Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane isn’t the only French expat to put down roots in Los Angeles.
When it comes to the Los Angeles food scene, Burgundy-born chef Ludo Lefebvre, who trained at multiple Michelin-starred restaurants in France before immigrating to America in 1996, heaps on the praise like so much Béarnaise sauce. “In Paris, it’s all about French food,” he says. “Here, it’s like a firework of flavors.” His one gripe? The lackadaisical attitude toward reservations. As a countermeasure, the heavily tattooed former executive chef of L’Orangerie recently opened Trois Mec, which boasts what may be the strictest booking policy around: Tickets to the 24-seat hot spot, housed in a former pizza parlor on Highland Avenue, must be purchased online in advance, and if you’re late, Lefebvre starts cooking without you. “I’m tired of people not showing up—and not even calling to cancel!” he explains. Soup Nazi–ish as they may be, his tactics have only curried him more favor with the culinary crowd. In September, Lefebvre, who lives in Sherman Oaks with his American wife and business manager, Krissy, and their 2-year-old twins, began taping Season Two of The Taste, a cooking competition on ABC also starring Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain. “I was like, ‘You really want me, with my accent?’ But they love it, and they don’t even use subtitles,” Lefebvre says.