Tag Archives: 2 dudes

Animal [7]

I eat anything. Even if I don’t particularly like it, I’ll still eat it if it’s served. Except when it comes to lamb.

My first experience with lamb was during a visit to my father in Scotland when I was sixteen. We went to a restaurant that served authentic Scottish dishes and I was served mutton. I thought it the most disgusting thing I had ever seen or smelled, and embarrassed my dad by refusing to eat it.

Over the years I associated all lamb with mutton. Of course I eventually learned that lamb, young lamb, had a totally different taste than old skanky mutton meat. Still I wavered whenever I was served lamb at a friend’s house or at a party. I NEVER ordered it in restaurants and it became sort of a joke in my family…. “oh Jo will eat anything but lamb”.

There were some rare instances in my life where I ate lamb and actually liked it. Like when my Greek friends Elli and Daphne worked at their mother’s restaurant in Eugene, Oregon. Poppi served Greek and Indian food in her charming spot called “Anatolia”. During one summer visit we had a picnic by a lake. After swimming and relaxing on the shore, Poppi brought out a basket of leftovers from the night before and started plating up some garlic rubbed, grilled lamb souvlaki. I took a deep breath (trying to plug my nose from the inside) and reached for a stick of lamb. I took one bite, then took a breath. I don’t know if it was the garlic or the fresh Oregon air, but I liked it! I had seconds!

That was twenty years ago.

This past summer I went to the Gourmet on Fire food event with friends and family. My favorite bite of the event? Neal (Grace & BLD) Frasers LAMB Burgers. Yep. Lamb. I had seconds AND thirds. Recently I chatted with chef Fraser and told him how much I loved those burgers. My husband butted in and said “and she doesn’t eat lamb, so that’s a real compliment”.

While eating dinner at Animal Restaurant last week, chef Vinny whispered that he would be getting some amazing lamb in the next day. I sort of gave him a blank look and said “Great!”… but honestly I was thinking “Oh my but I don’t eat lamb! ANYTHING BUT LAMB!”. My husband does eat it, so I figured I would make him order it the next time we went to Animal… which was last night.

We had an early dinner with friends Jeffrey and Rina. Our server Billy recommended the LAMB, so we ordered it of course, as well as the Rock Cod, Raw Amberjack, Petit Basque and Fried Hominy. I also ordered the Duck Confit as a “back up” for me in case I couldn’t take eating the dreaded lamb.

Well surprise, surprise! I thought the Leg of Lamb was WONDERFUL. Tender, pink and juicy, served on a bed of stewed peppers and potatoes. I should have known not to worry if it came from the Animal kitchen!

So for any “lamb naysayers” out there… take note. I can now stand tall, with my head held up high and say with fierce conviction… “I EAT ANYTHING… EVEN LAMB!”.

Animal Restaurant's Duck Confit by MyLastBite.com
Duck Confit, Orange Braised Fennel, Shishito Peppers $15

Animal Restaurant's Rock Cod by MyLastBite.com
Rock Cod, King Crab, Tabasco Butter, Gold Rice Succotash Cipollini $26

Animal Restaurant's Fried Hominy by MyLastBite.com
Fried Hominy with Lime $5

Animal Restaurant's Leg of Lamb by MyLastBite.com
DELICIOUS Leg of Lamb for Two, Stewed Peppers and Potatoes $52

Dining Date 11/2/08

“Anything But Lamb” by Jo Stougaard

-> Visits 8 & 9

<- Visits 5 & 6

Animal Restaurant
http://www.animalrestaurant.com
435 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

Queen City Grill on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Eating Out, Food Stories (written by me)

Animal [1]

It’s not all about bacon at ANIMAL Restaurant. Before the first of my many, many visits, I read a review that noted there was “too much” bacon on the menu. Of course that made me want to go ASAP, but in reality the restaurant is more about being adventurous… as chefs and as an eater.

Two of my favorite dishes were actually bacon-free. The Raw Amberjack and the Foie Gras with Strawberry & Grits (pics below). But there were plenty of pork accented plates that made me think I had died and gone to bacon heaven. Especially the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar dessert!

That very first dinner at ANIMAL (Aug 29th) was so good, that my husband Peter and I ate there again the next evening. The servers (Jeff on Friday night… Victor & Arlene on Saturday) were convivial and very helpful.

Chef Jon Shook stopped by our table a few times to chat and to recommend dishes. Chef Vinny Dotolo never left the busy kitchen but I blame that on our table… we just could not stop indulging ourselves and had to taste everything we could.

Simply put, the food at ANIMAL is fearless, delicious and full of passion. See you there soon!

Raw Amberjack, Nectarines, Orange, Mint and Serrano Chili, MyLastBite.com
Raw Amberjack, Nectarines, Orange, Mint and Serrano Chili $14

Crispy Squash Blossoms, MyLastBite.com
Crispy Squash Blossoms $14

Softshell Crab, Kimchi, Pork Belly, Chili Soy, MyLastBite.com
Softshell Crab, Kimchi, Pork Belly, Chili Soy $20

Pork Ribs, Balsamic, Heirloom Tomato, Rocket and Bread Salad, MyLastBite.com
Pork Ribs, Balsamic, Heirloom Tomato, Rocket and Bread Salad $15

Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar with Creme’ Anglaise, MyLastBite.com
Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar with Creme’ Anglaise $8

Foie Gras, Strawberry, Hasty Pudding, MyLastBite.com
Foie Gras, Strawberry, Hasty Pudding (old school grits) $20

Wine: We love the Joel Gott Zinfandel wine that we first tried at Animal. More info here

Dining Date 8/29/08

– > Animal Visit 2

Animal Restaurant
http://www.animalrestaurant.com
435 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

Animal on Urbanspoon

2 Comments

Filed under Eating Out