435 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9004834.079220 -118.361582
Neighborhoods: CBS Television City, Central LA
Animal Restaurant is a meat-lovers dream. They were one of the first in the nose-to-tail movement and it shows. All of the food is deliciously decadent, heavy and super interesting.
Jon Snook and Vinnie Dotolo created a cult with this humble meatery, the first truly hardcore snout-to-tail such operation in town. The cool factor and rocking attitude helped, but the food is also very original and very good, which is what mattered most.
Animal is a carnivore's dream restaurant. Meat, meat, and more meat. Ribs, BBQ Pork Belly, Pig Ears, no animal part goes to waste here.
It's meaty. It's inventive. It's the only place to get beef heart at 11pm. Not to mention pigtails and veal brains. It goes without saying, but don't pass up the oxtail poutine.
Not your typical high-end restaurant in LA, you won't find "vegan" or "gluten-free" on this protein-heavy menu. The Brussels sprouts and yellowtail collar are must-haves!
A meat eater's fantasies come to life at this tiny Fairfax restaurant known for small plates and strong flavor combinations of beef hearts, marinated pork ribs, bacon ice cream and more.
If you're a carnivore then this is the place for you. Small plates make sharing the best way to go, and be sure to save room for dessert.
A meat lover's paradise. Inspired menu full of offally delicious food. But beyond the meat the veggie options are amazing, specifically the fried hominy.
One of the best spots in LA hands down. Sadly California murdered the foie gras biscuit, but there's still the Oxtail poutine, the moco-loco, the pulled pork sliders, and the hamachi tostada.
Won't be returning – 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.
Great, Adventurous Dining – 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.
When the Nine Inch Nails wrote, "I want to f@ck you like an Animal", they must have been thinking of this place.
Notice they didn't say "make love to", "go to bed with", or even "have sex with".
No. They were specific.
Because Animal delivers the kind of visceral experience you can otherwise only get with a dirty, sweaty, no holds barred f@ck. That feeling of being deeply satiated, exhausted and with meaty juices still coating your fingers and face.
Foreplay consisted of the house smoked pork belly with lentil and butterbean salad. A thick cut of fatty pork belly, marinated in a sweet barbecue sauce, perfectly grilled and caramelized. Deliciously sweet and sitting on top of a "salad" of lentils and butterbeans in a tart vinaigrette. The single slice of pork belly was at least 10" long. Apparently a very satisfying size.
The main course for me was quail fry, grits, maple jus, long cooked chard, and more slab bacon. Imagine if the Colonel of KFC fame had an idiot savant younger brother who displayed sparks of culinary genius and enjoyed deep frying small birds coated in a crispy batter until golden brown, then serving them with momma's family recipe of grits and greens and four generous slices of fatty slab bacon. This was seriously finger lickin' good. And as a bonus, those small quail bones make great toothpicks.
Main course for her was the flat iron steak, PBR fondue, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and crispy leek. Befitting the theme, this dish was meaty and raw. It was sauced with a gamey, earthy sauce and topped with a PBR "fondue". After I had desecrated the bones of four small birds, I finished off the remainder of her steak.
Dessert was left for home. I believe it involved a creampie of some description.
As for decor, the interior was all sturdy wooden tables, benches and chairs, concrete floors and exposed bulbs. No soft furnishings to pick up any telltale stains. And just like a good brothel, there is no sign on the outside of the restaurant. Just a discrete 435 to entice you in.
Animal may just be the best rebuttal for vegetarianism I've encountered.
After all, the Nine Inch Nails didn't write, "I want to f@ck you like a vegetable."
Although that could be fun.
So I've been told.
is it just me or is animal over rated? – ok so I liked my meal here but think all the hype may be not justified. Just saying!
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.
Liked it, but there were some glitches – 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.
Well Done! - J.Istrin – 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.
The BEST! – 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.
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