I have been hankering to try Animal since reading about it, and hearing about if from friends who have dined there. So, finally, last night the BF and I were able to try it out.
It was a last minute decision, so we didn't have any reservations. Just popped in at 6:15 pm and were told they were completely booked up, but we could sit at the bar and eat. That was cool with us.
We went over to the bar, and ordered up a glass of Riesling each. As my faithful readers can probably tell by now, I'm a sucker for sweet white wine. No reds, thank you.
Our first dish was the BBQ pork belly sliders. I've heard so many rave reviews about this dish that I just HAD to try it. Verdict? It was good, but way too saucy. I liked the texture of the pork belly, with a meaty and fatty side, but the sauce was dripping all the over the place! I didn't much care for that messiness.
Next up was my favorite dish. Pig ears with chile, lime, and a fried egg on top. It was magnificent and original. A complete delight in my mouth. The spiciness of the chili along with the sourness of the lime really woke up my taste buds. Highly recommended.
BF ordered the sweetbreads, creamed spinach, capers and hedgehog dish and we both had no idea what it REALLY was. When it arrived, I looked at it with a lack of interest. He dug in right away, told me it was good and offered me a piece. I had a taste and made a WTF face. I didn't even finish the bite. It tasted funky, and the texture was chewy, yet weird. I asked him what sweetbreads was, since it didn't taste like bread. He decided to look it up and it was so gross, I almost barfed.
Sweetbread = Throat of pancreas of the calf of lamb. OMFG. BARF. And this was before I knew what it was. Why the hell would they call that piece of animal sweetBREAD?!! *note to self - NEVER order stuff before consulting the Wiki first.
We guzzled down water and wine and waited for the next course. And waited.
20 minutes later, the black cod entree arrived. It had chorizo, garbanzo, and pickled cauliflower vinaigrette. I liked it, but was so stuffed from the previous dishes, I asked the waitress to pack it up to go. It wasn't the best cod I've ever had, since there was way too much going on. Usually, I'll still eat even if I'm full, IF the food is really good. I just didn't feel like it at this point.
Don't get me wrong. Animal is a good restaurant, serving original and creative foods. But, I don't think it's the best restaurant ever like so many people have told me. The service was great, and everyone was pretty friendly. I'd probably come back, but not for a few months.
The food is very heavy and definitely not for anyone on a diet. But, if you do go, just remember to get the pig ears!
Dinner for two- $116. Dayam.
435 N. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90048