Monday, September 10, 2012

Los Angeles: Animal

I could not even begin to describe how excited I was when I found out Diana was taking me Animal for a late late birthday dinner.  Animal is this small restaurant located in Mid-City, right on Fairfax.  There's no sign or anything so it's a bit hard to find!  Generally, if you want a reservation on Friday or the weekends, you would need to book a month ahead.  We chose a weekday since it was easier to get a reservation and the place was packed from the moment we got there until we left.

435 N Fairfax Ave
Mid-City West, West Hollywood
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Menu changes frequently since many of the dishes are seasonal.  It's more of small plates for all the items, so we decided to get a few to share.  Depending on what you order, Animal will serve in the order that is most suitable.  Decided on 3 heavy dishes with 2 lighter dishes!

Decided to try the Rogue Juniper Pale Ale.  I've always seen Rogue, but never tried it, but this ale is solid!

hamachi tartare
Hamachi tostada, herbs, fish sauce vinaigrette, peanut.  Amazing texture!  It's essentially hamachi sashimi sitting on top of a fried tortilla, drenched in this awesome vinaigrette.

egg roll
Shrimp & rabbit sausage spring roll, eggplant, sprouts, green curry.  Shrimp and rabbit??  Interesting.

egg roll
Shrimp was definitely more prominent.  The green curry sauce was addicting though.  Too bad it wasn't served in a bowl :P

anderson valley
Anderson Valley Poleeko Pale Ale.  Seriously, everything from Anderson Valley is freaking awesome.

pig's ear
Pig ear, chili, lime, fried egg.  Where's the pig ear?

You gotta break the yolk and mix everything!  The pig ear is fried and fried pig ear is seriously one of the best thing ever.  The lime & chili combo pops so much!

bone marrow
Marrow bone, chimichurri, caramelized onions.  If bone marrow is done right, then it's even better than butter. 

with chimichurri
Since it is so rich, some sort of acid is needed to cut the richness a bit, and at Animal, they pair it with chimichurri, which was perfect.  The caramelized onion adds a bit of sweetness too.

on toast points
Served on buttered toast points.  More fat!

oxtail poutine
This was definitely the heaviest dish of the night, and served last: Poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar.  

oxtail poutine
I loved poutine ever since I tried it when I visited Vancouver.  Of course, not the traditional kind of poutine with brown gravy and cheese curd.  At Animal, they upgrade everything and serve it with a super rich oxtail gravy and sharp cheddar!

oxtail gravy & cheddar
Oxtail is tough to cook and that oxtail must've been cooking for awhile, cause it was close to melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

close up
The sharp cheddar was perfect since it didn't get masked by the super rich gravy.  Definitely not something you can eat that often though haha.

Near the end of our meal, Diana pointed out how there's a slit in all the linen napkins so that you can actually button it on to your shirt!  GENIUS!


We didn't try the famous Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar since it just sounded so heavy, so we decided to stop by Milk to get our dessert fix :]  Milk is this super popular spot to grab ice cream, cake, or anything sweet.  It is probably most known for the blue velvet cake but I was craving ice cream more.

7290 Beverly Blvd
Mid-City West, West Hollywood
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Decided to get their ice cream sandwich, but this is not the typical ice cream sandwich!  All their ice cream sandwiches use macaron shells rather than cookies!  Went for the Grasshopper, which is mint chip ice cream between two macaron shells, then dipped in chocolate.

mint chip between maracron shells
Love the creamy & smooth mint chip.  The macaron shells is just sugar shells with food coloring like all macarons, so the dipped chocolate was a nice touch!

Animal is actually known for their foie gras dishes, but of course, with the new ban, they don't serve it anymore, but still, Animal has made it to the top 5 of my favorites in LA with this meal!  Milk was also the perfect way to satisfy my sweet tooth haha.