Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jon and Vinny Had A Farm, E-I-E-I-O. Animal, Fairfax District

And on that farm they had some pig. E-I-E-I-O.

Is it wrong that every time I try and teach farm animals to my kid, visions of meat and offals dance in my head?

With an oink-oink here.
And an oink-oink there.
Here an oink.
There an oink.
Everywhere an oink-oink.

On a recent girls' night out, my friends J and C and I had dinner at Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's restaurant Animal, which in my mind pays homage to our favorite creatures in much the same way that the See and Say did when we were young. "How so?" you ask.

Their purpose is to show us that animals are fucking awesome.

Especially when they come in the form of luscious, fatty cubes of pork belly with the spicy-tangy kick of kimchi, peanuts, chili soy sauce and scallion.

Or when that same pork belly shows off its versatility by being transformed into a dish that's completely different yet just as delicious. This time it's barbecued to such tenderness that a sandwich of it, a mini brioche bun, and some cool cabbage slaw can be eaten in a couple of clean bites. (With some welcomed finger licking to follow of course)

Or when crunchy strips of pig ear are tossed in spicy chili and lime and topped with a gift from our feathered chicken pals.

Or when dollops of hearty braised oxtail gravy can be scooped up with crispy french fries in a most naughty poutine.

Or when a perfectly seared, velvety hunk of foie gras sits atop a flaky biscuit smothered in rich maple sausage gravy.

Or God forbid, when salty bits of bacon dot the top of a bittersweet chocolate bar in a combination that people should just stop being curious about and just shut up and taste already because it works.

Or even in a tribute to our lactating furry friends in a tres leches, dulce de leche cake.

Chef Shook's and Dotolo's creations left such an impression on me that my post-dinner tweet that night read: Dinner at Animal so farking good that I'm gonna go floss my teeth just so I can have pork belly and foie gras "leftovers." 'Nuff said.

And to think that I considered becoming a vegetarian almost 20 years ago. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

435 N. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

Animal in Los Angeles

Animal on Urbanspoon


Nanciful said...

Those are AWESOME pictures! The pork belly and the chocolate bacon crunch bars are my fave! I'm taking friends there this Friday and I plan on trying all the appetizers!

I wish they would bring back the caramel donuts soon!

weezermonkey said...

Man, I love this place. I dream about Animal's pork belly. I compare all other pork belly to Animal's pork belly. I am loyal to Animal's pork belly.

But I respectfully disagree re the bacon chocolate bar. ;)

MyLastBite said...

Beautiful photos.

No Loco Moco on the menu that night? Vin's Loco Moco RULES. : )

Gastronomer said...

For some reason my Google reader doesn't pick up when you've posted! I had to come over from LA Eater ;-)

I remember your Tweet from that night. I LOL'd and then vomited a little after reading it. You's nasty! But I like it!

SinoSoul said...

Total diatribe right here but.. BOKEEEH, peeerty bokeh.

And animals are totally awesome! Until your puppy gets sick, and you have to clean up their crap tossed with piss/hair/barf, then go dance the tango. True story.

Diana said...

E-I-E-I-O is right.

Thank God for the animals. And the men He created to cook them up so deliciously.

KirkK said...

I think I need to make an appointment with my shrink....that pork belly called me by my name...my Japanese name.....

joanh said...

O. M. G. the foie gras.

love the pics. should make my reservation to eat there soon before i head back to taipei. had chocolate covered bacon at the OC fair and it does weirdly work if you don't think about it too much

Chef Tamara said...

OH. MY. GOD! This post was Food Porn. Belly. Crispy Pigs Ears. Eggs. Foie over BISCUITS?!?! Ay dios mio!!

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