Food is an amazing thing. It can bring back powerful memories, it can make friends out of total strangers, it can make you happy (or sad – like when I burn popcorn), and those are just a few of the everyday things that food can do (I’m not going to get into the larger socio-economic implications, this isn’t that kind of blog). The bottom line is that there is really no limit to the power of food.
As a lover of food, an aspiring foodie of sorts, the type of person who will not let herself say that she does not like a food or a flavor or a texture if she has not tried it, I realized that it was completely erroneous that I was not including my dining experiences on the blog. Now, since I can get pretty passionate about these things (I can go on for hours about my love of Trader Joe’s creamy toscano syrah-soaked cheese), I’m going to do my best to just give you the skinny on these places. Since I’m still me, I’m also going to tell you about the dress code. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to hear more about or any details you’d like me to add to these posts.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Chef: Michael Voltaggio (he’s also the owner and the winner of season six of Top Chef)
Cuisine: New American (emphasis on the New, very cool stuff going on here)
What I Wore: Patterned Amanda Uprichard dress, black GAP moto jacket, black tights, black Rosegold booties, See by Chloe cross-body bag, Personalized pendant necklace, Ross Simons open triangle stud earrings.
Was I Dressed Appropriately: Yes. Since ink has a very cool vibe you can definitely go with a more casual look than I did, but you need to put some effort in. Another couple arrived at the same time as us and the woman was wearing light jeans, a white shirt, and a pale pink Louis Vuitton Louise bag. So I’d say the attire can run anywhere from date-night to off-duty model.
What We Ate: V and I agreed that this meal was one of the top three of our all-time favorites. Our waitress recommended ordering anywhere from 5-7 small plates to share and so we went with the following six:
- japanese scallop, soy-cured papaya, fermented chili, basil
- smoked hamachi, cherry peppers, px vinegar, crispy onions
- beef tartare, hearts of palm, sea bean chimichurri, horseradish, rye
- egg yolk gnocchi, mushroom brown butter, hen of the woods
- pasta paella, truffle coulis
- pork shoulder, mustard tofu, beets, toasted garlic
The ‘Oh My Word’ Order: The idea of the ‘Oh My Word’ Order is probably pretty obvious, but in case it’s only clear in my strange mind, I’ll clarify – this is going to be the one item that had my eyes rolling back in my head. Keep in mind that in this instance, every single item we ordered was worthy of that distinction, but I’m going to pick the egg yolk gnocchi. Mushrooms can be a real deterrent for me – if white button or crimini are involved in a dish you can most definitely count me out – but Hen of the Wood is fancy and delicious and I seriously contemplated licking the bowl before they took it away (that’s a compliment in some cultures, right?). The flavors and textures of this dish were just so completely on point that my mouth is literally watering thinking about it. Oh. My. Word.
What We Drank: V had one of the house cocktails with gin falernum, thyme, honey, lemon. I went with a new standard of mine, an Aviation, which was delicious.
Check, please: So the final verdict, as I mentioned earlier, was that this was one of the best meals of our lives. Not only was it delicious, but every single member of the staff was awesome, the plates were perfectly timed, the dishes perfectly seasoned, the space was cool and energetic, but still dimly lit enough for it to feel intimate and romantic. If you live in the LA area or plan to travel there any time soon, I would 100% recommend this place.
*Going forward I will do my best to take pictures, but V and I were so busy enjoying this meal that neither of us took any. That alone should speak volumes.