Animal, Los Angeles

It takes 4.5 hours to fly from Chicago to Los Angeles. It takes 4.5 hours to fly from London to Istanbul. Turns out the U.S is a lot larger than I had thought, but could we really fit all the countries between England and Turkey into the U.S? Anyway, on a more cheery note, there’s nothing like having friends all over the world – they put you up, they take you out, they tolerate you and you don’t have to clean up! A few months prior to hitting la la land, I’d heard of a restaurant called Animal that seemingly was one of the hottest tables in town and Mr. W senior was kind enough to bag a table, thus enabling us to continue our round-the-world feasting encounters (Prague, London and Mumbai were priors)!  A feast of southern-ish, locally sourced food was to ensue, one where after the meal Mr. W junior remarked “wow…this was so good that anything else I eat from now on, will get serious abuse from my belly!”

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Hamachi tostada
Pig tails
Bibb lettuce and beets
Foie gras

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Hamachi tostada: A mound of crispy tortilla and lettuce interlaced with hunks of hamachi, avocado and zingy fish sauce vinaigrette. Boy was it a winner!

Pig tails:  Buffalo style pigs tails, radish, celery and chives. First time for eating pigs tails, and in no way the last. ‘Nuff said!

Lettuce and beets: Bibb lettuce, beets, avocado, pita, feta, creamy sumac. Just what you need to balance out the protein heavy meal. Creamy sumac!!!!!!!!!!!! Mmmm mmmm!

Foie Gras: sausage, mustard. With the looming ban of foie gras in California on July 1, 2012, people are eating and selling it like it’s going out of fashion, so I left it for the Californians to devour whilst I watched the look of pure glee on their faces!

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Bone marrow
Pork buns
Rabbit
Ribs

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Bone marrow, chimmichurri: Things suddenly crashed at this moment: There were 4 of us, and ONLY 1 marrow! Tragedy! Luckily, I managed to steal most of it as the others were busy with nibbling on  other things! So good!

Pork belly sliders, slaw: Often the best things in life come in the form of slow cooked pork belly. When you add a bit of slaw, barbecue sauce (and lots of it) and a bit of bread, life just gets that much better!

Rabbit leg, sugar snaps, meyer lemon, chermoula aioli: every bit the delightful mouthful it impresses you that it is.

Balsamic pork ribs, favas, watercress, beets, panzanella: More more piggy munching! A right old treat to be digging into these babies!

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Berries, vanilla
Chocolate, bacon

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Summer berries, vanilla custard, lavender crumble, opal basil: one can’t really go wrong with these flavours on a plate!

Bacon chocolate crunch bar, s&p ice cream: Now this was a surprising winner. We all know from Mr. Blumenthal that a bacon dessert does have its merits and here in its pairing with chocolate it works even better, adding a light smokiness and a savouriness that previously was accomplished by salt. I’m not sure entirely about the salt and pepper ice cream though!

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All in all a great round of food and a fantastic selection of dishes – the whole sharing idea makes ordering multiple dishes so much easier and tasting more dishes so much more fun! And if you get the urge to release the inner animal and dig in with your hands or gnaw on a hunk of soft juicy bone, then it’s all the more encouraged!

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Recommend you go: 8

Food: 8

Website:

Animal on Urbanspoon

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