What started as a press conference turned into a feeding frenzy, as ink. chef-owner Michael Voltaggio surprised a horde of media members by adding an element after unveiling the interior of his long-awaited restaurant, which will drop in September. He also previewed a lunchtime-only sandwich spot called ink. sack, two doors down Melrose Avenue.
A blackboard menu in the glass-fronted space listed some dazzling combinations, including a spicy tuna sandwich that plays on a ubiquitous option at L.A. sushi bars and a C.L.T. with chicken liver mousse and crispy curried chicken skin. However, as more and more trays of purposefully-small sandwiches hit the countertop, my favorite sandwich turned out to be the José Andrés, aka The Spanish Godfather. Call me a simpleton if you like, but it was awfully easy to enjoy the tribute to the man who first employed Voltaggio upon his arrival in Los Angeles. If you don’t already know, José Andrés is the renowned Spanish-born chef of The Bazaar and a number of other restaurants in Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and soon enough, Miami.
In Santa Monica, Bay Cities deli is famous for a sandwich called the Godmother, which showcases a number of Italian meats and cheeses. Voltaggio offers a Spanish equivalent that became instant competition. At $6, this is the most expensive item on his menu, but it includes premium Fermin meats imported from Spain, including slices of air-dried Serrano ham with concentrated porcine flavor, dry-cured, paprika-stained chorizo and lomo (cured pork loin), plus similarly Spanish Manchego cheese and a tangy olive tapenade, all nestled neatly into a soft roll. Voltaggio said he received the blessing of friend José Andrés to put The Spanish Godfather on the ink. sack menu. After tasting the sandwich, it’s hard to imagine why he’d have any reservations.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.