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“An interesting evening at Animal”
Review of Animal

Animal
Ranked #73 of 10,195 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $50
Cuisines: American, Contemporary, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Central L.A
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Last week I joined a small group of foodies like myself at Animal. We began with an excellent bottle of Reisling which was recommended by the host who greeted us warmly. I really enjoyed ordering as the dishes seemed so exotic and unusual.
In my opinion the food did not fit the hype.
It was gastronomical gymnastics.
the Pig's Ear had little to do with the pig and was more about the adornments and I found that to be disappointing. Why not just take some good pork and do something wonderful with it? The Sweetbreads were breaded and fried and I could not detect the taste of the sweetbreads but the batter and frying made for a tasty dish. For some reason I got a bad "Flat Iorn Steak" which had plenty of gristle and just was not good. The chicken liver toasts were nothing special.
The patrons are an unusual crowd. We are often at great LA eateries, but as we looked around the restaurant none of us had ever seen any of them before. Who are these folks? Is it a young film crowd? Not particularly interesting. All this being said, these are creative chefs and we may try their seafood restaurant. But our visit to Animal was a one time thing.

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Thank love2skiLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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193 - 197 of 251 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2013

Been wanting to try Animal for quite some time, and finally went for dinner.

Highlights:

1. Beef tendon chip with Pho dip - light and crispy with creamy concentrated pho. Delicious and unique combination of flavors.

2. Chicken liver toast - comes with (I think) a Carmelized onion and fig jam drizzled on top - whatever it is, it's a wonderful sweet and savory complement to the richness of the pate.

3. Tandoori octopus - cooked perfectly, moist and tender.

4. Chestnut agnolotti - also cooked perfectly, slightly al dente and bursting flavor with each bite. The brown butter and sage sauce is to die for.

5. Chicken fried sweetbreads with finger lime aoli - I especially enjoyed the finger lime aoli, a fresh citrusy complement to the crispy sweetbreads.

Not quite as good as I expected:

1. Burrata - it came with fried bits of onion, leek and jalepeno....I like the fresh, clean taste of really good burrata, where the burrata is the star of the show, but this plate was way too busy with toppings and the burrata seemed like an after-thought. Had to dig though several layers to get to the burrata.

2. Chocolate bacon crunch bar - the flavor of charred salted pork completely overpowered the chocolate. The S&P ice-cream was nice, and added some sweetness to the dessert, but not enough to balance the flavors. Was expecting great things from this dish given its spotlight on Food Network.

Tips: you *must* make a reservation for this place. My husband and I went on a Friday night with no reservation and waited about an hour. The bar is very small with only a few chairs, so don't plan on a comfortable seat at the bar while you wait either. Just avoid waiting altogether by making a reservation in advance.

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Thank mh_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Sooooo good.
We went with a group of 6 so ordered doubles or triples of most or all items on the menu family style.
Every single dish was a winner! Usually you have a dish or two that stands out but not here, every dish was fantastic! This stands out as one the best meals ever.

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Thank Travelingerz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

Truly the best meal we had during our quick LA getaway. Portions were small, but this gave us the opportunity to try several items and share them, "family style." For me the octopus with Indian spices was the most memorable dish, followed closely by the rabbit legs and the pork belly sandwich. Everything was impeccably prepared with an emphasis on quality ingredients and precise execution. The breads, vegetables and sides were perfectly paired with the dishes they were designed to compliment. Save room for dessert, the,triple leche is worth it.
Give them a try, hoping the get a sign in 2013 ; )

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Thank TravelEeOrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Read all the hype, decided to try for birthday dinner. When a place has no sign in front, and a no nonense, acoustically uncaring interior, I would expect it to really be an "hidden gem" for foodies, like a Blue Ribbon in NYC.

Cant imagine chefs flocking here late a night to get the artistically made food. Over salted. Over the top rich (such as the hangar steak (for $28) covered with a creamy truffled goo. Quail small plate done with what seemed to be a bottled plum sauce with esoteric bits of fruit, maybe vegetable scattered on the plate. Ribs were fall apart with a "balsamic sauce that needed to ingested with ample supplies of water. Wine list not impressive and the waiter didn't know a great deal about it. Desserts however were really fabulous. Bottom line not worth a 2nd trip.

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Thank budfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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