When I found out we were going to be going to LA for a weekend, my first food thought was ink! I’d watched the Voltaggio brothers on Top Chef, and was a fan of Michael’s from the beginning. His dishes seemed so well conceived and thought out and and beyond anything I could do myself, and I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to try them for myself.
Unfortunately by the time we got things squared away, we weren’t able to secure a reservation. But, that didn’t stop me from trying to find a reason to go to his sandwich shop ink.Sack. Going to the beach? He about sandwiches to take with us? Going to Disneyland? Going to need a snack! I’m sure Ashley’s friends were getting tired of the helpful “recommendation”. Finally though, on the way to the airport, I managed to finagle a trip to ink.Sack.
The shop was pretty quiet; chalkboard for walls, wood and metal stools, and even some chain link behind the counter. The menu was written in chalk, and pretty straight to point…sandwiches, a couple sides and some drinks. Nothing fancy or over the top. The only thing that really gave away the quality of the chef behind the sandwich shop was the copies of the cookbook available for sale.
We placed our order for something like seven or either sandwiches since we were buying them for some other people as well. And I couldn’t resist the Maryland crab chips. The whole thing came to less than $50 which seemed like a pretty good deal for the amount of food that we had.
While waiting for the sandwiches, we enjoyed a Mexican chocolate chip cookie that had just been calling our name. And for good reason as it was one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve had. The were hints of cinnamon in each bite, just enough chocolate to coat the tongue, and a soft, chewy cookie. The only bad thing was that it didn’t last more than about 45 seconds, and that we only got one.
After no more than ten minutes (even though they apologized to us about four times for the wait), we had our bags of sandwiches and headed to the airport where I then had to wait, suffering, through security, and boarding, and takeoff before I could finally eat. I went chips first because they were on top. The chips were obviously home made, thicker than your average potato chip, with the familiar seasoning of Old Bay. They were crunchy and salty and a little hot and delicious; the perfect compliment to the reuben. The corned beef is the Reuben was nicely done; a little salty and tender. The dressing provided a little sweetness, the kraut a bit of acid and the cheese a bit of, well, cheesiness. The bread was a bit chewy, probably owing to the fact that I waited 2 hours to eat it. While not the best Reuben I’ve ever had, it definitely ranked up in the top 5.
By some incredible act of willpower, I waited until after my layover to break into the second sandwich, the Bahn Mi featuring pork, pork and more pork. Pork butt, pork belly and chicharrones (fried pork skin) were joined by some pickled vegetables on the same chewy bread. The flavors were explosive and balanced; a little tang and a little sweet and a lot of pork. The vegetables were still crunchy, even if the pork rinds lost some crunch after 5 hours. I was actually sad when I finished this one and I didn’t have three more sitting right there.
Having tasted the delicious sandwiches has only reinforced my desire to have dinner at ink…to see the fully crafted dishes. While the sandwiches were pretty classic, you could tell there was a chef’s touch, and a bit more creative and work than your traditional sandwich. It’s a place that is definitely worth stopping by to grab a sandwich or two on the way to whatever you are doing. And a cookie. Don’t miss the cookies.