Sandi and I celebrated Konnee's birthday at Ink day before yesterday. Konnee has never been to this restaurant and we wanted this to be special for our very special friend. I asked her permission of giving me the honor of ordering the food. She was happy to do so. Both my friends are not drinkers so I was the only one that ordered a glass of Rose Contadi Castaldi Franciaorta.
I ordered numerous plates to share. We started with the Fried Calamari; masa-potato crust with a curry emulsion. The very light and crisp calamari were wonderful dipped in the curry emulsion.The next plate was the Beef Tartare; bibimbap, crispy rice in a tofu dressing. This was unlike the tartare I previously had. It was even better and I don't know how that's even possible. After mixing everything together, the three of us were just in shock and could not believe how good it was.
Another plate came; Laughing Bird Shrimp. I would love to learn how this dish got its name. The avocado was freeze dried, shrimp crackers with escabeche dressing. They were nice and cooked to perfection. The Egg Yolk Gnocchi is one of my favorites. We were in awe of how the gnocchi is cooked without cooking the egg yolk inside which bursts in your mouth as you begin to chew. These little pillows sat on a French onion broth and had tiny croutons. The Sweet Corn, also a favorite of mine was a winner, although come to think of it, all the dishes I ordered were winners. The corn was just pure deliciousness with the cotija cheese and wonderful "foritos" house-made Fritos.
I love the Salt and Charcoal Potatoes which remind me of the briquettes. You are supposed to cut them in half and add some black vinegar which they supply in little bottles with a dropper. They recommend 2 drops, I recommend more than that and then a tiny scoop of the house-made sour cream. I never get tired of this dish. I did order a 14 oz. Rib Eye. This is a new addition to ink (steaks) so naturally, I had to try it. It came with 2 sauces and though I tried them both, I preferred it without the sauce since it had a great flavor. Both Sandi and Konnee thought the same.
It was easy to decide on the dessert. The Hazelnut was out since it had coconut which I do not like. Konnee and Sandi just wanted to share 1 dessert since they complained of being too full. I ignored that and ordered 3 desserts to share. My favorite is the Apple, crème caramel, shortbread burnt wood semifreddo. Unbelievable....different textures and flavors. The Chocolate, caramelized milk, cookie, malt ice cream was also very good and not too sweet. The third was the Strawberry, malt pavlova, lemon curd, buttermilk-elderflower ice. We all got our daily fruit allowance for the day; we like to stay healthy!
Ink is still my favorite restaurant. Service was just as impeccable. Frank, our server took good care of us. Ink has everything for everyone and if you haven't been there, you will be surprised on how Chef Michael Voltaggio gets super creative and manages to keep your taste buds on the ball. I'm glad I don't live close to ink or I would have to be eating Weight Watcher's the rest of the days. It was a nice birthday celebration. My two friends are now officially Voltaggionites!
Ink is located at 8360 Melrose Ave in Los Angeles.