Michael Voltaggio’s been running ink. successfully for the past five years in a sleek, dimly room along Melrose Avenue offering some of the most definitive avant garde cooking in the city. For perhaps the first time he’s wholesale changed the menu, reformulating the small plates section, adding on four different steaks, and slapping on a long sides list. That essentially changes ink. into a kind of modernist steakhouse, replete with fancy powders, crisps, and plating to let the diner know they’re not in their dad’s chophouse anymore.
The big new additions are Flannery California Reserve Holstein cuts that are dry aged between 24 and 36 days (or between 10 and 14 in the case of the short rib). Though the cuts are on the smaller side of six ounces for the filet to 14 for the ribeye, they’re all served without the bone, making at least the latter steak more than shareable for two.
Ink.’s more signature dishes of egg yolk gnocchi return to the menu, albeit with a reimagined “french onion soup” flavor profile, while a plate of whipped cauliflower comes topped with transmontanous caviar and a bed of grated egg. Every dish seems to come served with a crispy element of some kind, such as an addictive puffed anchovy atop the little gem caesar salad. Meanwhile, “cool ranch” flavored chips come on top of mashed street corn for an addictive side order.
This menu changes come in tandem with Voltaggio’s upcoming restaurant that he’s opening with brother Bryan in Maryland’s National Harbor, though ink. keeps much of its old character while incorporating familiar steakhouse elements.
When asked about the changes, which some chefs might consider a kind of concession, Michael Voltaggio just felt like it was the same ink., but with a beefed up steak section. It’s a welcome change for the five year old restaurant, which has to compete with a slew of new eateries on the block, such as E.P. & L.P., Catch, and The Nice Guy along La Cienega. The full menu is posted below.
- All ink. Coverage [ELA]