Animal, located in Hollywood, is the kind of place that local chefs go to after they get off of their shifts. Open until 2 a.m. and serving great quality meats and offal prepared to perfection at an affordable price, makes this place an amazing option for both tired chefs and late night food finders like myself.
The menu is printed every so often, which I can assure you, makes for an option of great seasonal items.
By the way, my boyfriend and I sat next to Alex Guarnaschelli, Chopped judge and executive chef of Butter Restaurant. Bonus! (That's how you know the restaurant is good, when esteemed chefs dine there...not to mention, if you watched "Best Thing I Ever Ate" on Food Network, Animal is home to Duff's favorite, bacon crunch bar...HELLO bacon and chocolate!! c'mon!)
This was the very first time I tried sweet breads. I've heard nothing but amazing things about sweet breads in general, and I've always been a little skeptical about trying them. Let's see, animal thymus...not exactly on my "I'm dying to try it" list. But, it was on my boyfriend's and I thought, "What better place to try sweet breads than Animal, plus its affordable!" So there began my new found love for thymus! It was crispy and caramelized on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside. It had a really delicate offal flavor, not off-putting as I often find in liver. It tasted of savory crusty meat, then a slight irony flavor right at the end. It was amazing...heavenly offal. I don't know how often you hear about offal being heavenly, but this was pretty damn good!
For my entree, I had the steak with fondue. And may I say, this was great! The fondue was extremely smooth and flavorful--tasted almost like a dense, cheesy, bachamel sauce. That poured over a perfectly done med-rare meaty steak...can a girl ask for anything more?! Granted, Animal is a diet breaker, but well worth it. As if I haven't emphasized enough...this was Food&Wine Magazine's 2009 rising chef's pick and it's incredibly friendly on the pocket! Enjoy~