435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Bike Parking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Cuisines: Family Style, Healthy
Alcohol: Beer, Wine
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Good For Groups: Yes
No coupons available
Mesmerizing menu options that are anything but ordinary. Bone marrow, balsamic ribs, quail, pork belly, pig's ear, fried rabbit, veal tongue and so many more. Chefs are very creative with tastes and presentation. Definitely worth an evening with friends or couple's night out!
Finding good restaurants is a big hobby of mine and I always ask people their favorite restaurants in LA. In last few weeks, three people randomly recommended me about Animal and I thought I got to check it out.
The restaurant opens at 6 p.m. nightly and we made a reservation at 6 p.m. on Sunday. We got there early to find a free street parking (they don't have restaurant parking but do have a valet) and walked around the neighborhood. The neighborhood made me a bit uncomfortable and out of place (there were many street kids hanging out and some homeless guys). The restaurant was hard to find since the restaurant doesn't have any sign; it's just all black in the front. The restaurant is very simple but nice and very small; so reservation is a must.
Since this place is a tapas style restaurant, Including desserts, two of us ordered 7 dishes and here is the order of my favorites:
1. pig ear, chili, lime, fried egg
This was our favorite of the night! All my friends recommended pig ear and I'm glad that we tried it. I think what makes this dish so delicious is the sauce; the combination between the spiciness of chili and lime was amazing.
2. flat iron, sunchoke hash, truffle parmesan fondue
This was the most expensive dish ($28) on their menu but it's so worth it! The steak was so soft and I loved it. This is more like entree size than appetizer.
3. chicken liver toast
I heard that foie gras dishes were their signature dishes and I wish I tried them before the foie gras ban. Not as good as foie gras, but this still tasted good.
4. marrow bone, chimichurri, caramelized onions
This was my first time eating bone marrow and it wasn't my favorite. Chimichurri was good though.
5. melted petit basque, chorizo, grilled bread
I love cheese so I had to try this dish. It was good but not as creative dish as others; nothing was particularly special.
6. huckleberry pavlova, lemon verbena ice cream, toasted meringue
It wasn't bad but nothing was special.
7. bacon chocolate crunch bar, s&amp;p ice cream
I've tired bacon chocolate at other restaurants before and I normally like it but this one was not good. It was too salty. They sprinkled lots of salts on the plate but bacon already has the saltiness so the extra salts are unnecessary.
Also, I thought wine list was over-priced. The cheapest glass of wine was $11 and tasted like $5 bottle of wine from grocery store. Next time, I might bring my own bottle of wine and just pay $20 corkage fee.
Overall, it was a good restaurant and I will definitely come back to try other dishes.
07/25/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I'm a food server. Having said that...
It's good food, for sure. Fattening, laden with butter, richer-than-Trump rich. Okay. But if I'm going to be served the main course at 10:55 pm on a Sunday evening, 5 minutes before they close the kitchen, I ought to be able to have a glass of wine with said course. Willing to pay the $14 for an average glass of wine, I was denied. Huh??
""We already called 'last call,'"" I was told, without so much as an apology or even consideration. Yeah, last call for food, I'd been told. I can't have a glass of wine with it? It's not like it's 2AM and the drinks legally have got to be picked up, right? An unfathomable and rookie service mistake. And a deal breaker at these prices. If you can put the food down minutes before closing, you can put a glass of wine down with it.
Animal, you're crazy popular--now. Don't believe your own hype and start forgoing proper service. There are too many great restaurants in this town for get-em-out crap like that.
06/21/2010Provided by Citysearch -
This stark restaurant on Fairfax is easy to miss. However once you're inside you'll be bowled over by the menu. I tend to be a slightly reserved eater but took the advice of the excellent waiter and ordered the pig ear. All I can say is: yum. Serious, serious yum. Each dish we had was flavorful and incredibly well prepared. Paired with the house red wine and followed by the amazing strawberry covered pound cake, this was a dining experience to remember.
04/12/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I was too full to write this review when I first went to Animal. If that's not saying how good this place was, then I don't know what will.
The wait staff was very friendly - something that's pretty rare in LA. Our waiter gave us the rundown of all the good things to order.
Our eyes were too big for our stomachs - we both ordered appetizers as well as entrees. To start, we had the Petite Basque and Pork Ribs. Both were excellent. The cheesiness of the basque on the garlic bread was a great start. The ribs were falling off the bone, just like I like them. We were smart enough to not eat all of our appetizers, knowing how much food was coming later.
For the main course, I had the Quail Fry (recommended by just about everyone you talk to who's been to Animal) and my girlfriend had the Duck Breast. The quail was great. Sure, it could be considered as fancy fried chicken, but oh it was so much more. Served on a bed of grits, it was comfort food at its finest. Rather than take any home since I knew it wouldn't be as good the next day, I finished all my food.
By the time I got home, I had to go to sleep because I was too full to do anything else. But it was one of those good kind of full, you know what I mean? This place was excellent and I will definitely be back.
03/12/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I was REALLY excited to try Animal; my friend had been there a few times, and loved it. I'm not a consistent meat eater, but when I do, I go to town. The place was packed and frankly, our table kind of sucked, right in the middle of the room. The hostess was very nice, but there was no other option. Whatever, We started with the foie gras (divine) and fries w/ oxtail jam (good. salty as hell, but good). My friends both ordered rib, and they were pretty good. I ordered the hangar steak with crab. The crab was delicious, but my steak was over cooked! As I'd already eaten the crab, it would have been uncool to send it back, BUT if you specialize in meat, your chef had better know what medium rare is! Mine was light brown all the way through. Whah. I will return ,but will order my steak RARE this time.
03/11/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Appropriately named Animal, this restaurant successfully served us the more unique and less appreciated ""animal"" parts. The quail was delicious although it was a little bit too deep fried. The pork belly was fatty but had delicious flavor. The fois gras ontop of grits, well lets just say that was the highlight of my meal, unbelievably well paired and was the explosion of taste that makes one want to come back. Estimated Cost: $110 for two.
11/19/2008Provided by Citysearch -
My husband and I have been to ANIMAL every week for the past few months? bringing new friends and family each visit. I love everything at ANIMAL but some of my favorites are the Foie Gras on Biscuits and Gravy, Raw Amberjack with Nectarine & Serrano Chili, Grouper with Crab Legs & Tabasco Butter. Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are always so gracious! They really are two super cool dudes! You may remember them from Food Network's ""Two Dudes Catering"". Don?t forget to get the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar for dessert! LOTS of photos on MyLastBite.