Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Animal - 9/29/08

Location: West Hollywood
Food: 4.5/5
Drinks: 1/5 - we didn't try any of their wines but I was disappointed that they didn't have Iced Tea
Service: 5/5
Ambiance: casual
Price: $$$
Overall: 4.5/5 - if they had Iced Tea it would've been a knockout

In my family, I always get tasked with finding the venue for celebratory dinners (maybe coz I eat out a lot). For my brother's birthday, it was no different. After making sure everyone's schedule meshed, I picked Animal - a relatively new restaurant from the Food Dudes. The menu and the reviews were impressive and I was craving really good foie gras.

The reservations were made for 7pm on a Monday night. Not familiar with the Fairfax area (it's been a while since I've lived in West Hollywood), I almost missed the valet. I ended up (almost) in the middle of the intersection looking for the valet guy. My family got there ahead of me so they were already seated when I arrived. They all looked to me to order, so order I did. We started off our meal with the raw amberjack and the foie gras (naturally).

The foie gras was absolutely divine. It was "melt in your mouth" perfect. The foie gras sat on top of a biscuit and was doused in gravy. The foie gras alone was great but combined with the gravy - the taste was almost overwhelmingly beyond expectation. The amberjack was good too but I think it could do with a little bit more acid. Or maybe the taste was just overpowered by the foie gras.

Raw Amberjack, Photo courtesy of My Last Bite.

For the entrees, my parents decided to go with the "109 for 2" which is a 32 oz. bone-in rib-eye with mashed potatoes. My brothers each ordered the Flatiron Steak and I went with the quail fry. Let's start with my parent's dish. OMG, biggest steak I've seen. The bone was probably as long as my arm from elbow to fingertip. It was a serious piece of steak. I think my parents only had half. My brothers, on the other hand, demolished their steaks in half the time it took me to eat my quail. It did look quite appetizing with the onions and the corn. I'll have to order that next time. My quail was surprisingly good. I've had quail before that's a little chewy so I wasn't expecting anything with my dish. Boy, was I wrong! The quail was juicy and succulent and I couldn't stop eating. The dish had some bacon on the side to temper the heaviness of the quail - perfect pairing.

Flatiron Steak, Photo courtesy of My Last Bite.

Bone-in Rib-Eye, Photo courtesy of Yelp.

We had the tres leches cake for dessert. Not that much of a revelation but I also think that we were all pretty stuffed at that point. The dessert was just an obligatory gesture to celebrate my brother's birthday. Happy Birthday again James!!!