Finally made it to Animal on Fairfax (3 doors north of Canter's Deli) last night for dinner. This dinner was a hit from start to finish and, as long as my statin drug is able to continue to do it's job, I would gladly dine here on a regular basis (or until my bypass surgeon spoke to me gravely about my dining choices).
Playful menu selection with a serious execution of the food by a kitchen that knows how to put together great, bold flavors in a palate pleasing way. Service was excellent, from the friendly greeting by the hostess to the bus boy who was on top of anything we needed to a knowledgeable and humorous server with an easy going but professional demeanor who was very helpful in winnowing down our choices.
Began with a bottle of Italian sparkling wine (Prosecco) which at $33 seemed very fairly priced. They have a small but serviceable beer and wine list. Beer would also be a good choice for the food at Animal and they have some interesting choices (see the wine and beer list on their website). I do note that they seem to encourage their guests to buy either a bottle or carafe, rather than a glass of wine, by their pricing strategy.
My wife started with the maple glazed pork ribs appetizer with a ramakin of mac & cheese. Nice pull to the meat without being at all tough and the mac & cheese was also rich, creamy and addictive with a browned top of bread crumbs. Our 20 year old son who came with us wanted to split the chili cheese fries with me (poutine, ox-tail gravy, Vermont cheddar cheese over fries). This was also delicious if a little bit salty (in a good way for the most part) and we practically mopped up the last bits of gravy with our forks to get every last, bit of the ox-tail gravy left on the plate.
Wife had the flat iron steak with bearnaise sauce, sunchokes, caramelized onion and artichoke sauce. Our son chose the pork chop with grainy mustard, apple, farro and cipollini onions. Finally I had their take on fried chicken made with quail. It was a very large portion of quail which had been coated with batter laced with crack (it must of been because it was so damn addictive) and had a maple jus (not so much to be a distraction but just added a hint of sweetness to the dish that really worked) and was sitting on top of grits that reminded me of a cross between grits and risotto - it was so creamy along with some very tender long cooked chard and slab bacon.
The evening ended with an order of the hot cinnamon coated donuts with caramel sauce for my wife and son and I went with the bacon chocolate crunch bar with sauce anglaise. The donuts were wonderful and, while I liked the crunch bar I think I would go for the tres leches, dulce de leche dessert the next time.
With 3 coffee's the tab with tax, came to $181 + tip.
Wonderful food and service. This delivered on all counts.
435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036