ink. is a stage, according to Besha Rodell in this week's LA Weekly review of Michael Voltaggio's lauded atelier. She gets all due respect out of the way early on.
There's good reason for the hype. The food at ink. is gorgeously camera-ready — completely prepared for its close-up. Pure Hollywood. Not only that, but an almost insane amount of thought, manpower and technique go into most dishes.Then, Rodell zooms in. LA's most famous Top Chef alum has talent--though it's clearly tempered by his ego. Rodell has no trouble accepting the ego. It's the food she's examining, and for every dish that shines, there is one that cowers under the weight of outrageous pretension. Elaborately gorgeous presentations belie food that's almost disappointingly simple to eat.
A plate arrives, and you oooh and aaahh, but when you take a bite, while it tastes good, it's not nearly as interesting as it looked, and you move on to the next thing. Eating like this is sheer playtime, a kind of whimsical romp where you can at once be awed by your food and not have to think too hard about it.B-Rod appreciates the attention given to the cocktails, desserts and wine list at ink. At the end of the day, she accepts that Voltaggio's stage is one to see. And taste. [LAW]