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Michael Voltaggio's ink. Commands 2.5 Stars

Clearly SIV was able to finally score a resy or two at ink. and today she shares her two cents. For the record, on the subject of the restaurant's name, chef and owner Michael Voltaggio once said, "don't forget the period. It's 'ink.' not 'ink'." Clearly SIV didn't get that memo. In any event, she feels as though MV's cuisine is interesting and worthy of 2.5 stars, but decides that plates incorporate too many ingredients and don't connect to one another.

The result is Ink, a casual place with a cozy, but edgy decor and a small plates format. One thing you'd never call Voltaggio's food is rustic. This is stylized, cutting-edge cuisine more influenced by new techniques and experimental kitchens around the world than by any one place or particular cuisine. Some of it works. Some of it doesn't quite, but in the end, his food is exciting and very much his own.
He's a talented and very promising chef but thrust into the hot lights too soon. His fans may be expecting too much. Voltaggio makes every effort to give them fireworks — explosive flavors, weird textures, amazing juxtapositions and techniques — but it doesn't always add up, and sometimes he seems closer to chef as carnival barker.
At least meals have progressively gotten better for Sher and she believes that Voltaggio is "still working toward what he wants." [LAT]

Jonathan Gold enjoys a modern beefsteak dinner at Vibiana: "And then the meat came — platters of sliced, rare steak, piles of toast, bowls of horseradish sauce and thick, sweet steak sauce, eaten with the fingers but gingerly, rather daintily, and not particularly to excess. A fat man, dressed in an old-fashioned bathing suit appliqued with fabric pork chops, danced up the length of the long tables, then down again, flouncing, jiggling, representing the abandon most of us would have aspired to if it hadn't been so much work. Then we all ate chocolate chip cookies and went out to look at the karaoke bus. It was a good night." [LAW]

The Elsewhere: Brigham Yen drops by Semi Sweet Bakery, Eat: LA picks Bouchon, Eating LA tastes Short Order, LA Snark dines at Kaido, OCR samples Lynda Sandwich, Midtown Lunch discusses Komida, Refined Palate revisits Vin Bar, and Sinosoul talks mar'sel.


8360 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90069 323-651-5866


8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90069