435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Animal +

Anne Fishbein Chicken-fried sweetbreads


  • Sun.-Thu., 6-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 6 p.m.-mid.; brunch Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • $$$
  • Dinner, Late Night
  • Beer/Wine
  • Street Parking, Valet Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
Now that its owners, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, are bona fide restaurant czars (they own six eateries, with at least two more in the works), Animal can be looked at from a sociological viewpoint, the organism that spawned an empire but also a way of thinking and cooking and serving and being that barely existed in the restaurant world before its arrival. Pull-no-punches, meat-driven, casual and fun restaurants that are quality-focused above all else are ubiquitous now, and you can thank Animal in large part for that. It has barely changed in its eight years of existence and yet still seems so current, which might help explain why Shook and Dotolo have been able to spin its success into such a huge platform. They were ahead of their time then, and their newer projects continue to push L.A.’s dining culture in unexpected and giddily fun directions. If you want to understand our city’s dining scene, you still have to eat at Animal, to vie for a table in the perpetually packed room, to dive into the ridiculously rich and stupidly enjoyable oxtail poutine, to eat foie gras on a biscuit with maple sausage gravy and wonder how the minds that came up with those delicious obscenities could also deliver delicacy and balance in a snap-pea panzanella, or a hamachi tostada with peanuts and avocado. We don’t know what dining in L.A., or America, would look like had Animal never roared into existence, and we’re happy we’ll never have to find out. —Besha Rodell
Read our full review.">

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