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Jul 1, 2009 11:09 PM

animals menu, anything new???

anything new on there besides the aforementioned foei gras with biscuit and maple gravy, foie gras loco moco, fried quail, pork belly dishes, and ribs?

anything besides those that are new and has not been on the menu before?


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  1. Kevin, they update their online menu with new dishes on what seems to be a daily basis. For instance, if you take a look this morning they have two main courses that I don't recall seeing before. I have to get back here for dinner asap.

    pork chop milanese, mustard aioli, zucchini bread salad

    rabbit legs, champ, spring onions, bacon, peas, dijon

    435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      I have had that rabbit leg with peas twice recently and I LOVE it. A companion, at the bar, kept praising the "pea-ness" of the dish :)

      1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

        If you note, at the top it says "Sample Menu" - which is their way of telling us that they may be serving other / different dishes at the restaurant that night / week. But the thing we have discovered, whatever is being served, it's always delicious (the ultimate point!).

      2. from my last visit, I thought the two high points that I had never sampled before were the carrot salad and the baby broccoli, which were both ridiculously good. the duck confit was good, but I've had better versions around town and wouldn't order it again. if you've never tried the sweetbreads or the pork belly sliders, definitely check those out.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mollyomormon

          Agree with these recs, and would add the Pig's Ear as well.

        2. I've only eaten there once, a couple of weeks ago, so I don't know what's new. However, I'd like to mention one dish in addition to the heavenly foie gras with biscuit and maple sausage gravy. For dessert, my server recommended the tres leches, but for whatever reason I decided to go with the saba panna cotta instead - and I LOVED it, just fantastic. It was actually a vanilla panna cotta with only a tiny bit of saba (vinaigrette) drizzled on top.

          If this has been on their menu for a while, I apologize and please ignore this post. Thanks for your indulgence - it was a great meal and I love my memories of both these dishes.

          We're a bunch of Animal lovers!

          1. Full review with photos: http://twofoodiesonejourney.blogspot....

            Many restaurant names often have a meaning, like names of the owner or their place of origin but rarely does a restaurant name so clearly reflect the food you will experience: Animal in West Hollywood is one of these exceptions. From the very beginning this name makes it very clear that all kinds of animal protein will be the main focus of every dish – but everything else on the plate won’t disappoint either.
            Animal was started in the spring of 2008 by chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Both met in 1999 at culinary school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and decided from there on to tackle the challenges of the culinary world together. After finishing their culinary education they worked together in numerous restaurants in Florida such as The Strand, Mark’s and The River House before moving to the Wildflower restaurant at the Lodge in Vail. They then finally decided to move to Los Angeles to work under chefs Govind Armstrong and Ben Ford at the Chadwick Restaurant before opening their own catering service – Caramelized Productions. The catering service was also part of the short-lived Food Network series “Two Dudes Catering”. Having experienced once how it is to work as their own bosses they decided to open their own restaurant – Animal.

            Animal is located on Fairfax Ave. in a non-descriptive building next to the Schwartz Bakery and a few buildings up from Canters.

            The interior has a very rustic, bare-bones and minimalistic look. It is a single large room with a bar at one end and several wooden tables. But similar to the food at Animal the first look might indicate a very bold and straight feel but if you look at bit closer you will find many small details like bare filament light bulbs and few pictures which make everything comfy and welcoming. The service at Animal is always professional but at the same time personal – at which restaurants do you experience waiters who recognize you and greet you with a handshake when you come into the restaurant?

            Animal has an interesting list of wines with some more unusual finds like some Italians, e.g. Negramoro or Coste della Sesia. At a recent visit we decided to order a few beers including a Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale which had a malty start with a long sweet finish and an Abita Amber which is a nice smooth beer pairs nicely with the food at Animal.

            You can easily only just focus on several of the small plates of Animal to get a full meal but we tend to share a few of them before switching to the entrees (but not forgetting the desserts either).

            Small Plate 1: Chicken liver toast
            We really like chicken liver in all of its renditions. The night before we had the chicken liver toast at Pizzeria Mozza which has a more coarse structure whereas the Animal variation is very smooth with balsamic drippings on top.

            Small Plate 2: Rabbit loin, parsnip, pear mostarda and benton’s bacon
            This plate has some ingredients you unfortunately don’t see often on menus – rabbit which had a delicate taste between chicken and game wrapped in bacon which helped to keep it moist and parsnip which has a nice earth flavor. The pear mostarda (an Italian condiment made out of candies fruit and mustard flavored syrup) gave a good balance with its mix of sweetness and slight spicyness from the mustard oil.

            Small Plate 3: Duck confit, apple, pecans, dates and arugula
            Rather classic version of duck confit with carefully chosen sides – bitter greens, sweet dates, sour apples - which helped to cut through the richness of the meat. Perhaps not the best version of duck confit we ever had but definitely a very enjoyable one.

            Small Plate 4: Barbeque pork belly sandwiches and slaw.
            As certified pork belly addicts it is hard for us to see pork belly on a menu and not order it. Animal has several dishes on rotation and this time we chose the pork belly sandwiches – wonderfully tender meat with a not too overwhelming sauce and slaw on a tasty bun. Unfortunately only one sandwich for each of us.

            Entrée 1: Flat iron steak, sunchoke hash and truffle parmesan fondue
            Very tender and perfectly cooked steak with an unusual but balanced sauce of truffles and parmesan which is quite addicting. The potatoes and sunchokes had a good smooth consistency.

            Entrée 2: Veal breast, polenta, savoy cabbage and prosciutto
            An Italian inspired dish which worked best if you tried to taste all the components at the same time.

            Dessert 1: Tres leches and dulce de leche
            Animal has only a few desserts and we tend to end up with the same two desserts – An outstanding tres leches cake which even though it is quite rich is at the same time very light. The dulce de leche adds a interesting caramel-like flavor.

            Dessert 2: Bacon chocolate crunch bar and s&p anglaise
            Animal’s signature dessert – not unlike a Kit-Kat bar but with added saltiness from the bacon which could have been a bit more pronounced. You mainly taste the good chocolate-nut combination.

            We have yet to have a disappointing evening at Animal. The restaurant is a great addition to the many restaurants in this area with a very strong focus on excellent food and less formality. The ever changing menu – even dishes which are on the menu for a longer time often get different sides or flavor changing variations – makes every visit an unique experience.