"AOC Meat Cheese"

LA Indulgence ’13 begins with “new” and new to me

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Landing in LA on my annual trip of relaxation and exploration of the eating scene, I was eager to get things started. My flight was late to come in, so I had to cancel my preplanned visit to Connie and Ted’s. I wanted something close to the hotel but didn’t want to compromise on “the meal”. I wanted to try something new but didn’t want to put a lot of effort into thinking of where to go. I realized that one of my favourite LA restaurants had a new location within walking distance and they were serving lunch.

"AOC Patio"
I arrived at the “new” AOC wine bar location right at noon and had the whole patio to myself.

There was so much on the menu that looked great, I was sad for a moment to be alone because I can only eat so much on my own.

"AOC Meat Cheese"
Vintner’s lunch – rillettes, cheese, cured meats, pickles, roasted grapes & grilled toast

I was wistful for a moment because there’s always a push to try new in LA it doesn’t leave a lot of time for revisiting favorites. I would definitely go back to the AOC for lunch.

"AOC Outside"

I’m not much of a shopper, don’t really do it at home but when I’m in LA, I like to spend an afternoon or 2 power shopping at some of my favourite stores. I ran myself ragged for the afternoon and crumpled into bed for a nap at the end of the day. I had only planned on sleeping an hour, but before I knew it, I woke up 2 hours later and was late for my 8pm reservation at Michael Voltaggio’s ink.

I bolted out of bed, and made a quick call to the restaurant and was told if I could make it there in 15 minutes, there’d be a seat at the bar waiting for me. Perfect!

I’ve wanted to try ink for a while, but never thought it would be the kind of meal any other in my group would enjoy. The Voltaggio brothers were some of my favourite characters on from Top Chef and although my brief encounter with them wasn’t an all time high, I was curious enough from what I saw from Chef Michael, winner of season 6, to want to try ink.

I arrived at the restaurant and as promised there was a seat at the bar for me, which was fine, as it’s more conducive to eating alone. Knowing I only had so much room in my stomach to eat, I had to choose wisely. I went with 2 of the seafood focussed small plates.

"Ink Voltaggio hamachi"
Hamachi with fresh wasabi, green apple and lime
"Ink Voltaggio cuttlefish"
Cuttlefish “noodles” with hazelnuts, peas and mojo verde

I was stuffed by this point, but was pressured into ordering a dessert.

"Ink Voltaggio hay ice cream"
Lemon verbena, curd, toasted hay ice cream and malt.

From what I tasted at ink, I feel like it would definitely be deserving of a return visit with a group so I could explore more of the menu. Even weeks after this meal, I’m still thinking about how wonderfully happy the cuttlefish dish made me.

Day 1 of 5 days of indulgence in LA complete, with so much to look forward to in the upcoming days. I love this city.

AOC Wine Bar: 8700 West 3rd St, LA

ink: 8360 Melrose Ave, LA

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