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Animal Restaurant
New American Restaurant$$
Today 6–10PM
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435 N Fairfax Ave Los Angeles, CA 90036
435 North Fairfax AvenueUSCaliforniaLos Angeles90036
$$New American RestaurantToday 6–10PM
Tuesday 6–10PMWednesday 6–10PMThursday 6–10PMFriday 6–11PMSaturday 10AM–2:30PM, 6–11PMSunday 10AM–2:30PM, 6–10PMMonday 6–10PM
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Review Summary
158 reviews
5 star
76 reviews
4 star
47 reviews
3 star
22 reviews
2 star
7 reviews
1 star
5 reviews
Trendy, minimalist New American restaurant celebrated for its offal specialties & other meat plates.- Google
"...Crispy pig head, beef heart, pig ear, veal brains, and chicken liver are..."
"Nay - Marrow Bone. The chimichurri sauce overpowered the bone marrow."
Featured by Zagat
LA's Best New American Restaurants
, and 3 other lists
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Ryan Daniels's profile photo
Ryan Daniels
a week ago
Overhyped. I've had far superior iterations of similar dishes found at Animal without all the pretentiousness and crummy service. Our waiter Kenney suggested that we still order 4-5 dishes, and when I mentioned that we had eaten a bit beforehand (given our 9:00PM reservation), he was not pleased. He rushed over the menu and brought back the wrong beer for my husband. By the way, 3-4 dishes would be plenty for a party of two. When I asked which dessert he preferred, he said matter-of-factly that the cheesecake was lighter and the chocolate bar more savory over his shoulder as he had already started walking away from our table. We were expected to know what to order though it was our first visit. We've had far more personable service from Panera to Le Bernardin. The menu wasn't particularly appealing - if you've had ethnic food ever, then you'll know the menu isn't particularly inventive either. The pig ears dish was underwhelming and pretty basic - it was just chicharones (in the form of ear) with Thai chili sauce (can be found at any pho restaurant) and an egg. The off menu boner burger was better but certainly not the best. It was rich and tasty, but a tad salty. We've had better at The Lexington House (Los Gatos) or 4505 Meats (SF). I wanted to round off our quick meal with dessert and opted for the cheesecake pudding which was a gooey mess. Also, only beer and wine, no cocktails. The ambiance, or lack thereof, was bland. By 9:30PM the restaurant was not even half full; while on the other side of DTLA, Bestia was brimming with people when we left. Hardly the best of what LA has to offer. Hard pass.
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Tim Harris
a month ago
This place was not memorable. There's a revolving menu with some unique ingredients. uni, pigs head, veal tongue and brain, foie gras included. But none are executed with any distinction. The plates are tapa size and meant for sharing. You can get better food of the same caliber elsewhere. The hype is not worth the wait.
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Walter Macalma
2 months ago
So many things come to mind when you hear the word "Animal", but first things first. There is no sign. Look for Canters Deli and go a few doors North, but before Supreme. Look for the blue valet umbrella. I suggest valet because when I come to Supreme I always end up parking 5-6 blocks back in the neighborhoods. So you sit down at these long tables and the servers take your drink orders, fill you water glass and take a while to come back. When I first started coming here I was made aware that there are no substitutions, but they do take into account food allergies. It's kind of a cool thing because they've taken their time to complete many of the flavor profiles. They say they support local and organic farmers, but don't specifically say their food or what dishes may or may not be "organic", so that's a little shady. Iberico Secreto is not the jamon, but the front leg skirt and carries much of the nutty quality, but less expensive. The yucca was a little starchy, could have definitely used some heat, not as filling as I thought it would be. Didn't quite temper the richness of the pork. Smoked turkey leg was a little too much. Being an amateur smoker the white bbq sauce works better with BBQ chicken and was too vinegary, not the real famous white BBQ style. The leg needed a different mix of woods when smoking. Pecan and Apple work best especially if you pair it with a marinaded and brined leg. Poutine was good, love the rich oxtail gravy, but the cheddar simply put wasn't rich enough. Maybe Vermont White or actual cheese curds, fried cheese curds. Why use good potatoes, good gravy and fast food style the dish with cheddar. Pig ear dish is a homage to the traditional Filipino Sisig, very toned down, needs a little more than just chili. Pig tails to me didn't need the buffalo sauce and the ranch really masked the tender and flavorful tails themselves. Chicken liver toast is very good, pate ish, but more substantial. It's actually not that expensive, but the dishes are small just like the place and the bar (7 seats). Reservations aren't hard to come by, but the service is a little snobby and unattentive. Like I said big gaps in check ups. I had some questions about the dishes which could not be answered. Beer's are overpriced, but it's easier to manage the budget with beers versus bottles of wine. Huge variety of flavors and influences the menu derives form a wealth of flavors, but need just a little more refinement. Many people are blown away by what they are doing, but I see it going even further. Not everything has to be so dense. Most people are only used to having 1 or 2 receptions overloaded like that. So much good food, most everything is 90% amazing, but could use that 1 extra step to make it exceptional.
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Jennifer Lee
2 weeks ago
One of the favorite restaurants. It's a reservations-only type of joint since the place is small. Everything on the menu will be hearty and flavorful, thus the name.
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Danny Nguyen
a month ago
THe best thing on the menu are the pork belly sandwiches. You get a huge piece of pork belly fatty goodness. The sauce is really good, very similar to the chicken sandwich over at their other restaurant Son of a Gun. This is basically the meat/pork version of Son of a Gun. The portion size are really small, but very filling. I recommend the beef hearts and pork belly sandwiches. The pork head is whatever, nothing really special about it. The dishes are pretty overpriced, if it was a few dollars cheaper I'd eat at this place more often.
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Michael Gore
a month ago
"A great concept that is missing something" is how I can refer to this place. Let's elaborate a little more. Service wise these guys were great. Attentive, fast, lots of plate changes, cordial and knowledgable. Well done on their staff The ambiance is good.a bit on the dark side which sometimes makes the visuals of the presentations not pop. Small and intimate place. However, they could keep up a bit more with the restroom. It was a bit messy. Good location. Close to a lot of different bars and shop add up to the experience. However, this is a restaurant and they should be evaluated by their food and that was average. Other than the steak, the rest was from mediocre to meh to ok but never surprised me. Sad to say, the food was missing flavor because presentation was spot on. I think the hype may be hurting this place a bit. A cool concept with great execution yet missing that kicker called flavor.
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Lang Berryman
4 months ago
Amazing!! The food, the service, everything!! There was an explosion of flavor in every bite! I especially loved the lamb belly, the foie gras (two different dishes: one was seared, the other terrine) and the charcoal potatoes! The flavors were unique and the night was quite an culinary experience! Yummm....
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Katheryn Erwin
8 months ago
But for serious, do make sure to join one of their free hourly tours. You'll be able to fully appreciate the history, architecture and selection of this last bastion of apolitical government funding. (Seriously, who objects to libraries on political grounds? Nobody. Libraries are beloved by all.)