Sunday, September 5, 2010


Animal Restaurant - no name on the outside, we waited well past our reservation time, but they served us rather quickly once we were seated. 

Started with the Trout Salad - great flavors not too smokey light and delicious.  The next item was crispy pig ear sliced into thin strips and mixed into a melange of chili and brought together with a fried egg.  The rich yolk played well against the acidic lime flavor and spiciness. The pig ears were A's favorite dish of the night.  Next came the grilled octopus, chorizo and chow chow - also delicious, tender and pepper sweet and savory.  The petite basque melted with chorizo and toast, the combination was absolutely delicious, the spicy chorizo with the cheese was similar to a very savory pizza. 
That was the end of the lighter dishes, the pork belly sliders were great, an sweet and acidic sauce with a crunchy slaw and a toasted brioche that was perfectly crunchy. Really rich and delicious.  Not spicy at all, sweet and acidic.  The crispy rabbit legs were breaded and fried like fried chicken, th emeat was so tender we suspected that it had been braised before being fried.  The crisp exterior was not oily or greasiness at all, awesome aioli with herbs, fresh slices of heirloom tomato brought freshness and acidity to the dish.
Desserts were good.  I thought the bacon chocolate bar was sort of a gimmick because of the trendiness of candied bacon preparations.  I was wrong, it was nicely executed -- a crispy kit kat sort of texture, could be more salty but I loved it.  The tres leche with dulce de leche had good flavor but the cake itself wasn't as smooth and fine as we expected.

It has been a while since I ate at a restaurant where every dish was excellent, particularly when the kitchen is pushing some boundaries and taking some risks.  I loved Animal and it will be at the top of my list when I return to L.A.

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