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Top Chef Michael Voltaggio Closes LA Restaurant After Just Eight Months

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He still has ink.sack at LAX and STRFSH in Santa Monica

ink.well Michael Voltaggio
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Chef Michael Voltaggio has pulled the plug on his La Cienega restaurant Ink.Well after just eight months, closing (at least for now) the place without so much as a social media notification. The restaurant was meant to be a more straightforward eatery aimed at the crowds along greater Restaurant Row, offering something more universally approachable than Voltaggio’s earlier modernist hit Ink.

A tipster wrote in last night to announce the departure of Voltaggio’s young restaurant, a fact later confirmed by Ink.Well’s own OpenTable page, which now offers a bolded Permanently Closed header right at the top. Reached for comment, Voltaggio tells Eater:

Unfortunately, we had to suspend operations at ink.well indefinitely due to an impasse among our partners. We want to thank everyone for their support including our talented staff and look forward to sharing news about the next project.

The quick shutter marks a speedy and sad end for almost all of Voltaggio’s greater Ink empire, at least at the moment. Things were looking bright after the young chef won season six of Top Chef, carrying the momentum to his finer dining Melrose restaurant and a small collection of sandwich shops called ink.sack, later renamed to Sack Sandwiches.

Now all those places are gone (save for one holdout ink.sack that exists on a licensing deal inside LAX), and Voltaggio’s only current Los Angeles restaurant holding outside of the airport is STRFSH, a casual seafood stand on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade that he created with his brother Bryan. Voltaggio’s statement seems to indicate more on the horizon, but for now there’s one less Top Chef restaurant in Los Angeles.