Ink Restaurant, West Hollywood- 2/15/13

Ink Restaurant Sitting down The food Desserts/Coffee

The Food

At Ink, plates are mix and match, featuring small plates format that are meant and should be shared so that you can taste a bunch of dishes on the menu. The concept of Michael's food is to incorporate classical techniques and cutting-edge molecular gastronomy but the emphasis on flavor rather than shock value.  If you are dining at Ink expect Michael to use liquid nitrogen, hydrocolloids, sous vide, dehydrating, high-heat roasting, low-temperature cooking, smoking, etc.. and Ink is dubbed modern Los Angeles cuisine and named best ten new restaurant in America. Awards and accolades are great but let's not let the fame take over and forget that a restaurant operates to make money.  Take the example of El Bulli, a three Michelin star restaurant, described as "the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet" but then end up closing it doors because it was too expensive and only a few privilege people can afford to dine there.  In the end, all the awards and fame could not save and generate the income needed to survive so their fate was sealed and close it down.

 I believe Michael is smart enough to know that in order to succeed he had to make his food accessible and affordable and this exactly what Ink is all about!

Let's start the meal but keep in mind that each plate we ordered was shared among the 4 of us and that's the perfect way to sample the food at Ink. 

1st course: Beef Tartare [$15.00] | , hearts of palm. sea bean chimichurri, horseradish, rye, red onion sauce

Right away I was impressed with the red onion sauce!  Liquid does not hold a shape it is supposed to be fluid and here they came out as droplets.

You have to use gelatin and then pipe the sauce into oil to get the circular shape. 

Tasty dish, the tartar just melt into my mouth, perfect balance with the chimichurri (sour) and the red onion sauce (sweet), the crunch from the rye.


2nd course: Hamachi [$18.00] | , green apple, celeriac bavaroise, aleppo pepper


Tasted like the fresh sea!  Beautiful dish to look at and the fish was so fresh and sweet!  We all love it!

Now you can tell was good it was by looking at this picture.  Not a thing was left on the plate by the time we are done!


3rd course: Cuttlefish [$15.00] | , green papaya, peanut-coconut cream, black lime

Take a look at this dish!  It is a piece of art!  To me Michael is a true artist, he is the culinary Picasso when it comes to the presentation of this plate.

The way you eat this dish is you grab the papaya and cuttlefish than you scrape it against the peanut-coconut cream, black lime.

This a beautiful plate but it is also the dish that I like the least.  To me, it has a one note and fall pretty flat as flavor goes.  I never care for Asian fusion food and should have known better before ordering it.  However I see how people like this dish because it is very light and the sauce is on the exotic side.


4th course: Octopus [$22.00] | , ink, Shells, young fennel, pimenton

How pretty an interesting looking is this plate? 

Two grilled octopus tentacles that was tender with a nice charred flavor sitting on top of a pasta shells swimming in a light, richly flavored octopus ink sauce.

We all agreed that this dish was awesome. 

The shell pasta is made is squid ink, cooked al dente has a really nice flavor.  The sauce is creamy and intensely flavorful but the star of this dish is definitely the Octopus!

The sea bass was also excellent!  Doesn't this dish looks like an aquarium with colorful fish swimming around?


Here we are digging in... SO YUMMY!


5th course: Lamb neck [$16.00] | , fried egg, yogurt curd, potato, wild herbs

Jordan our waiter told us that the restaurant is proud to use local ingredients from farmers. Eggs are delivered every morning from a farm close by.  Notice the color of the egg yolk, it is almost orange instead of yellow (sign of freshness).

Tender lamb neck buried under the egg yolk and served on a nest of crispy strands of fried potatoes with soft tender yogurt topped with fresh an beautiful green (I don't remember the name of the green vegetable on top) . You break open the egg and let it drips all over the tender lamb, and then you break the crisp potato bowl and scoop it up with your fork for a nice crunch.  AMAZING! The French fries nest was very crispy and very light, the lamb neck was tender and the egg yolk added a rich taste to the already tasty gravy.



6th course: Egg yolk gnocchi [$15.00] | , mushroom brown butter, hen of the wood


A touch of molecular gastronomy can be found with the egg yolk gnocchi.  I don't know how it was made but it is definitely not your regular gnocchi.

Beautiful dish that we devoured in a few minutes after it was brought out!


6th course: Suckling pig [$26.00] | , bbq, petrified parsnips, hibiscus


OMG! Amazing piece of pork!  Petrified parsnip was crispy and has a unique texture.


The service is Ink is friendly and very attentive to our needs.

The staff is very professional and know in details  how each dish is made but they don't just stand there and described in length, but if you want to know more, every one of them can answer your question.

7th course: Beef cheeks [$24.00] | , turnips, onion caramel, beef threads


The beef cheek was tender and melted in my mouth.  The beef threads was cooked until if felt apart, dehydrated and then fried until crunchy.

The sauce was delicious.  Comfort food at its best!

Here I am dividng the beef cheeks into 4 portions for all of us.


8th course: Branzino [$33.00] | , roasted cauliflower, capers, fermented grapes.


Saving the best for last!

Check out the cauliflower florets!  Looks like a piece of art.

Simply to die for!  I don't know exactly what he did with the branzino but it was delicious, perfectly cooked, with a crispy skin.

The roasted cauliflower mashed underneath the branzino was so flavorful and the fermented grapes are sour and sweet.

What a great dish!  Everything was perfectly balanced and the flavor came together so well.




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