Animal in Los Angeles Gives Me Heart and Has My Heart

Los Angeles. Animal. Los Angeles. Animal.

I’d been itching for a long time for a chance to get back to Los Angeles and make a first visit to Animal. Organ meats, interesting ingredient combinations, and bold flavors made this a restaurant that’s right up my alley. But with a big eating itinerary for my trip, how hungry could I be? How much of the rich food could I conceivably consume?

As I expected, the menu had much to offer. The restaurant’s a little darker (camera-challenging) and noisier than I like, and the service is a bit aloof, but (oh!) the food–which was at times more “feminine” than I expected…


Chicken liver toast: extremely smooth and rich, with shallot jam and balsamic vinegar


Kung pao sweetbreads with English peas and Szechuan peppercorn: texture you’d anticipate, flavors that co-mingle well


Shrimp & rabbit sausage spring roll with minutina (a nutty, crunchy salad green) and green curry: gorgeous and delicious


Grilled asparagus with pistachio dukkah, lime, and wild herbs: earthy for a vegetable dish, but a nice contrast to the meatier dishes


Beef heart with paprika, dill-crème fraiche, potato, and pickled beets: the crème fraiche brightened up the beef heart, with all components working well together again

Part of the menu: What would you have chosen?


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