Archives for category: Chef Michael Voltaggio

The first all-foie gras dinner I attended was in October 2011 at Animal and ever since that dinner my love for foie gras has only grown. In fact, I’ll be attending another foie gras dinner on Monday, May 21 at Son of a Gun. So far this has definitely been my favorite all-foie gras dinner. All the dishes were creative and incredibly delicious and it surpassed the high expectations I had.

Oysters, Oyster Shell Gelee, Foie Gras Terrine, Rye Toast, Camembert (Chef Ludo Lefebvre)

Powdered Terrine, Celery Root baked in Salt & Wild Fennel Branch, Coffee, Oro Blanco (Chef Michael Voltaggio)

Foie Gras Soup, Black Pepper Crackers, Seared Foie Gras, Baby Turnips (Chef Roland Passot)
A simple foie gras dish cooked perfectly and omg, that soup. Grace and I were jokingly saying that she should go to the kitchen with her cup and say “please sir, I want some more”.

Foie Gras Beignet, Coca-Cola Caramel, Corn Mayo (Chef Ludo Lefebvre)
Um, so… I had to literally shove the whole beignet in my mouth fast since my dinner companions were greedily eyeing it. I’m obsessed with beignets so of course, if you put foie gras in it my obsession multiplies by 100. Everyone at the table said this was one of the best dishes that they’ve ever had. A bold statement since we all eat a lot.

Foie Gras Ssam, Rhubarb Char-Siu, Herbs, Green Curry, Peanuts (Chefs Vinny Dotolo & John Shook)
This was a favorite at the first foie gras dinner at Animal so I was very excited to see it again. The flavors were exactly the same and it was just as delicious as the first time.

Beef Rossini “Tongue in Cheek” (Chef Michael Voltaggio)

Foie Gras Icebox Cake, Fermented Raspberry, Citrus, Yogurt, Hazelnut (Chefs Vinny Dotolo & John Shook)
I need this to be my wedding cake.

Foie Gras Night at Animal // 435 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90048 // 323.782.9225

xox Joanna

8360 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 651-5866
Dinner – Sunday, 09/25/2011

“Top Chef: Las Vegas” winner, Michael Voltaggio’s long-awaited restaurant opened this week next to his sandwich shop, ink.sack. As soon as reservations opened online, reservations for 30 days sold out in less than a day.

Jewel of Russia Vodka & Redbreast Whiskey

Hamachi w/ Parsnip Cream, Grapefruit, Jalapeno, Sesame

Blue Prawns w/ Green Papaya, Finger Lime, Coconut

Dungeness Crab w/ Smoked Mayo, Avocado

Beef Tartar w/ Horseradish, Hearts of Palm, Sea Bean Chimichurri
One of the favorite dishes of the evening.

Sea Bass w/ Lemon, Caper, Brown Butter, Romanesco, Anchovy

Bay Scallops w/ Cream of Dehydrated Potato, Bone Marrow, Potato Skins, Buttermilk-Shellfish Broth

Beef Short Rib w/ Sweet and Sour Mushrooms, Mushroom Chicharron, Black Garlic

Lberian Pork w/ Burnt Orange, Saffron-Salsify, Black Olive Oil

Seaweed Mashed Potatoes w/ Sea Grass, Sea Beans

Goat Cheese w/ Ash, Concord Grape, Arugula

Apple w/ Creme Caramel, Burnt Wood Sabayon, Walnut

The one thing that stood out the most to me was the service. Our server very knowledgeable about the different kinds of liquor at the bar, was very attentive the whole meal, and even offered to have our car brought around while we were paying our bill. I dine out a lot and after awhile, everything seems the same so if a restaurant can stand out by having impeccable service, they earn major points in my book.

xox –


8360 Melrose Ave. #107
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Lunch – 08/11/2011

Michael Voltaggio rose to fame after winning season 6 of Top Chef. I know I’m not the only one when I say this, but I swear my mouth was watering every time I watched Top Chef and I was rooting for him to win from the very beginning. After leaving The Dining Room at the The Langham in Pasadena in the summer of 2010, everyone has been waiting for his next move. With his restaurant ink being delayed several times, it seemed like people were giving up hope. But out of nowhere, ink.sack, a casual sandwich shop, opened today and drew a very large crowd.

When I arrived at ink.sack around 11:20 PM (blame LA traffic), the line was already out the door and there were tons of people waiting. I knew my original plan to quickly pop in and pick up a sandwich wasn’t going to happen and braced myself for an hour long wait.

Chalkboard Menu

The Jose Andres, aka “The Spanish Godfather” (Serrano Ham, Chorizo, Lomo, Manchego)
I guess if you took a bite out of Jose Andres or licked him, this is what he would taste like. As soon as you open up the wrapper you can smell the vinegar from the peppers, and from the first bite it’s a very flavorful explosion in your mouth. To quote someone, “like an Italian salad exploding in my mouth” – Anonymous. I wouldn’t quite describe it like that, but the vinegar flavors are very prominent in this sandwich.

Cold Fried Chicken (House-Made Ranch Cheese, Gindo’s Spice of Life)
Gindo’s Spice of Life made what would have been just an ordinary chicken sandwich stand out. The sauce was spicy, but was sweet and tangy at the same time. The chicken was also cooked perfectly and very juicy.

C.L.T. (Chicken Liver Mousse, Curried Chicken Skin, Lettuce, Tomato)
I loved the creaminess from the chicken liver mousse, but expected a bit more crunch from the chicken skin. What could have been a really heavy sandwich was balanced out nicely by that tomato and lettuce.

Potato Chips
I love fresh potato chips and loved that the vinegar wasn’t overpowering. Even after a whole bag, my mouth wasn’t puckered.

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie & Watermelon w/ Siracha, Lime
Of the two desserts, the watermelon had more heat. The spicy and citrus combination reminds me of the fruit vendorsĀ  on street corners selling fruit with chili and lime. Try to eat the watermelon when it’s cold, because it’s really refreshing. I didn’t taste too much heat in the chocolate chip cookie, but I still did enjoy it because I prefer my cookies harder and crunchier than softer.

Menu on Lined Paper (also signed, which you can’t see too clearly)

LA loves their celebrity chefs so it’s no surprise that Michael Votaggio’s sandwich shop drew in a large crowd and everything was sold out in 2 hours. People were ordering everything on the menu and a sign for “limit 6 per person” had to be put up. I was tempted to order everything off the menu myself, but it really doesn’t make sense for 1 girl to be eating 6 sandwiches and a bunch of sides.

I do think it’s a bit much to wait over an hour for a sandwich, but I’m not going to sit here complaining or angrily Tweeting Michael Voltaggio. After all, anything popular is going to have a long wait time. I do plan on coming back to ink.sack and trying the other sandwiches, but I’ll make sure to get here before 11:00 AM.

xox –



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