Animal is owned by LA powerhouse restaurateurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. The duo also owns Petit Tois, Trois Mec, Son of a Gun, and Jon & Vinny's. Animal, opened in 2009, was Shook and Dotolo's first restaurant, and it still makes nearly every "best of" list for Los Angeles cuisine.
True to its name, Animal focuses on meat-heavy dishes and adventurous ingredients for the hungry cave man inside of us all. Their menu staples include crispy fried pig ear, veal brains, rabbit larb, sweetbreads, and foie gras biscuits. For dessert they don't let up and their most notable offering is a bacon chocolate crunch bar. So, basically, vegans should stay far, far away from Animal, but I am guessing they would have figured that out based on the moniker alone.
We visited Animal for brunch, so we kept our fare a little lighter than the options listed above, but our experience left us eager to come back for the full dinner experience whenever we are in the area again.
Why were we in LA for all of this great eating? Why, so Jason could run a race, obviously. Here he is rocking the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon!
Bone marrow sushi rice, Japanese pickles, arare
I loved this dish so much. It was light but filling, and the tangy soy flavor meant I could not stop eating it. What's arare? You've probably seen them a million times--they're those little soy rice crackers.
Fish sauce vinaigrette, peanut, avocado
The tostada was described by our server as one of the most popular (and lightest) dishes on the menu. Its bright, fresh flavors did not disappoint!
Chicken Liver Toast
My love for chicken liver toast is undying, and this was the hands down best I have ever had. I always feel like my body is getting healthier and stronger when I eat chicken liver, and while that immediate feeling is most definitely in my head, organ meats are legitimately filled with so many good nutrients and healthy fats. Those of you who still believe in the fat/cholesterol myth? Put down your fat free yogurt and get #woke. It's not the 90s anymore, ya'll.
It was brunch, so it was all coffee, all the time. They also had a mint infusion (just straight up mint and hot water) that changed my life. I started buying mint on the regular when we returned to NC. Mint is great for your digestion!
Hip and cozy spot. It was a sleepy Sunday morning, and even though we had reservations we probably didn't need them as it wasn't crowded at all. The vibe was very relaxed and inviting.
LA Baby Hospitality:
Our service was a little slow, which was odd considering they weren't busy, but we weren't in a rush, so we didn't mind just relaxing with our coffee/tea and enjoying the morning at a leisurely pace. The servers were super friendly and offered great recommendations.
Jason bought the bright green race shirt so he would be easy to spot; Apparently literally everyone else had the same idea--all races now seem to be a sea of bright green, at least from this spectator's perspective; Disney security is no joke--I tried to jump a barrier to follow Jason to the finish and I almost got tazed; Don't taze me bro; Fat is your friend and his name is Bob the Fat Fairy; LA is a super awesome place filled with the best food and art; But seriously, why do we chase that cat?