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.