Thursday, September 29, 2011


Last week, Michael Votaggio of top chef fame opened his new restaurant in LA. Several week weeks before then, he surprised everyone with the announcement of a super fast and super casual concept known as ink.sack. The premise was simple. Small sandwiches with nothing costing more than six dollars and a short list of side dishes to go with them. The first few days that ink.sack was open, they sold out of everything. I waited about a week until the hype had died down a bit to pay a visit to the shop. Located on an area of Melrose that is more populated with high end stores than lunch spots, ink.sack is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.

On my first visit, I took my order to go. At the suggestion of fellow diners, I ordered two sandwiches. The first was the cold fried chicken ($4). The vegetables and homemade ranch dressing were fantastic, but I did have a problem with the sandwich because the chicken felt strange in texture and I felt like I was eating cold raw chicken even thought it was perfectly cooked through.

Cold Fried Chicken

I had better luck with the banh mi ($5). With pork belly/butt, pickled vegetables, and chicharrones, this little sandwich packs a flavor punch. The pickled vegetables are a touch spicy, but don't mask the flavor of the pork and the chicharrones add a nice salty crunchy texture to the whole sandwich.  The side of salt and pepper vinegar chips ($2.50) were surprisingly addictive, especially for someone who prefers kettle chips.

Banh Mi

Last week, I met up with Lynn from The Actor's Diet for a quick ladies lunch. I was still full from dinner the night before, but luckily my appetite returned just before we ate. On this trip, I enjoyed the José Andres aka The Spanish Godfather ($6). Named after Voltaggio's former boss and mentor, this sandwich is full of serrano ham, chorizo, manchego cheese, and roasted peppers.It's meaty, salty, and has a hint of sweetness from the peppers which I actually welcomed.

Jose Andres

I opted for a lighter side dish with the cucumber and melon salad ($3). It comes in a vacuum-sealed bag so the flavors of melon, cucumber, mint, lime, and chili can marry. It's slightly spicy and totally refreshing.

Cucumber Melon Salad

I went back a few days later because I forgot my lunch at home. This time I went with the maple turkey melt ($6) and the crab flavored chips ($3). This sandwich takes a little longer to come out because it has to be toasted, but I like that it's a nice step up from a regular turkey sandwich.

Maple Turkey Melt

There is no seating at ink.sack, just a few tall tables to stand at. We got lucky and snagged one last week, but on regular visits, I'm a grab and go customer. This place is great when I want an alternative to my normal bag lunch.

One year ago: Blogger Prom
Two years ago: Plantain Chips and Cuban/Mexican Grilled Corn
Three years ago: Vegan Lavash Crackers

8360 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 651-5866

Stumble Upon Toolbar


lynn said...

oooh wanna try that maple one next!

averagebetty said...

How was the bread? That's almost as important as the interior to me...

Awesome post -- I feel like I've been there, minus the traffic ;)

Esi said...

The bread is good! A little crusty on the outside and chewy inside.

Nancy said...

That's it, I am lodging a formal complaint with the food meisters of the OC - we need more/better restaurants!! Tell Mr. V we need him down here... it would be a mission of mercy!!

Simones Kitchen said...

That does indeed sound like a perfect place to get a quick lunch. I love a good sandwich!

vanillasugarblog said...

about time you two chicklets meet up.
love lynn!
I heard that ink was a really good joint.
lucky you.

Joanne said...

I've heard this place is basically hit or miss but some of these sandwiches definitely sound intriguing!

marla said...

The maple turkey melt has gotta be one of the best things on the planet. Crab chips too...

The Duo Dishes said...

Interested in giving this a try. Not a big fan of restaurant hoopla, so while everyone's clogging ink, the rest of us can do ink.sack. :)