At our core, we’re all still just cavemen and cavewomen. Deep down, why do we love Hugh Jackman? Because he could absolutely protect us from a mammoth. Why do we love Christina Hendricks? Because our young would never go hungry. Why do we love Kim Kardashian? Because of her extremely low chance of death during childbirth. And why do we love eating at Animal? Because nothing brings us joy like the meal after a successful hunt. For carnivorous-minded folks, this place is Heaven, Mecca, Sizzler, and any other place you go for a truly religious experience, all wrapped into one amazing restaurant.
The stranglehold Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have put on the LA restaurant scene is almost unfair. They have their seafood spot, their pizza place, their cooler-than-you food counter, and their ticketed restaurant events. But no matter how diverse their portfolio gets, they’ll always be “those Animal guys” to us. And for good reason.
In a classy, sparsely decorated room on Fairfax, Animal is serving up some of the city’s most diverse and exotic meat-centric dishes. The menu reads like the dirty magazine you stashed in the woods when you were 12. There are audible moans from customers as the waiters describe the specials of the day. And the food is just damn near perfect. This meat lover’s paradise has been one of the premiere destination spots in Los Angeles dining for years and with food this good, they’re not going anywhere soon.
The best chicken liver in town. The deep, richness of the pate is cut perfectly by the caramelized onions, making for something that manages to be both amazingly decadent and leaves you wanting to stuff your face with seven more. An absolute must order.
If you’ve never had pig ear, I’m going to ruin the surprise: it tastes exactly like you’d hope it does. The crispy, bacony, porky flavors mix with egg and a spicy, citrus sauce to make the tastiest breakfast-for-dinner move possible.
A rare light item on the menu, though it doesn’t lack for flavors. A hearty portion of fish sauce vinaigrette and enough greens to qualify this as a salad top a perfectly light piece of fish.
Any place that can nail the fat-to-meat ratio to the point where you can just chow down on a hunk of pork belly is a place that we’re going to love. Now add in some slaw, a crazy good barbecue sauce that doesn’t overwhelm (even if you almost want it to), and some light airy buns, and you’ve got another can’t-miss order.
This is a special, so who knows if you can order it the next time you go. But it has to be mentioned, if only for the fact that holy sh*t the burger patty was made of short rib and bone marrow. What sorcery is this?
If our logo didn’t give it away, we’re into this. What’s not to love about a big hunk of meat that has a handle built in to more easily stuff your face? We’re not going to try and convince you here. If you don’t want to eat an entire turkey leg, maybe you don’t deserve this place.