This was one dinner that was planned from the get go, and the only dinner booked in for us whilst in LA. My cousin has told me all about it for the longest time and I was super excited to finally get the chance to go. It wasn’t just because he said so, but it was what was on the menu (which changes seasonally) that had my eyes popping out of my head.
I don’t think there was a sign out on the shop front, except for the shop number. Already I can sense the relaxed feel of the place.
The ordering is left to my four cousins who have already been a couple times, with one almost being a regular (just almost).
Chicken Liver Toast $3 USD each
We start off with chicken liver toast, which essentially was chicken liver pate/mousse on a toasted crusty piece of bread, topped with a sweet jam (onion perhaps?). These little guys were just amazing. Rich. Smooth. Meaty. Pure Indulgence. We had one each… at first and couldn’t resist but to order another round. It was oh so dangerous… dangerously good.
Fried Brussels Sprouts, Soft Egg, Parmesan, Pancetta $12 USD
I’ve never had brussels sprouts that tasted like that before. Sautéed in lots of butter (ooohh, butterrrr) and flavoured plenty by the parmesan and pancetta. The soft egg on top brought a creamy element to the brussels sprouts, and it balanced out the saltiness of the cheese and cured meat.
Sweet Corn Agnolotti, lobster mushroom, savory $19 USD
Little pasta parcels of sweet corn are beautifully soft and tender served with a rich buttery sauce with lobster mushrooms. It was a subtle dish compared to all the rest.
Pig Ear, Chili, Lime, Fried Egg $12 USD
An asian inspired salad with crispy pig ears as the star of the show. It had a pleasant crunch which added texture to the dish; it was much like cartilage. It sure was one tasty ‘salad’.
Crispy Pig Head, chow chow, sour cream, ginger-scallion vinaigrette $12 USD
Now this was interesting. The pigs head were crispy as promised, but didn’t have too much meat on each of the pieces, however did withhold a lot of flavour. I did only have a small piece so shame there wasn’t more for me to try.
Marrow Bone, Chimichurri, caramelized onions $10 USD
Who doesn’t love bone marrow? Fatty. Rich. Tasty. Just how you want it to be. The chimichurri and caramelised onions just brought it to another incredible level.
Poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar $18 USD
My favourite of them all. A big bowl of fries is generously covered in poutine, meaty and tender oxtail gravy and cheddar cheese. That meat, has all the flavour you can possible get. It was bold, it was rich, it wasn’t shy of anything. If you know me, hot chips are my weakness and paired with this meat sauce, I just died and went to heaven.
Balsamic Pork ribs, heirloom tomato panzanella $19 USD
I thought I knew what ribs were back home, but eating ribs at Animal is a whole different story. The pork ribs are so ridiculously tender that it takes no effort to get the meat off the bone. The balsamic glaze is beautiful – it gives a sweet yet slightly salty and sticky sauce on the ribs. You couldn’t help but to use your fingers indulging in these ribs (and licking your fingers at that).
Bacon chocolate Crunch Bar, S&P ice cream $8 USD
The first of the desserts its definitely a good one. The bacon definitely shines through and the saltiness counteracts the sweetness of the chocolate. S&P Ice cream? Yes, that’s salt and pepper and boy was it an intriguing ice cream. I couldn’t believe how well that ice cream turned out. That’s the first and only time I’ve heard of such a flavour, and served with the bacon chocolate bar, it absolutely was a success!
Yoghurt Panna Cotta, Strawberry Granita, Mouse Melon $8 USD
Beneath all that strawberry granita and mouse melons (which look like teeny tiny watermelons) is a gorgeous smooth, slightly tangy yoghurt panna cotta. It was refreshing and much needed after such a rich dinner.
Tres Leches, Dulce de Leche $8 USD
This was my first taste of a tres leches cake (a three milks cake) and one I will never, ever forget. A buttery sponge cake has soaked up three variations of milk and topped with a layer of cream, sitting in a pool of dulce de leche. Despite all the liquid, the cake was not soggy (though softer and wetter more than usual). It was just amazing at how this cake was executed. It was the perfect end to such a fantastic dinner.
Plates, licked clean!
What a fantastic spread of food and an overall incredible feed we had at Animal. The savoury dishes were very rich, bold and never short of flavour. Sharing is probably the best way to go but it’s so delicious tasting that you’ll just want it all to yourself. Thank you again to my awesome cousin for organising the night out for us all. It was definitely a great night indeed.
435 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
There’s nothing like this back home in Sydney. The only thing that I can think of that could be along similar lines is Hartsyard, but not quite.