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Animal bday report

brian j | Feb 16, 201106:14 PM

A month or more ago I decided I wanted to revisit Animal for my bday dinner. I made a rez for 6 and eagerly awaited my return meal. Yesterday was my bday and I hadn't heard from Animal to confirm my rez. I thought it was strange since most restaurants seem to confirm a few days before. I called to confirm and it seemed they had mistakenly marked it down for the next day. I knew I had booked it specifically for my bday, so I'm pretty confident it was their error. I told them so as nicely as possible. They said they'd see what they could do. They called me back a little while later and said they couldn't fit me in. Bummed I let my party know that dinner was canceled as I didn't feel like dealing with a backup option. Then Animal called back again and said they had a cancellation and they could now fit me in. I let the crew know, but half of them had already made alternate plans, but two of my buddies were still game so we decided to hit it.

I didn't let the rez mishap affect my dining experience whatsoever. I was initially annoyed, but chalked it up to an honest mistake. Anyway, I love the food too much at Animal to punish myself by putting any sort of embargo in place.

Our meal was wonderful. The three of us split all of the following dishes:

- Marrow bone w/ chimichurri > Solid dish, but nothing out of the ordinary. Only came with two slices of toast, but there was enough marrow for three, and I thought they should have included one more.

- Pig tails "buffalo style", celery, ranch > I had had this before, and it was worth a repeat. I love the texture of the meat vs. the bone. I dig that you're able to eat most of the bones as well, since they're so fried. My dining companions weren't as keen on eating the bones though.

- Veal brains w/ carrots > The brains had been fried a la chicken fried steak. The crispiness made for a nice counterpoint to the gooey brains. Strange, yet delightful. The beefy flavor came thru also to remind me of chicken fried steak.

- Thai BBQ quail w/ cabbage-mandarin slaw > Perfect Thai flavorings, presented in a semi-refined way. Loved it.

- Grilled octopus w/ chorizo > This was good, but not mindblowing. Octopus was tender. Chorizo was ok.

- Balsamic pork ribs > These were tender and good, but not uber flavorful. They were served at the same time as the steak, and they simply lost the flavor match by being served simultaneously.

- Flat iron steak w/ truffle Parmesan fondue > The steak was perfectly cooked medium-rare. The fondue was lacquered generously over top, and added a nice creamy-earthiness to the dish.

- Bacon chocolate crunch bar, s&p anglaise > Twas good, but could have used more bacon IMO.

The highlights were the pig tail, brains & flat iron. Normally I wouldn't even order a steak at a place like Animal (not that I don't love steak), but it was one of my friend's choice and it ended being quite fantastic.

A great meal overall. Was very happy that they were able to find us a table after the initial disappointment. I will be back again.

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