Animal Magnetism

Grilled Quail
My recommendation list for food lovers visiting our fair city changes all the time, but almost always includes Animal. Hidden among the Jewish bakeries and hip hop clothing stores of Fairfax Avenue, Animal is the jewel of the LA foodie scene. It’s a gastronomic temple of carnivorous delights; an exotic pageant of nose-to-tail creative culinary brilliance; an adventure.

It’s helmed by genius chef duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, who have two other amazing eateries in LA — Son of a Gun and Trois Mec. The interior is small, dimly lit and packed every night with a boisterous mix of hipsters, celebrities, Hollywood “suits” and hardcore foodies. Almost everything on Animal’s ever-changing menu of small plates is phenomenal. Prior to the California foie gras ban, my favorite dish was the sweet and savory Foie Gras on a Biscuit with Maple Sausage Gravy. I still mourn its premature demise.

Other longtime favorites include the deliciously unctuous Poutine with Oxtail Gravy and Cheddar, the crispy and light Kampachi Tostada and Animal’s version of chip ‘n dip: Spicy Beef Tendon Chip with Charred Onion Pho Dip. Animal’s perfectly seasoned and seared Iberico Pork Secreto is truly spectacular and one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. For dessert, the Tres Leches Cake with Dulce de Leche and the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar with Salt & Pepper Ice Cream are not to be missed.

Animal is located at 435 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles (Mid-City).

Veal Tongue, West Indian Gherkin, Steelhead Roe, Black Mustard

Veal Tongue, West Indian Gherkin, Steelhead Roe, Black Mustard


Kampachi Tostada, Herbs, Fish Sauce Vinaigrette, Peanut

Kampachi Tostada, Herbs, Fish Sauce Vinaigrette, Peanut


Spicy Beef Tendon Chip with Charred Onion Pho Dip

Spicy Beef Tendon Chip with Charred Onion Pho Dip


Santa Barbara Uni, Heirloom Cucumbers, Za'atar, Fried Cheese, HB Egg

Santa Barbara Uni, Heirloom Cucumbers, Za’atar, Fried Cheese, HB Egg


Duck Breast, Charred Cabbage, Liptauer, Mustard

Duck Breast, Charred Cabbage, Liptauer, Mustard


Roasted Peaches, Hazelnut, Buttermilk, Currants, Prosciutto di Parma

Roasted Peaches, Hazelnut, Buttermilk, Currants, Prosciutto di Parma


Shrimp & Rabbit Sausage Spring Roll, Minutina, Green Curry

Shrimp & Rabbit Sausage Spring Roll, Minutina, Green Curry


Charred Octopus, Black Sriracha, Finger Lime, Gooseberry

Charred Octopus, Black Sriracha, Finger Lime, Gooseberry


Mexican Street Corn, Epazote, Serrano, Parmesan

Mexican Street Corn, Epazote, Serrano, Parmesan


Sweetbread, Corn, Fennel, Crema, Raymundo's Tomatillo Salsa

Sweetbread, Corn, Fennel, Crema, Raymundo’s Tomatillo Salsa


Poutine, Oxtail Gravy, Cheddar

Poutine, Oxtail Gravy, Cheddar


Santa Barbara Rock Crab, Shallots, Verjus, Avgolemono, Sourdough

Santa Barbara Rock Crab, Shallots, Verjus, Avgolemono, Sourdough


16oz. Iberico Pork Secreto, Marinated Onion, Peruvian Mint, Yuca

16oz. Iberico Pork Secreto, Marinated Onion, Peruvian Mint, Yuca


RIP. Foie Gras, Biscuit, Maple Sausage Gravy

RIP. Foie Gras, Biscuit, Maple Sausage Gravy


Tres Leches Cake with Dulce de Leche

Tres Leches Cake with Dulce de Leche


Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar with S&P Ice Cream

Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar with Salt & Pepper Ice Cream


Blueberry, Frozen Brown Sugar Crumble, Yogurt, Bay Leaf Ice Cream

Blueberry, Frozen Brown Sugar Crumble, Yogurt, Bay Leaf Ice Cream


Clandestinely located among the Jewish delis and hip hop shops on Fairfax

Clandestinely located among the Jewish delis and hip hop shops on Fairfax



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1 Comment

Filed under Fairfax, Mid-City

One Response to Animal Magnetism

  1. The kampachi (or hamachi) tostada is one of my favorite dishes in LA. Probably, because, as you suggest, it tastes like Cool Ranch Doritos!

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