Thursday, February 23, 2012

michael voltaggio's ink & inksack

you may know chef michael voltaggio as the winner of sixth season of top chef

here's a little background on the chef for those who are following 'celebrtiy chef's
for more on chef michael voltaggio & the team, you can click here
for more information on the voltaggio brothers, you can click here

at 31 years old, michael voltaggio follows in his older brother's footsteps in the way of being a highly accomplished chef at such a young age, in such a short period of time. he has worked in restaurants since he was 15, and he has studied under several celebrity chefs. the majority of his training has been in european fine dining kitchens with an emphasis on modern technique, flavor, and presentation. he has helmed such kitchens as the historic greenbrier in west virginia, charlie palmer's dry creek kitchen in healdsburg, and  garnering a four-star review for being executive chef at bazaar by jose andres in los angeles. he has also worked as the chef de cuisine at the dining room at the langham, huntington hotel & spa in pasadena, california. michael describes his style of cooking as sophisticated american cuisine utilizing modern technology and classic disciplines of cooking.

voltaggio was a finalist for the james beard "best new restaurant" award in 2009. that same year, he also earned the title of top chef on bravo tv's emmy-award-winning show. he has established a reputation for what critics heralded as "serious" food that is playful, visually stunning and flawlessly executed. he was also named "best new chef" by angeleno magazine in 2010, cementing a place withing the los anegeles culinary community.

ink. is chef michael voltaggio's first signature restaurant. alluding to the idea of permanence, ink. endeavors to create an indelible impression with flavor profiles that are inspired by the myriad of cultures that make up the city of los angeles. thusly,  he describes the food at ink. as "modern los angeles cuisine" and aspires to create an experience that will repurpose the term "fine dining" for angelenos.



he also opened ink.sack, a sandwich shop a few doors down from ink. the concept is driven by classic flavor profiles that are elevated by premium ingredients and refined techniques. with sandwiches priced and sized to satisfy a palate craving options, ink.sack has established itself as a lunch staple in los angeles

so let's begin with ink
although their menu does change, if  you are like me who likes to review the menu prior to checking out a restaurant, you can find them here
all of the food as amazing presentation & some crazy food chemistry involved-
i for sure want to go back so i can try the chef's course menu next time!

carrots, coconut ice, cardamom soil, carrot juice curry
tuna, dashi sponge, radish, grapefruit
crab, charred avocado, whipped fish sauce, mushroom chicharron
octopus, ink. shells, young fennel, pimenton
poutine, chickpea fries, yogurt curds, lamb neck gravy
sea bass, cauliflower, smoked raisin, caper, brown butter
pork tenderloin, charcoal oil, young leeks, macaroni and cheese
steak frites, beef skirt, potato, flavors of béarnaise

& the ink sack
this casual sandwich shop wins my heart with their top-notch sandwiches!
mind you, i am not a big sandwich lover & i prefer not to eat them unless i really have no choice-
but if ink sack was next to me, i would go here all the time for lunch!

this was half of the line, first weekend it opened!!! 
the menu
hey there, chef michael voltaggio! you can see his side view ;)
. . . and yes, i do regret not thanking a pic with him because there
were too many people that were watching;; haha! 
love the use of chalkboard! 
casual funky chic 
they lunch-baggy your sandwiches! aren't they cuuute! 
love the black paper lunch bag & silver marker 
maryland crab chips
cold fried chicken
house-made ranch cheese, gindo’s spice of life
the jose andrés (aka the spanish godfather) serrano, chorizo, lomo, manchego 
spicy tuna miso-cured albacore, sriracha, mayo
banh mi
pork butt, pork bell, chicharrónes, pickled vegetables
sandwichese are small ~4'' but they are FILLING!
mexican chocolate chip cookie
watermelon chile y limon

i also got a taste of c.l.t which is the chicken liver mousse, curried chicken skin, lettuce and tomato & "reuben" which is corned beef tongue, appenzeller cheeze, kraut, russian dressing
but my favorite? definitely the banh mi because of chicharrones, especially with pickled veggies and jalapenos!
i love lee's sandwiches but they've got nothin' on ink sack's banh mi's . . .
in addition, i tried the penut butter sea salt cookie, but mexican chocolate cookie is  my pick!

the fact that both of these spots are right next to one another
& that it's next to one of my favorite cake places sweet lady jane
makes the trip worthwhile ;)

i am now happilyfull ♥ 

see you on my next adventure!


  1. Great post! I love top chef. It's one of my favorite show.

    The banh mi looks so good. I am now craving for one >_<

    Found you through the blog hop =)

    1. hello there, bloglovetheraphy! you've organized some amazing "move" which i am happy to be part of ;)
      hope to see more of you!!! :D

  2. OMG - this is one adventure I wish I was one! That spicy tuna sub is to die for! But everything else is drool worthy too!

    Stumbled upon your blog through blog-hop - greatest way to connect to bloggers ever! Let's keep in contact. I am following, Please check out my blog and follow me too if you like it, Thanks!

    1. ohhh! have you tried & liked the spicy tuna sandwich? it sure was ONE OF A KIND!!! loved it! ;)are you located in la too?

      thanks for stopping by thru hop! i will fly over right now ;)

  3. Love the name- Ink. Very catchy. haha. The tuna dish looks delicious.

    Thanks for stopping by my page. I am now following you.

    1. tyty~!!! i know, the chef also has that tattooed on his arm ;) def memorable ;)

  4. Yum those sandwiches looks so good and the concept is so fun.

    xo erica

    1. thanks for dropping by! yeah, his concept is GENIUS!!! and.......tasty at the same time!!! :D

  5. thanks for following me, I thought i followed you yesterday already but it didn't show up so I did so today! I am your 17th follower =)

    No, I am not from LA but my relatives are and have tried this sub. I can't wait to visit them to eat it! Have a great weekend my friend!

  6. great post! saw you on blog hop and am your newest follower!

    follow back ? <333

    hugs, xo!

  7. Wow, that looks spectacular! If I am in LA, I will have to try it out.

  8. Yummy post happilyfull!!! Wish I would have known of these restaurants while I was in LA earlier this next...maybe next visit :)

    1. awww thank you!!! yeah! come visit la again ;) :D

  9. I loved the Voltaggio brothers on Top Chef! I had a chance to check out Bryan Voltaggio's restaurant Volt in Frederick Maryland and it was delish! Thanks for posting about Michael's restaurant!! :D

    1. woooo!!! so glad you liked it!!! where are you located, phoebe?

  10. Great post! Looks like you got a lot of new followers! :)

    1. thanks, cynthia!!! :D wish you were part of the hop too! next time for sure ;D