In the world of restaurants the late night, post-shift meal with co-workers is a ritual that is relished and celebrated in various and unruly incarnations. Some find sustenance in a handful of bar snacks and a gullet full of cocktails. Others speed across town to the 24-hour drive-thru and late night taco stand to silently devour a well-deserved meal in mere seconds. While some—exhausted individuals craving to commiserate–speed across town to a late-night restaurant en masse to eat and drink away the shift’s miseries, swap stories and revel in debauchery.
In Los Angeles there are many all-night spots popular with restaurant folk. Taco stands, 24-hour hamburger joints and Korean noodle houses aside, there are few places in the city of Angels that offer food and a service staff that cater to the rich and exotic tastes of restaurant folk. Animal Restaurant, a meat obsessed late-night spot in the Fairfax district, is a rare example of a celebrated late night eatery that has found a dedicated following of night owls and restaurant insiders.
Founded by the handsomely tussled chef-duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal’s menu is dedicated to all things meat. The dishes are small but pack a lot of flavor (and fat filled calories) like the six hour Bolognese on Parmesan polenta ($8), pork belly with kimchi, chili soy and scallion ($11), or melted petit basque on a bed of chorizo with garlic bread ($11). Favorites with my fellow-late night diners are the house smoked pork belly, lentil & butterbean salad ($14), fall off the bone pork ribs with a rocket, fennel and citrus salad ($15), blow-your-diet foie gras with a salty biscuit and maple sausage gravy ($22).
The one dish that keeps the folks at Mozza coming back for more is the French Canadian comfort food poutine: made here with a rich oxtail gravy, melted cheddar cheese on a bed of French fries ($14). Though a perfect finale for a long night of drinking, this is a dish that requires an iron stomach. Poutine on an empty stomach at 2 AM is a really, really bad idea.
For those with a late night sweet tooth, recommended dishes include the decadent tres leches cake ($7), jar of chocolate pudding (topped with bacon!) ($7) and Animal’s signature bacon meets chocolate dessert, a Kit-Kat inspired bacon and chocolate crunch bar ($8).
With words like “changes and modifications politely declined” printed on the menu, Animal restaurant is a restaurant insider’s pick.
435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Open Seven Days A Week
Sunday – Thursday 6pm-11pm
Friday – Saturday 6pm-2am