I’d been to Animal a few years ago, back when California still allowed people to eat foie gras. I’ve been curious to go back, especially with all of the hype that chefs Shook & Dotollo seem to garner in the media. But there are so many wonderful restaurants in LA that I haven’t been to, it’s hard to justify repeats.
Every year we go for dinner with friends from LA (that in previous posts, I’ve referred to as the picky/particular-eating Banker and his wife Mel), and I get a great local’s perspective on what’s new/hot in LA from Mel. Even though I usually make all of the dinner plans for the weekend, I was feeling burnt out from all of the travel (and thus travel planning) I’ve been doing lately. I left the our evening’s choice for dinner in Mel’s food loving hands. I was happy to learn that she chose Animal, knowing the menu was “challenging”, and I would not have to sell others on the choice, nor would I feel stress if others didn’t enjoy it because it wasn’t my choice to begin with.
People talk about Animal as serving “dude food”, not shy in serving animal bits and pieces. Funny enough, around our table it was the women who were excited about the offerings on the menu. Mel in particular had to be told more than once, that “she couldn’t order one of everything on the menu”. Not everything, but we sure came close.
GOOD TO TRY, BUT I’M NOT GOING TO DREAM ABOUT IT:
WOULDN’T ORDER AGAIN:
This was a meal that challenged not only our palates but our minds as well. We all had our hard limits, as we’d find throughout the course of the meal. I stated mine right off the bat, no brains. Ben was ok with everything but the too rich bone marrow. Funny enough, the Banker did a great job through the meal although claiming pig tails as his only “no go”. I realized that if you could discard with the notion that eating head, ear, tail, etc. was gross, that most would agree that the bits and pieces could be delicious if prepared properly, (not brains, never brains). I know this kind of eating isn’t for everyone, but I believe more people should leave their preconceived notions at the door and just enjoy like we did.
Although we were stuffed, we had to order dessert. I have had Animal’s famous bacon chocolate bar before and remembered it didn’t wow me, but wanted to give it another try.
Call me a food lover... not a foodie. Maybe you have a definition of foodie that's different than mine, but I think of myself as a person who loves to eat, cook, find amazing eating spots, browse interesting grocery stores and drive a hundred miles out of the way to visit a farmers market. I like talking about food and taking food photos...
Up until now, I've never been motivated to put my thoughts to words. But then I heard the 2 words that inspired me to start writing. French Laundry.
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