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