By PDLCPayday Loan
Culinary Explorations and Experiences around LA and the Foodiverse
Since my last visit to Animal, I have been wanting to return with friends so we can just tear up the menu and order up a bevy of dishes. And that is what we did and this time we have a nicer camera and was seated at a table with much better lighting.
There were 7 of us so we ordered about 6-7 starters. First came the lamb chops, beets, fresh garbanzo’s, sumac yogurt. The lamb was not gamey at all and was cooked medium rare and seasoned to perfection. The table liked it so much that we ordered a 2nd plate and even got 2 of our non lamb eaters to try a couple bites. I guess it’s all about the quality of the meat and how you prepared it. Hubs was one of the 2 non lamb eaters and he gobbled those bites down.
Beets, feta, sungold tomato, kalamata
arugula, corn, pecans, Japanese tomato, parmesan
Since we were taking friends here for the first time, we were kind of playing “hosts”, making sure that everyone was okay with the food and etc. Hubs and I were also preoccupied with taking pictures as well. So I really don’t remember the lighter dishes such as the 2 above. I guess you can say their meatier dishes stood out more.
Here is the grilled squid, chorizo, chimmi churri. Couldn’t taste the chorizo much but the squid was very fresh.
So here is the groups favorite starter of the night, pig ear, chili, lime, fried egg. So much that we ordered another one within seconds of devouring it. The first bite really surprised me as it was such a tangy surprise. Sour and spicy and chewy and crunchy all up in my mouth. This is a MUST ORDER!
After reading all the reviews about this one, I ordered the poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar for the beef eaters in the group. One beef eater was rendered speechless after the first bite. He was surprised how light the dish was despite the gravy over fries.
We doubled up on the pork belly, kimchi, peanuts, chili soy, scallion since Hubs and I really enjoyed it in our previous visit. Again, this dish did not disappoint.
Finally we are onto the main course. We decided on 4 of the 5 dishes offered that day.
Halibut, king crab, gold rice succotash, tabasco butter. I really liked this dish as there were so many textures. However, among the 7 of us, we all only got a bite of this. I plan to return very soon to have this all for myself.
grilled shrimp, fresh black eye’s, bacon, curry, creme fraiche.
We ordered the flat iron, artichoke hash, truffle parmesan fondue for the cow lovers and boy they were more in love with the bovine after they took the first bite. They were about to fall off their chairs. The steak was prepared medium well upon the server’s suggestion.
When the balsamic pork ribs came, the table and ooh’ed and ahh’ed . She was a beauty. The meat was succulent and slid right off the bone. Even the bone was succulent, it was cooked so thoroughly that I could bite into the bone. How do they do that anyways?
The ribs came with a side of blistered corn & zucchini, herb butter
Then it’s time for DESSERT! Of course we had to order ALL 5.
tres leches, dulce de leche. This was Hubs favorite. Again, it was not heavy but full of flavor at the same time.
panna cotta, saba
pound cake, strawberries, cream the famous chocolate crunch bar
Last but not least the apricot tart, pistachio creme fraiche.
I truly madly deeply love this restaurant. They are never afraid to slap you upside the head with flavor and substance but at the same time keeping the texture light. It’s comfort food on steroids, graduating from a liberal arts college. Okay, doesn’t make sense but all in all, the dinner was beyond expectation and had service to match.
We went on an extremely busy night and our table was not yet ready at reservation time because the party before us lingered a bit longer than expected. The hostess Madeline checked in with us often to give us updated news on our seating situation. She offered to take our drink orders first and gave us menus to peruse. Madeline also gave us the bigger table so we can be more comfortable. These are little gestures but make a dramatic impact on hungry diners waiting to be seated. I also noticed how everyone working at the restaurant pitches in to help. If there was a glass that needs to refilled or a table that needs to cleaned up, runners, servers, hostesses jumped right in and took care of it. I don’t care how great the food is or how many Michelin stars it earned or what culinary school the chef graduated from, if a restaurant does not have good service, it might as well be a Denny’s.
14 thumbs ups to Animal for incredible food and stellar service. I will definitely be back soon.
**Thanks for Hubs for helping out with the photography.**Animal Restaurant 435 N. Fairfax Ave.
As a resident of Los Angeles and an extensive traveler, Nanciful’s tastebuds have been around the block and then some. This blog will focus on my reviews of local and international dining experiences. These will range from restaurants that break the bank to delectables that can be bought from change found in the couch. The blog will also include my musings of the world, her travels, her wishes and desires and everything else.
I am also trying my hand at cooking. So stay tuned for adventures and experiments from the kitchen.
Some of my interests include spending time with the Hubs, yoga, running, Sweaty Sunday, traveling, eating, reading food blogs while eating, and perusing a menu or cookbook before bedtime.