animal, Los Angeles
July 26, 2012
So to LA, a place I was very excited to visit. A place I did endless research on, as a blogger I read a lot of other blogs a lot of which hail from this town. However when we were in LA, and we realised how difficult it was going to be to visit all these spots we kind of didn’t… and just explored instead.
The one place I did not let slip was animal, having been recommended by East Side Bride, as the one place you have to go I booked us in when we were in Australia.
My husband was always laughing at me for this, and hates hype so thought it was never going to live up to my expectations. But it really did.
It an unassuming front, in a very cool neighbourhood (that I wish we had found a day earlier, we left the next morning) but the buzz around it was unmistakable.
While we were there countless people dropped by hoping to get in, you really have to book quite far in advance to eat here, they do have 4 seats at the bar too which are for walk-ins but they were full the whole time, you’d have to get lucky.
I loved the menu, (reminds me very much of Flinty Red) just the ingredients are listed and is a sharing plates idea… we had a ton of questions and as always in the US our server was amazing and answered all of them with knowledge.
We started with the chicken liver toast, my husband hates pate but even he enjoyed this. The flavour was insane and that ‘jelly’ on top was tart with the smooth pate. Amazing start.
I also picked the baby kale, pecorino, lemon chilli vinaigrette and breadcrumbs for some greens, but I really loved this salad. Kale is plentiful is California I saw it on so many menus normally served raw with some citrus it’s so fresh and full of flavour. I really need to seek out some good kale now I am home.
A pick from my husband; crispy pigs head with pickled vegetable aioli. Now we are at animal, it is all about the meat but I have to say I was a bit scared of ordering a few things that he wanted… pigs head got through because I had seen it served like this at a restaurant I had worked at… so I just had to not think about what I was eating and get through it.
As soon as I tasted it I forgot. Amazing tender meat and the veggies were great too. We wanted another.
Another pick from me; not meat, it sounded too good, ricotta gnocchi, mikes liver sauce, black trumpet, green garlic.
My H still won’t believe me but it was one of my favourite dishes of the night. I love gnocchi anyway and this was the best I have ever had.
A little peek at the restaurant; very trendy as my H put it… I liked it, very plain but stylish (as were the diners, I saw a lot of louboutins!)
So the next pick was steak; this was the knife we were given. I felt like Crocodile Dundee, this is a knife!
Flat iron (onglet I think) sunchoke hash, truffle parmesan fondue.
This was insane, for a lean steak it was so tender and had so much flavour. Real good meat; the reason you come here. The fondue on top? Beautiful. Man I wish I could have this for breakfast!
The one thing East Side Bride said I had to get (repeatedly on the blog and then on twitter) was the loco moco; foie gras loco moco, quail egg, spam, hamburger.
We had decided on the way over not to get this, both of us feeling a bit squeamish about the foie gras, but having eaten all of the above and feeling like we could possibly fit one more thing in we decided we had to try it, everything else had been so amazing that since this was supposed to be the best thing we couldn’t leave without trying it.
It was so good. We both loved it.
It really was the best thing we ate (along with the gnocchi)
We finished with berries, vanilla custard, lavender crumble, opal basil. A dish so pretty I could barely eat it, and a kind of simple delicious too, much-needed after all the decadence of the meal.
So I guess you can tell I loved animal, definitely lived up to my hype, and huge thanks to East Side Bride for the recommendation… if you are going to LA she has this awesome guide right here
animal – Los Angeles
animal now have a sister restaurant; Son of a Gun, which I think is all about seafood and fish… wish I had know about this!