTable.com slowed to a turtle's pace when too many people tried to snatch up reservations all at once.

But at Biker Jim's, there were no reservations: Instead, there were two seatings, on a first-come, first-served basis, and those who had the fortitude to make the trip downtown were treated to an incredibly fun night roaming with chefs and other industry peeps, foodniks and curiosity-seekers, all of whom were treated to Lefebvre's theatrical kitchen outbursts, followed by the chef's wide, wicked grins, along with his boldly flavored, beautifully executed plates of bison, done every which way.

He had some help in the kitchen, thanks to local chefs James Mazzio and Daniel Asher (Root Down) -- and even Jim -- but the show belonged to Ludo, who, at the end of the night, rewarded both the front and back of the house with a buffalo-centric, family-style staff meal that even the biggest food snobs would have envied.

We, of course, were there to capture all the glorious food and eye candy. Herewith, the culmination of our efforts.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson