October 16, 2011

Ink, West Hollywood

Ink is the much anticipated restaurant by Michael Voltaggio who made a name for himself on Top Chef. We almost never visit a restaurant within the first month or two of opening, but Ink was an exception. The restaurant is located on a well known retail section of Melrose Ave., just across the street from Alexander McQueen. The entrance to the restaurant is nestled behind a metal gate and the minute we stepped inside, we were greeted by the hostes who was keeping a very watchful eye on diners arriving and departing. The dining room is open with tables and booths along the walls and the dim lighting adds a feeling of privacy.

The menu that changes constantly

Vodka lime, ginger, soda

This was Ink's take on the Moscow Mule made with fresh ginger. The mint, lime and ginger balanced the vodka, but it still packed a punch. Good crisp and refreshing start to the meal.

Hamachi parsnip-sesame cream, grapefruit, jalapeno

The picture doesn't do this dish justice. The colors and flavors were absolutely amazing. All the components on the dish worked well together and highlighted the fish, which was cut just thick enough to stand up against everything. The grapefruit and jalapeno added a lightness to balance out the heavy strong soy flavor. The fried parsnips on top were light and reminded me of dried ramen noodles.

Dungeness crab smoked mayo, bok choy "kimchi"

This was a very simple dish compared to the others and our least favorite. The crab was wrapped in nori and deep fried. The freshness of the crab came through and the batter was very light. The mayo added a light smokey flavor to the crab, but the fried baby kimchi was too salty to eat.

Halibut cheeks red pepper dashi, shishito peppers, kelp pasta
This was the our favorite dish of the night. The halibut cheek was cooked perfectly and the dashi broth was the best we have tasted. The large thin sheet of kelp pasta was tender and light. Even though it's not appropriate to lick the bowl, we were tempted.

Beef tartare horseradish, hearts of palm, sea beam chimichurri

This was a fun dish to eat. The horseradish puff was cold and creamy, almost like ice cream, but very light in texture and not overpowering in flavor. The pickled shallot puree was sweet and brightened the flavor of the beef. The hearts of palm was crunchy and earthy and salty and crunchy crisp tied it all together.

Rye lemon, angostura, peychaud's, anise
A stiff drink to have mid-way through the meal. The anise help cut the bitters in the cocktail.

Berkshire pork tenderloin charcoal crust, macaroni and cheese, leek
Although the pork was perfectly cooked and very tender, the mac n cheese stole the show. By far the best mac n cheese we have ever tasted. The leeks three way a fun idea and we loved that the fried ends were also edible. The dish could have used less of the leek ash.

Wagyu hanger steak ras el hanout yogurt, black garlic, mushroom chicharron
The hanger steak was very tender and melted in our mouthes. The chicharon was out of this world and the yogurt added a slightly tangy and creamy texture to the dish.

Veal cheeks red curry, nante carrots baked in salt, fried sticky rice
Since we loved the halibut cheeks so much, we had to try the veal cheeks. The cheeks were meaty and fatty and held up well against the red Thai curry. The coconut went perfectly with the curry and the carrots added a earthy sweetness. We could have done without the rice.

Overall, we had an wonderful meal and left with some very memorable flavors. Unfortunately, Chef Voltaggio was not working the night we dined at Ink, which was a disappointment, but all the more reason to go back. We also didn't try any dessert because we were so stuffed after the veal cheeks. The dishes were well thought out and executed with a few minor misses. The dinner was well paced and our waiter took time to explain every dish in detail. We had a wonderful experience from the ambiance to the service to the food. We look forward to going back when Chef Voltaggio is on the line and trying some of the new dishes.

8360 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Metered parking along Melrose and Valet in front of the restaurant.

1 comment:

SinoSoul said...

I clicked in, thinking this is a new post... OMG new post tease! WRITE MO!