Restaurant names, like baby names, book titles and colors, go in and out of fashion. Thus for every baby girl named Sophia, every book with “-land” in its title and every “new black,” we seem to have a restaurant or bar named after some member of the animal kingdom.

Sometimes, it's a general reference (i.e., Animal); other times, it's specific, overly so, and not always in a positive way (i.e., The Lazy Ox Canteen, The Blind Donkey, The Fat Cow). And while animals — and especially animals as modified by adjectives — have been a popular conceit in restaurant nomenclature for some time (see, e.g., The Red Lion Tavern, The Hungry Cat), it seems that this particular trend has been especially pronounced over the last five years or so, with certain types of animals, like livestock, leading the pack of references.

Which naturally led us to dig into how many these new places fall into this pattern. We categorized what we found based on the type of animal referenced in the restaurant name and ta-da: A pie chart was born. Turn the page.

Credit: T. Nguyen

Credit: T. Nguyen

¹ These animals are very loosely categorized. “Recently opened” means restaurants that opened in the last five years or so. And this chart does not include restaurants that refer to animal housing or habitats in name or aesthetic, but if it did, it would include: Wolfslair, American Farmhouse Tavern and Dining Hall, FarmShop, Malibu Farm, Barnyard Venice, The Coop, Eveleigh and RivaBella.

² Animal, Bestia, Little Beast, Little Bear, The Black Boar, Blue Boar Pub, Blu Elefant Cafe, Go Get Em Tiger, Mad Bull's Tavern, The Surly Goat, Sqirl, Komodo, Wolvesmouth.

³ Dogs: The Fat Dog, 3Dog Cantina, BrewDog Pub, Blue Dog Beer Tavern, The Greyhound Bar and Grill. Cats: The Black Cat, Black Cat Bakery & Cafe.

Hinoki & the Bird, Redbird, Red Rooster Bakery, The Phoenix, Lucky Duck by Square One.

The Thirsty Crow [fable], Wolf & Crane [fable], Wolf in Sheep's Clothing [fable], The Hart and the Hunter [fable].

⁶ Other Aesop fables that are both good life lessons and potentially good restaurant names: The Fox and the Goat, The Raven and the Swan and The One-Eyed Doe.

Cows: The Fat Cow, Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar, Mother Moo Creamery. Pigs: Black Hogg, Pigg (at Umamicatessen), Flying Pig. Beasts of burden: Horse Thief BBQ, The Blind Donkey, The Lazy Ox Canteen.

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. And follow the author on Twitter, too.

LA Weekly