A buzzworthy “foodie” spot, ink. was the perfect place to celebrate my recent birthday with Irene. We love sharing “small plates” and the variety of dishes we ordered definitely lived up to the fanfare.
Located on Melrose near La Cienega, ink. is “Top Chef” season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio’s first signature restaurant (ink. alludes not to the tattoo itself but to the idea of permanence, aiming to create an indelible impression with flavor profiles that are inspired by the myriad of cultures that make up the City of Angels). Chef describes his food as “modern Los Angeles cuisine” and aspires to create an experience that will repurpose the term “fine dining” for Angelenos. Voltaggio honed his molecular gastronomy techniques in the kitchen at The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills, where he garnered a 4-star review.
ink. has some intriguing drink specials and my Japanese single malt with yuzu, ginger, honey and peat was certainly a fitting cocktail for the occasion. Same goes for the mains; I would have sampled any of the 20 offerings listed under “food” so we had to agree on our top 5:
- beef tartare, hearts of palm, sea bean chimichurri, horseradish, rye ($15)
- pei mussels, sourdough sabayon, egg, mussel jus ($12)
- brussels sprouts, pig ears, lardo, apple ($13)
- octopus, ink. shells, young fennel, pimenton ($20)
- corn porridge, miso, housemade doritos, nori ($11)
Finally, kudos to our server, who had just the right balance of hipster vibe and personable, menu-savvy advisor.
We’ll have to try the recently opened ink.sack, Voltaggio’s sandwich shop a few doors down from ink.
This is my 50th post so it seemed it should be about something momentous, profound or in the very least, a little something to mark the occasion. Hmmm, what could that something be? A family-related anecdote? A fatherly musing? An upcoming festivity? My birthday is this weekend. Nah, too self-indulgent and I’m all about others, so I think I’ll just go with a little stream of consciousness inspired by my PC’s “words-of–the-day” screensaver scrawl and maintain a journalistic theme to this post. Today’s two words – OLIGARCHY (noun; a political system governed by a few people) and RECOMPENSE (noun; payment or reward, as for services rendered) – aren’t exactly a pair of terms that one often gets to work into everyday conversation but I have actually heard the latter in a recent song by BUSH (noun; an alt-rock band fronted by oft-incongruous wordsmith Mr. Gwen Stefani, aka Gavin Rossdale).
“I write, I travel, I eat and I’m hungry for more” takes on a literal meaning. One of my favorite TV shows, “No Reservations,” just ended its run on the Travel Channel, but Anthony Bourdain will have a similar new show over on CNN starting in Spring 2013 so that’s good news for his legions of fans.
The Final Word
I really enjoy doing this blog because it allows me to keep the creative juices flowing and writing skills honed. I like being able to pull it up on my WordPress mobile app whenever necessary. I like the “posterity” nature of the whole thing. But I gotta go now; I just heard an email notification alert on my cell and I should go check if it might be WordPress congratulating me on my posting milestone.
Xander is at that cute age where he’ll ask one of those humorous questions that only a 5-year-old can pose or just spout an entertainingly random thought. Here are but a handful of his latest quotables from left field:
- When I’m a grandpa, will [pet turtle] Crush still be alive?
- Are you going on the freeway? I hate the freeway because there’s no trees and no sidewalks
- What if everything was made of cotton candy? I’d eat EVERYTHING!
- Papa, don’t drink too much coffee or it will make you little!
- What are chemicals? (and then, just moments later, looking up at the restaurant door we were sitting near) … Does that say “EXIT”?
- When you get old, can I … (pause) … When I’m an adult … (phew! This is about HIM, not about ME being an old guy!) … can I have the [garage] remote? (HUH?! I guess he meant I won’t be needing it when he’s old enough to drive himself to school!)
You can’t make this stuff up….