restaurants
Animal
435 N. Fairfax Avenue
323 782 9225

Animal defies explanation. Nonetheless, we are going to try. This unique restaurant - and after writing about thousands (seriously, hundred thousand probably) of restaurants, that is a very serious thing for us to say. The theme ostensibly is offal, but there is more to that here. Rather, it's almost as though a person ran blindfolded through a farmer's market grabbing ingredients, sorted them out in random groups of five and forced the chef to make dishes. As a result, some work and some don't. We like the nectarine salad with pigweed, radish, local goat cheese and almond dressing. As well we thought the pig ear was very creative. (Looks nothing like an ear for you squeamish types). Done with chili, lime and fried egg; it's very Thai- style. We also thought the spicy beef tendon chip with the onion dipping sauce was good though we were befuddled by the long explanation of how it turned into a chip. A kampachi tostada is far and away the best thing on the menu with its peanuts and fish sauce if you're hankering for something Vietnamese. But in the dishes that didn't work; the crispy pig head with something called "bulldog" sauce (we don't want to know) is just too gamey. And the marrow bone is at once too gummy and liquidy, overwhelmed by a terrible garlic chimichurri sauce. Crowd favourites of the poutine (a fancy word for disco fries) and the balsamic pork ribs also found fans in us. So the truth is, come so you can try the super weird. But be prepared, you'll probably like the more everyday.

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