Skip to main content

You Haven’t Had Meat ‘Til You’ve Eaten at Animal

inside animal restaurant foie gras
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Being obsessed with kale and tofu and whatever the hell veganism is, Los Angeles seems like an unlikely place for the meat mecca that is Animal restaurant, but people are glad it exists. The inventive, bold, always-flavorful menu earned Animal a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence.

Opened by chefs-and-restaurateurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal is another in their long line of gastronomical successes, including Son of a Gun, Jon & Vinny’s, and Trois Familia just to name a few. The two men met in culinary school in Florida and eventually found themselves on the West Coast, feeding the grateful carnivorous Angeleno population. Animal is small, seating for only about 40 guests at a time, and is in keeping with their minimalist design scheme, which keeps your attention fully on the meal. Not that you could really be distracted from it.

The cuts offered at Animal aren’t your regular fare, so this is a place for only gluttonous adventurers. Take their “Mongolian” sweetbreads, served with Shiitake mushrooms, scallions and Kochukaru, a hot Korean spice. Sweetbreads, if you’re not familiar, are somewhat sweet but are assuredly not bread. It’s the thymus gland and pancreas of, traditionally, lamb or veal. Speaking of veal, they offer veal tongue served with salmon roe and black mustard. Not exciting enough for you? Go for the Veal Brains, served with Indian spices and apricot puree. There’s even a pig’s head– yes, you read that correctly: they serve their twist on the classic British dish, Pig’s Head Terrine. They have a pig’s ear if you’re not ready for the whole hog (head). Their roasted bone marrow is served with healthy dollops of chimichurri sauce, which really livens it up. Other animals that make an appearance on the dinner menu include rabbit, Albacore Tuna, pork ribs, a richly smoked turkey leg, and a bone-in Ribeye, swimming in bone marrow butter. You really haven’t had butter until you’ve had bone marrow butter.

animal restaurant los angeles
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The meat heaven also offers brunch, and it’s no doubt the most exciting brunch menu you’ll come across. Still featuring heavily on meat, Animal offers interesting twists on classics. Their Pastrami Reuben Benedict makes for a very happy mid-morning meal. If you’re looking for less breakfast and more lunch, go for their Barbeque Pork Belly sandwiches.

Let’s not forget the supporting dishes because Animal certainly hasn’t. Make sure to order the Poutine, which is made with oxtail gravy and topped with cheddar. And if you’ve still got room after your meal, order the Tres Leches cake, which is so light and creamy and simple, it’ll blow your mind.

Elizabeth Dahl
Elizabeth Dahl is a southern girl in the heart of Los Angeles who lived far too long before learning what an incredible food…
How to make clam chowder, the ultimate recipe for those who love this seafood favorite
Plus a version with mussels!
New England-style Clam chowder

Clam chowder is royalty in the bowl and easily one of the best soups out there, no matter what time of year. There are a few worthwhile canned versions around, but the best stuff tends to be from your favorite seafood eatery or the batch you whip up at home.

On planet soup, clam chowder is an especially compelling type because it doesn't have to stay on the rails. Like chili or barbecue sauce, a good version can veer in any number of directions, whether it's changing up the base or adding a less-expected vegetable or type of shellfish. Plus, it's a fun thing to dip into, whether it's ladled into a bread bowl or topped with crumbled salt crackers. Below, we'll tell you how to make clam chowder and give you the mussel chowder recipe you didn't know you needed.
Mussel chowder recipe

Read more
A brief history of the whiskey sour cocktail (and how to make different versions)
Learn to make all these recipes of this historical drink
George Dickel Whiskey Sour

What is a whisky sour? The whiskey sour cocktail officially dates back to the 1860s, but sailors in the British Navy had been drinking something very similar long before that. On long sea journeys, water was not always dependable, so to combat that, spirits were often used. Scurvy, too, was another danger on these journeys, so lemons and limes were consumed to help prevent the disease (incidentally, this is also one of the reasons why British folk are called ‘Limeys’).

Finally, sugar and water were added for taste. At this point, the drink is probably starting to sound familiar. (Grog, the rum-based favorite of pirates across the seven seas, is made from the same components, substituting whiskey for the sugarcane-based spirit.)

Read more
How to make a crowd-pleasing shrimp scampi
Have a restaurant-style meal right at home
Shrimp Scampi with Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus


Garlicky and buttery, shrimp scampi is equally delicious by itself or with pasta. An Italian American creation, versions of shrimp scampi can be found in many seafood restaurants. But shrimp scampi is actually quite easy to make at home -- the key is good quality shrimp and fresh ingredients. Keep reading our guide and find out how to make shrimp scampi right at home in your own kitchen.
What is scampi?

Read more