In preparation for my second visit to Ink, I’ve finally got off my ass to review and post my original Ink experience. If you don’t know already, this is Michael Voltaggio’s first restaurant that he opened up here in West Hollywood. It’s his take on modern LA cuisine. I was looking forward to try some of his creations, so let’s see what it’s all about.
Beau soleil oysters. This was rather interesting. My party ordered 2 oysters each, and each oyster also came with an oyster leaf. The waitress told us to first eat the oyster then the leaf. The leaf is suppose to taste like another oyster. For my first oyster, I didn’t heed her advice, and ate the leaf first. The leaf tasted like … a leaf. So the next round, I ate the oyster first followed by the leaf. The leaf in fact did taste like the oyster this time around. In fact, it tasted like I just took a fresh shucked oyster juice and dumped it in my mouth. It was pretty good.
We all ordered the tasting menu. The ink dessert choices are based off their regular menu at the time. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of their dessert menu then. All in all, it looks good, right?
Scallops, tofu, cocoa, black vinaigrette, rice cracker. Can you tell which is the scallop and which is the tofu? This was pretty good although a bit sparse in plating. This definitely had an asian inspiration to it given the rice cracker, scallops, green onion bud, and scallop. The cocoa was sprinkled on top and definitely was a good contrast to the sour kick from the vinaigrette.
Fois gras, waffle, smoked maple, hot sauce. I forgot what the waitress said about this, but it’s supposedly a deconstructed something… (I want to say chicken drumsticks). The red dot(s) is the hot sauce. The long charred thing going up the plate has a melted marshmallow texture to it and tastes like maple syrup. On top of the fois gras terrine is some greens and pickled onions. Eating each of the individual components separate was not very exciting. I broke off a piece of the cracker. Then I sliced some of the fois gras terrine on top. I also placed some of the pickled onions. Finally top it off with that smoked maple marshmallow and hot sauce. Eat it all together, and it was awesome.
Branzini, mushroom oatmeal, mushroom hay. Let me preface that I hate mushrooms. Being how this is one of the dishes on the tasting menu, I didn’t have many options other than to just eat it. Branzini was pan fried skin side. The mushroom hay was fried, so it was very crunchy. The mushroom oatmeal had chunks of mushrooms in it, and based on my party’s reaction, it was very strong in mushroom flavor. If you’re a mushroom lover, then I’m guessing you would love this. I, on the other hand, have no desire to try this again. I will say though that the mushroom oatmeal was overwhelming.
Steak frites, beef rib cab, potato, flavors of bearnaise. The rib cap was covered with bearnaise and was cooked medium. The long potato “egg” rolls were deep fried. There were sprinkles of some type of cheese. The plate was decorated like a fish. I thought this was neither bad or good since there’s nothing special about this. It tasted exactly how you see it which is basically a piece of steak with bearnaise sauce.
I think there were 3 dessert choices, so we covered the spread by getting all the different desserts. I got this chocolate one. Each piece tasted like a different type of chocolate. It was very rich, and I craved for milk.
I vaguely recall what this was. I think the white ball is an apple shell around some type of ice cream. There’s also pieces of bacon and grapes around. I don’t remember how this tasted exactly.
I think that’s some sort of green (tea?) ice cream with some fruit.
The experience at Ink was pretty good although it’s still no comparison to Momofuku Ko in New York City. It’s definitely one of the better restaurants in Los Angeles though, and I like how they change up the menu frequently. I’m curious if Michael Voltaggio has any say on the menu changes, so we’ll see later this week.