Part Daniel Boulud, part Lynrd Skynrd, Animal serves up a steakhouse vibe for pig lovers.
Located in a row of Fairfax storefronts lined with Jewish bakeries and Canter’s Famous Deli, Animal is the strange bedfellow in this kosher corner. The under-30 hosts of Food Network's "2 Dudes Catering" have squeezed their offbeat appeal into a high ceilinged, white-walled space that's more MOMA than diner.
Pork is the eclectic menu's featured ingredient. Whether it's pancetta sprinkled over mahi mahi, pork belly garnishing softshell crab, or bacon crisps coating the signature chocolate crunch bar, pig is the utilityman on the constantly changing seasonal menu. Don't expect to find pork ribs as a main course, though, swine is almost exclusively a supporting player.
While the decadent fare and loud din of the dining room may not be ideal for a date (unless you’ve been set up with a vocal panther), it's the right spot for the gang to grub in style before a night across the street at The Dime.
435 N. Fairfax Ave. (323) 782-9225
Price: 3 (out of 4) Noise: 4 (out of 4)
Parking: Valet, or meters on Fairfax.
Scene: Dudes pregaming before vodka binges; young foodies
Best bets: Soft shell crab; flat-iron steak; white peach and Blueberry cobbler
Nearby: The Dime; St. Nick's; Bar Lubitsch
Pork Nazis: Picky eaters beware, all meal modifications are politely declined.