Michael Voltaggio fans will have to wait until September to experience the chef's sit-down restaurant. That's when ink. is (finally) slated to open. Until then, acolytes can satisfy themselves at ink.sack, Voltaggio's take-out sandwich shop, which opens tomorrow.
At a preview of both spaces, held last night, Voltaggio doled out samples of sandwiches: a beef tongue Reuben, a banh mi made with pork cheek and chicharonnes and the C.L.T., a disc of crisp chicken skin cossetted in creamy chicken mousse that could give Ilan Hall's gribenes sandwich at The Gorbals a run for its money. (Let the fried skin wars begin!) The other standout sandwich was the Jose Andres a.k.a. The Spanish Godfather. (Voltaggio says he asked Andres' permission to name it after him, and the Spanish chef gleefully agreed.) It's chorizo, lomo and Spanish ham layered with manchego and a dollop of tart, vinegary peppers more typically found on a maximalist Italian sub.
[Photo gallery after the jump.]
Most everything on ink.sack's small and surprisingly inexpensive menu ($4-6 for sandwiches) is made in-house. Except for the meats in the Spanish Godfather, Voltaggio says they smoke, brine and otherwise "do" all their own meats. They work with a local bakery for the bread.
The sandwich theme extends to dessert, which features a lovely horchata ice cream paired with chocolate chip cookies or an exceedingly subtle grape jelly ice cream between peanut butter cookies.
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Located just a few doors down from the main restaurant (and right next door to Sweet Lady Jane), "ink.sack is a prototype," Voltaggio says. "I could see opening more of these, but if this is the only one, that's fine too."
For now he's focusing on ink., the main restaurant, but he seems committed to ink.sack. Just a couple days ago, he got a tattoo of the shop's logo. Like the comical, exploding fuse box inked on his forearm, Voltaggio seems like he's exploding with energy.
ink.: 8360 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood.
ink.sack: 8360 Melrose Ave., #107, West Hollywood.