As you doubtless know by now, chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook (Animal, Son of a Gun) and Ludo Lefebvre (LudoBites, LudoTruck) are opening a restaurant together, kind of like the foodist's ideal mashup of time, place, cuisine and ethos. After much waiting and many rumors, Trois Mec, which means “three guys” in French, is finally opening its doors this Thursday night (which is Lefebvre's birthday; happy birthday, Ludo!) in a little strip mall diagonally across the street from Mozza, going into a tiny space previously occupied by a Raffallo's Pizza. You can tell where it is because the Raffallo's sign is still there — and apparently will stay there permanently. (Why not? They like it, it's funny and the chefs can buy more, well, whatever, with the money a sign would cost.)
And it should not surprise anyone that getting reservations to Trois Mec — four tables, eight seats at the bar — will not be a matter of simply calling the restaurant. LudoBites pioneered the art of the reservation in this town, using UrbanSpoon and a lottery to sell out its seats. Thus, to get a table at Trois Mec, you need to first register on the restaurant's website, then order tickets at a fixed rate for dinner. Just pretend you're buying tickets to Jack White's next show at the Wiltern.
Starting today — hopefully by the time you're reading this, the line will be open; there were some glitches in the system — you can register for your dinner. And beginning at 8 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, April 17, you can buy tickets for the next two weeks — April 18 and 19; and April 22 through 26 — for parties of up to six people for one of two seatings each night.
Tickets cost about $100 each, for a $75, five-course meal plus tax and an 18% gratuity — and you'll be billed whether you show up or not. (Thus no need for any public shaming on Twitter.) If you find that you can't make your reservation, you can sell or otherwise barter your ticket and then transfer the ticket on the website. Which is kind of ingenious. Imagine bartering a pair of Trois Mec tickets for, say, a goat or a wheel of cheese.
Krissy Lefebvre, Ludo's wife and business partner, put it this way: “We want to provide a really special experience in the very intimate environment that is more like dining in a chef's personal kitchen than a restaurant. To be able to create the best possible experience, we needed to know what our revenue numbers were going to be, and tickets just seemed like the best option.”
In other words, this is a lot better than having somebody there to pick up the phone all day long just to tell you they're booked. Think of how much fun you'll have trying to crash their website!
After tomorrow (please guess how long it takes for Trois Mec to sell out the next two weeks in the comments section below) the restaurant will release tickets every other Friday, starting April 26, for the following two-week period.
As for walk-ins, forget it. That may have worked for the LudoBites at Gram & Papa's downtown, but it won't work here. So instead of wandering around downtown's skid row waiting for your dinner, you can just walk across the street and sit at the bar at Mozza. That's called irony.
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