When friends are visiting town, it's a great excuse to plan a fun, exciting dinner hoping your guests will rave about it afterwards. "Remember that place Patti took us to? That was amazing!" Garyt, my friend from Singapore, was visiting from Arizona with his girlfriend Kyra for the week and I'm pretty sure I have them raving about Tuesday night's dinner!
In the Fairfax hipster village of LA, there's a restaurant; bare walls, naked bulbs, wooden table tops, a simple space. No signage either, it's one of those places you just have to know. So I'm here to let you guys know about, drum roll please... ANIMAL! You guys, this place is so bomb, you have to go in a group so you can try lots of plates. I take that back, if you're a vegetarian Animal is a no-no in the sense that um, it's pretty much a meat lavahs paradise (read: PORK). Also if you are on a diet, it's probably not the best idea to eat here and get tempted to "start the diet tomorrow." The menu changes from time to time hence the printed food descriptions on recycled brown paper. Since we were celebrating a "reunion" we decided wine would be fitting for the occasion, you know, for a nice toast. At Animal 3 glasses of wine equate to one bottle, so that's kind of a no brainer.
All 4 of our dishes actually came from the small plates/appetizer portion of the menu. We got to taste more and it was easy to share everything between the 3 of us. My favorite plate was either their rendition of "cheese fries" (you'll see below) or the bubbling melted cheese and chorizo dish (you'll see that below too).We were told that quail is a better source of protein compared to chicken, so we thought we'd order something different for a change and one can't really go to Animal without getting pork, so we opted for the house smoked pork belly. That's all for the main meal, now onto dessert. At first we weren't going to get anything, what a silly idea. Thank gawd we changed our minds and went for the caramel glazed doughnuts. Good things come in three, it was meant to be.
Check out their website, just 'cause. http://www.animalrestaurant.com/