ink.

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Tonight, we finally get a chance to try the Michael Voltaggio’s ink, one of the most highly anticipated new restaurant around town this year.  Ink was just opened a little more than a month ago, with reservation ALWAYS fully booked a month in advance.

Note: Ink only opens up its reservation web site 30 days in advance at 4am everyday and all tables usually booked by sunrise.  Michael Voltaggio is the winner of Top Chef – Season Six.  He was once the executive chef of The Dining Room at The Langham Hotel, Pasadena; where he scored them a Michelin star during his vacancy.

After a few tries without securing a table, Benny told me this:

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So, on the following weekend, I woke up at 4:01am and made the rsvp.

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A month later, here we are at ink.

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We were very early, and they had us waiting at the bar while getting the table ready.

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ToORiMa’s cocktail with a big ice cube.

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Scotch: lemon, ginger, clover honey, angostura bitters

 

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This is my cocktail: Bourbon (pineapple, anise),  well, its not the most amazing cocktail I ever had, and could had been better if it served chill cold.

 

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Cookbook available too.

 

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There’re still a lot of empty tables, 630 is too early for a lot of folks.

 

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Flatwares sitting on top of a piece of marble.

 

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brussels sprouts, pig ears, house-cured lardo, apple.  I always love brussels sprouts, but not Amy, it may be too oily for her.  She end up not feeling too good and didn’t eat much during dinner.  BTW, the pig ears was very crispy,  but missing the surprise factor.

 

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charred avocado, hen of the woods, whipped fish sauce, mushroom chicharron.  I didn’t really try this dish, although the rest of them said this was pretty good.

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ToORiMa: this is shaving cream.

After the first two not-so-special dishes, the dishes upcoming had a lot more surprises for us.

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bigeye tuna, parsnip-sesame cream, grapefruit, soy gel.  We were guessing the soy gel is the oyster sauce.  This dish was a little too salty, although the ingredients goes very well together.

 

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kale, burrata, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin preserves, yuzu.  This will open up your appetite, very tasty salad.

 

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One of the two surprisingly good dishes of the night.  Beef tartare, horseradish, hearts of palm, sea bean chimichurri.

The tartare goes so well with the horseradish powder and giving a very unique refreshing taste, so mouthwatering.

 

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spaghetti, giant squid, squash, hazelnut-ink pesto, piment despelette.  I’m not a big fan of squid ink pasta, this is just ok to me.

 

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skate wing, red pepper dashi, shishito peppers, kelp pasta, fennel.  This is the stingray filet, pan seared.  The fish was so juicy and tender.  We all agree this is much better than the sea bass (see below).

 

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lamb neck, chickpea poutine, yogurt curds, chive puree.  Braised lamb neck paired with the yogurt curds, made me feel like curry with lamb.  This is another surprise dish we like so much.

 

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sea bass, cream of dehydrated potato, black olive oil, lemon, caper.  I felt a little disappointed.  The sea bass was a little too dry, definitely over cooked.

 

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berkshire pork, charcoal crust, macaroni and cheese, leeks.  The pork was cooked to medium, but it still no where close to what we had at CUT.  Although the charcoal crust gave it an interesting taste and the leeks’ root seems to be ToORiMa’s favorite, he finished big chunk of it.

 

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butternut squash risotto, chicken wings, egg yolk, toasted wild rice, aromatic broth.  The risotto rice was just ok, but the chicken wings was excellent.  I can taste the freshness of the chicken, it doesn’t taste like one of those months long frozen chicken.

 

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veal cheek, red curry, nante carrots baked in salt, fried and sticky rice.  The veal cheek was very tender and almost melt in my mouth, however, the carrots was so salty i spit it out right away.  Although ToORiMa say its not salty at all, I think he got a much higher salty tolerance than me.  =D

 

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wagyu hanger steak, turnips, coffee=cardamom soil, mustard, vadouvan.  The steak was cooked to medium rare but still a little too chewy to my standard.

 

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apple, crème caramel, burnt wood sabayon, walnut.  A special treat for Amy as she didn’t have much of appetite for the whole night.

 

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Someone is going crazy, probably in food coma?

 

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Yay, we both got a new hair cut today.  =)



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