Sunday, January 22, 2012

High-Voltage Tasting: ink.

Ever since Chef Michael Voltaggio left the now-shuttered Dining Room at the Langham Hotel, Los Angelenos have been waiting for him to open his own restaurant.

Wait no more. We now have ink.
Chef Voltaggio is a culinary wizard. With all of the tattoos in the kitchen, ink. is an apt name for his restaurant. It does have a better ring than Hogwarts.

Spiced rum, pomegranate, pineapple, clove, lemon bitters ($11).
Vodka, lime, ginger, soda ($10).
ink.'s mixologist is none other than Devon Espinosa, whom some of you may know from Marcel's Quantum Kitchen. You should definitely sample his libations.

If any members of your party have dietary restrictions, simply voice them when you make your reservation. ink. will accommodate most needs, although vegan requests are politely declined.

My companions and I each opted for the five-course tasting ($80).

Tuna, dashi sponge, radish, grapefruit.
What a way to start! Fresh and clean and bright! We all loved this sashimi fruit salad! I know this characterization sounds kind of gross, but trust me on this one.

Foie gras, waffle, smoked maple, hot sauce.
Another crazy combo that worked! Sweet syrup essence and Sriracha accompanying foie gras? Really? Really? Yes, really. Really really wonderful. I am weeping inside already in anticipation of California's foie gras ban.

Skate wing, mushroom oatmeal, mushroom hay.
I am shedding a tear now for a completely different reason. That golden brown perfection! An amazing savory oatmeal! So good that I forgot I was eating my fungus nemesis!

Beef cheek, carrots, tofu mustard, nasturtium.
Oh, meat. Mmmmmeat. The flavors. The textures. Glorious.

Dessert Option 1: Chocolate, coffee cream, sesame cake.
Amber seemed to love this. She ate the plate clean.

Dessert Option 2: Grapefruit, curd, cilantro sorbet, lime meringue, avocado.
insomniac enjoyed this tart delight. I was impressed by the bite that I had.

Dessert Option 3: Apple, caramel, burnt wood ice cream.
Ann Marie and I each opted for this deconstructed apple masterpiece. I'm sure I'm biased, but I thought our dessert was most impressive and interesting -- so many different elements and techniques. Smoky!

Ann Marie had the good sense to bring her cookbook along for an autograph.
I didn't think it was possible, but this little doodle made me love Michael Voltaggio even more. Bravo, Chef! Thanks for a fabulous evening!


  1. That doodle is ADORABLE!

    How fun!

  2. CA is banning foi grass? I did not know that!

  3. I am SO JEALOUS of AM's cookbook! And insom's dessert. I love grapefruit and cilantro and would love to have tried it.

    LOL at "fungus nemesis"

    I just read a very complimentary review of the "fast-food" sister restaurant - Ink Sac?

  4. Jealous! ink is on my must go list, it looks delicious!

  5. Wow! What an amazing and fun night, and I agree about the doodle!

  6. I can't wait to go back with H!

    I could really go for some of that sashimi now.

  7. Looks so good! And that doodle is awesome.

  8. No Modern Family dude? lol It was a great meal. Loved the spicy fois gras waffle cone and mushroom oatmeal.

  9. We need to hit up the "lesser" Voltaggio's restaurant, Volt, when you're in DC. (Technically, it's in MD, but close enough.) I will fly back just to go there with you. I'm that kind of friend.

  10. Cannot WAIT to try next month! I know what I'm having for dessert!

  11. Oh. My. Word. I am loving everything about this!!! Burnt wood ice cream? My head is exploding. I'm a fungus lover, so I know that dish would be my fave, haha. And, Voltaggio is all kinds of hot, that doodle kinda just sent it over the edge :)

  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Definitely putting this place on my list.

  13. i heart michael voltaggio. he was so nice to the bean when we met him.

    i would love to come to ink with you guys if you ever decide to return!

    yes, i just invited myself to an imaginary GTG.

  14. Five course tasting? There was none of that when I went ... Chad and I ended up ordering 14 items off the menu!


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