435 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036-1716
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Animal

Neighborhoods: Mid-Wilshire
Cuisine: Meat, Lunch, Cafe

Animal is a Meat, Lunch, and Cafe restaurant where most Menuism users came for a romantic date, paid between $25 and $50, and tipped between 15% to 18%.

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Gayot
Rating:
13 / 20
Price:
$$$$$
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ThirstyPig photo

ThirstyPig

 Los Angeles, CA
 

To the Slaughterhouse We Go!

With a restaurant name like Animal, there’s almost a sense of arrogance about what you think you do well – which is anything non-seafood or vegetable related. Man is instinctively carnivorous, making Animal the ideal place to eat when you want to return back to your roots. Many people have talked about this restaurant, since day 1, about their unique skill with beef, pork, and other land animal meat.

After looking at my list of restaurants to try . . . we decided tonight’s the night. After fighting traffic, toward this part of town, I was happy get a nice imported Japanese beer. I strongly suggested that my friend get the Mexican coke – since it is made much sweeter than the American counterparts. The menu was quite simple & clear, and very much straight to the point with their “meat” selections. The menu doesn’t try to fool around with fancy words and descriptions.

When I saw loco moco on the menu, I was immediately taken back by my Maui experience, last year, during my friend’s wedding weekend. Though the loco moco I had, at this famous local hangout, was overwhelmingly large and intimidating with its enormity – it kinda scared me from future loco moco’s. I had since not considered ordering it again.(I profusely apologize for my crappy English – I wasn’t sure how to explain it) But then I see Animal’s take, on this famous Hawaiian dish, with foie gras. After mulling over my other options, the Foie Gras in the Loco Moco just stood out. After a recommendation from our server – I knew I had to order it – it was almost destiny. Perhaps Loco Moco deserved another chance to redeem itself.

As some of you might know, the manner by which foie gras is acquired is quite inhumane. I was made aware of unethical treatment to our feathered pals, by my friend, who consciously chooses to limit her foie gras consumption to once a year. But on this plate – there were two very large pieces of foie gras. Personally, i don’t really order foie gras and don’t have a big craving for it either. But tonight, the foie gras stood out. With each bite of the loco moco – with foie gras, burger, spam, and egg, this combination made me understand this goose liver appeal. By itself, each of these pieces remain unspectacular, but together as one, like a fine ensemble, it plays out beautifully.

And did I tell you about the pork belly? And I almost had to fault my server for not even touching upon it while we were ordering. Later on, he did mention that critics and others have raved about the pork belly. He kept trying to push other appetizers. But the pork belly with kimchi, this easy combination, just screamed at me, more so than the loco moco. When it came, inside I knew I would be comparing this to Japanese Izakaya style pork belly. This dish excelled and exceeded with its crunchy fat. The fat on the pork belly also melted in your mouth with eat bite, and yet stayed crunchy as well. I think, “this is the best pork belly that I have ever tasted, Period.”

In addition we had the bacon chocolate crunch bar, with anglaise. I don’t have an idea what the anglaise is. But the combination of bacon with chocolate brought a new taste sensation in chocolate that I have never tasted before.

I think I will have to make another trip to Animal. I like this place.

foie gras loco moco

This dish, the foie gras loco moco, quail egg, spam, hamburger, was outstanding. I never thought I would get so much foie gras.

Pork Belly Kimchi

Unfortunately this dish, the pork belly, kimchi, peanuts, chili soy, scallion, is no longer offered. The pork belly just melts in your mouth.

LAFoodGod photo

LAFoodGod

 Los Angeles, CA
 

Animal - The Beast Being Unleashed on Fairfax

You’d only know where it was located if you read the valet sign…or I suppose if you’d looked it up on Google Maps. The latter we didn’t do. However, from the website, www.animalrestaurant.com we knew it was only four store fronts north of Canter’s.
The front is plain, nothing special. Inside we were instantly greeted by a husky female host who seemed ever so pleasant and MUST love the food. The vibe inside was great, trendy- Hollywood-under-35-crowd, plenty of daters, but also quite a bit of large parties, which is odd in such a small restaurant. It was obvious you were in LA with all the fantastic exposed cleavage dancing out of all the same plain style dresses that were only differently discernible due to the plethora of colors. Siting between two of the many dresses was Seth Rogan. Seeing a movie star in a restaurant usually raise your expectations.

Besides Seth Rogan and the girls in the restaurant the decor was pretty lame. The walls were plain, they needed art. I told the hostess we were a party of two, she asked if we had a reservation, but she asked it in that way that when the question is posed you realized that you should have made one, but you didn’t and they know you didn’t. Luckily, there were two spots open at the 7 seat bar, which sadly only faces the employee service station, 2 × 3 window to the kitchen and wine shelves. Because of the ramblings of the guests at the tables behind you feel like you are missing out on the party with your back to the restaurant. Lesson learned, make a reservation.
The menu is filled with things you may have never heard of like, Pig Ear, Poutine, melted petite basque, sweetbreads and amberjack. There are also many recognizable items like barbecue pork belly, lamb chops, curried shrimp, flat iron, halibut and pork ribs.
The waiter, Salomon, suggested a few items, we went with all his suggestions. This guy knew the food, he was on top of it, describing the items in that way that you know he not only eats her but he loves it.
First came the Pig Ear (chili, lime and fried egg). This was….well, maybe the perfect food, spicy, yet perfectly tolerable. The Pig ear was sliced long like tortilla strips, it was crispy and perfectly salted. Almost felt like pepper salted bacon. The broken yoke from the fried egg perfectly completed the flavor and finished off your palette.
Next came the Lamb Chops which were covered in beets, fresh garbanzo’s and sumac yogurt. The combination was refreshing, crunchy and the meat was tender and juicy.
The Poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar is like a fancy chili cheese fries. Instead of chili there are oxtail chunks which were like the most delicate pieces of brisket. Oxtail is amazing. If you’ve never had it you must try it. The brown gravy oxtail sauce and chunks of cheddar cheese remind you of less harsh blue cheese crumbles.
The Poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar and Pig ear were so amazing we had to run it back again. We asked Salomon if we could get another order of both items but this time put the Pig ear and fried egg on top of the Poutine dish. He said the chef’s wouldn’t, but we didn’t care, we just ordered both then slid the Pig ear dish on top of the Poutine. It was like the first time someone though to combine hot models in swimsuits and Sports Illustrated, like divine intervention.
We forgot about the ribs (Balsamic Pork Ribs, blistered corn and zucchini in herb butter), cause they showed up and the rack of ribs was at least 18 inches long and slathered in sauce. This was sadly the most disappointing part of the meal. If the best Ribs you’ve ever had were a 10, (Baby Blues BBQ, Houston’s or Bandera) then these were about a 6. They were super fatty and the BBQ sauce was so sweet it made the ribs hard to consume.
Overall Animal was fantastic, I would highly recommend it, but forget the ribs, they were very average and over priced. Go with friends or on a date, but leave the vegans and vegetarians at home cause at Animal they’ll be like a poor sick guy in the American Health Care System, hungry, confused and deprived of anything necessary. Go check this place out!
Grades

Visit me at www.LAFoodGod.com

Poutine

 

Pig Ear

 

Lamb chops

 

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ThirstyPig

Los Angeles, CA
+69 useful

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john

Seattle, WA
+735 useful

Animal  Restaurant Reviews

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Animal is located near the cities of Civic Center Little Tokyo, Sanford, Dockweiler, Windsor Hills, and August F Haw.
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