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Animal

435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323-782-9225
Critics' Pick
Best Of

Details

  • Sun-Thu 6pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-2am
  • $$$
  • Dinner, Late Night
  • Beer/Wine
  • Street Parking, Valet Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
The first thing you should know about Animal is that it is practically a shrine to bacon, which appears everywhere on the short, seasonal menu, up to and including a chocolate dessert. The chefs, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, former Food Network stars who call themselves the Food Dudes, are the Jay and Silent Bob of the food world, perpetually red-eyed and rarely seen outside one another's company, and they seem to consider a dish incomplete without a sliver of pancetta, a crumble of Nueske's Wisconsin bacon, a bit of pork belly, or a slab of the bacon they smoke themselves in the kitchen. Animal is a poor place to bring a Muslim or an Orthodox Jew. But the operating principle at Animal is neither the aggressive clams-in-ham philosophy of so much avant-garde cooking nor the Rabelaisian head-to-tail approach but testosterone-laced pleasure: a simple, howlingly good plate of crisp, assertively salted hominy; a bubbling crock of melted cheese spiked with a few slips of thinly sliced chorizo. Chefs have been serving seared foie gras with syrups and compotes for centuries: Animal's take is to put it on a sweetened version of the truck-stop standard of biscuits and sausage gravy. Animal is small and loud and powered by seasonal organic produce; has a nice list of manly wines available by the bottle, the glass and the half-bottle carafe; and although it is populated with people who like meat, is unafraid to serve an unadorned bowl of fruit for dessert ... if only at those times when even bacon isn't enough. See full review.

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