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Eating at Ink LA #2
07/27/2012 (rev. 08/11/2012) by
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Earlier this week, I reviewed the Ink tasting menu that appeared approximately 2 months after open.  Today I went to Ink again to sample his food again.  I will be blunt and say tonight was by far the BEST LA expensive food that I’ve had.  Let’s get straight to what was on the menu.

This is the tasting menu that we had.  If you compared it to my previous experience, this was by far MUCH better.

And here is the actual regular menu.  Surprisingly, the only thing that I’ve ordered off this menu directly are the oysters.  Everything else looks pretty good though.  The desserts are good too, but we’ll get into it later.

Misty point oysters, oyster leaf, mignonette ice.  The oysters are exactly how they were the last time I came here.  Whatever ingredients they use to zest up the oysters was simply nothing short of delicious.  The sauce had a citrus kick but was very light and felt very clean.  The oyster leaf tasted like the oyster itself but without the slimy and gooey part.

East coast halibut, caesar tempura, melon, espelette.  The yellow ball you see here is caesar tempura.  What they did was froze the caesar dressing as a ball.  When an order is requested, they quickly take the caesar dressing ball, dip it into tempura batter, and then fry it.  This was really good.  The caesar dressing was not salty nor was it that cheesy.  Imagine taking Jalapeno popper and biting into it.  Instead of the innards being cheese, it’s caesar dressing.  The halibut is raw and sits on top of a long strip of honeydew melon.  Matching the well seasoned halibut with the honeydrew was surprisingly good.  Like the oysters, the taste was very refreshing and light.  You have a taste of sweetness from the melon, with a little sour from the seasoned halibut.

Morels, egg yolk gnocchi, mushroom hay, ice plant.  This was probably my least favorite dish due to it being MUSHROOMS.  However, this was MUCH better than the mushroom dish I had the last time I came here.  The morels didn’t have that strong mushroom flavor and texture that I’ve come to hate.  The gnocchi was absolutely to die for.  The gnocchi’s center was filled with egg yolk.  So again like the Jalapeno poppers, but imagine instead of a fried exterior, you had a rice cake type of texture to it.  The mushroom hay was deep fried, so it was very crunchy.  Putting it all together, this was really good, as I didn’t cringe when eating this.

Maine lobster, hollandaise, leeks, potatoes, charcoal.  The black drippings are actually charcoal oil.  There’s a slight burnt taste to it, but it’s very light.  The black balls you see on the plate are the potatoes that seem to have been rolled in some charcoal.  Again, there’s a barely noticed burnt taste to it.  The burnt tastes complement well with the orange sauce that is the hollandaise sauce.  The main lobster is engulfed in the hollandaise sauce.  Simply put, this maine lobster dish was the highlight of my night.  Right now it’s lobster season, and this lobster was sweet, extremely tender, and plump.  One bite into this, and I had the fattest smile on my face as the buttery sweetness of the lobster lit my tongue like a firework.

Veal cheeks, little gems, bottarga, curds and whey of buttermilk.  Our server said that Michael Voltaggio cooked this since he’s responsible for the meat station in the cooking line.  There’s a light buttermilk pancake on top of the veel cheeks.  The white cheesy sauce is similar to alfredo sauce.  The vegetables underneath have been marinated in some type of sour dressing.  The veal cheeks have been marinated lightly but were extremely tender.  I let my knife fall on the meat, and it literally cut it without much effort.  The meat cuts like it had been braised, but the texture surprisingly was very coarse like filet mignon. I imagine this calf was no more than a few weeks old.

Apple, caramel, walnut, burnt wood ice cream.  Just like last time, this was pretty similar.  My buddy ordered this as his dessert.  The shell outside of the ice cream had a burnt wood taste.  There is some apple, caramel, and walnut surrounding it.  When you crack the shell of the ice cream, the inside oozes out some type of creamy sweet sauce.

Greek yogurt, strawberry, rhubarb, japanese peach, coconut.  I ordered this, and this was by far the best dessert I’ve had here.  The red stuff you see on top is similar to a snow cone.  The “snow” has some strawberry essence in it, so it tastes very light and a perfect balance of sweetness.  The bottom of this is greek yogurt.  there are chunks of rhubarb, strawberries, small Japanese peaces, and shaved coconut.  I normally don’t care for desserts as they are usually rather heavy.  In this case, this dessert was fluffy and light.  It was a great finisher for this tasting menu at Ink.

Michael Voltaggio has really proven himself with this tasting menu.  Typically a pseudo celebrity chef would be the one organizing the plate and not be in the line.  But this goes to show you how meticulous he is about his food and his restaurant.  I would highly recommend Ink as the #1 place to go to in LA for tasting menus.

Visit: http://www.mvink.com

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