Tag Archives: animal restaurant

Eight-Course Foie Gras Dinner

Photos from Chef Ludo Lefebvre & Animal Restaurant’s recent foie gras dinner.

The New York Times writes:
“In eight months, the sale of foie gras will be banned in California. But for seven hours on Friday night, at a restaurant appropriately known as Aninal, three chefs presented an eight-course meal that was nothing short of a glorification of this soon-to-be outlawed delicacy.” (read more at NY Times)

Course 1: Marble Foie Gras Terrine
Course 1: Marble Foie Gras Terrine, Prosciutto, Fennel, Yogurt, Honey, Bruleed Figs

Foie Gras Crudo
Course 2: Foie Gras Crudo, Dates, Lemon Confit, Black Ash Brioche, Mushrooms

Smoked Foie Gras
Course 3: Smoked Foie Gras, Veal Tongue, Pumpernickel, Crab Apple

Foie Gras Ssam
Course 4: Foie Gras Ssam, Herbs, Peanuts, Green Curry, Bibb Lettuce, Plum Char Siu

Steamed Foie Gras
Course 5: Steamed Foie Gras, Cabbage, Mustard Ice Cream, Duck Fat Potato, Juniper Berries

Roasted Foie Gras "Cheeseburger"
Course 6: Roasted Foie Gras with Cheeseburger Flavors, Benton’s Bacon

Liquid Foie Gras
Course 7: Liquid Foie Gras Agnolotti, Corn, Black Truffle

Foie Brownie Sundae
Course 8: Brownie Sundae, Foie Gras Chantilly, Caramel, Vanilla Ice Cream

Peter & GregThis epic dinner was shared with Peter & my brother Greg 10/14/11

Animal Restaurant

About Chef Ludo

“All-foie-gras dinner with Ludo Lefebvre & Animal” by L.A. Times

“In California, Going All Out to Bid Adieu to Foie Gras” by New York Times

4 Comments

Filed under Eating Out

Animal Style (just the way I like it!)

Since 2008, Animal has been one of my very favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. Chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook keep it interesting by using not only the best ingredients, but by also serving some fun bits and pieces as well. Did I just order Pig Tails “Buffalo Style”? Oh yes I did!

Pig Tails, "Buffalo Style" at Animal
Pig Tails “Buffalo Style” Celery, Radish, Ranch $10

Bone Marrow at Animal
Marrow Bone, Chimichurri, Caramelized Onions $8

Hamachi Tostada at Animal
Hamachi Tostada, Herbs, Fish Sauce Vinaigrette, Peanut $14

Grilled Octopus at Animal
Grilled Octopus, Fava Bean Salad, Bagna Cauda $14

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich at Animal
Open Face Soft Shell Crab Sandwich, B&B Pickle Slaw, Rooster Aioli $20

Lamb Meatballs at Animal
Lamb Meatballs, Gold Rice, Green Garbanzos, Creme Fraiche $12

Foie Gras, Biscuit Gravy at Animal
Foie Gras, Biscuit, Maple Sausage Gravy $22

Dining Date: 6/19/10
Dinner shared with Lilliam R of
Mondette & Peter.

Previous visits to Animal

Animal Restaurant
website
435 N. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

All my Animal food photos on Flickr

Jon, Jo, Vin
with Jon & Vin

6 Comments

Filed under Eating Out

Best New Chefs!

My friends at Animal Restaurant were just named “Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine. Congratulations to Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook!

The complete list at Food and Wine Magazine

Jon, Jo, Vin
Jon, Jo, Vin food and wine best new chefs chefs 2009 animal restaurant vinny dotolo jon shook food and wine best new chefs chefs 2009 animal restaurant vinny dotolo jon shook

Food and Wine Magazine

Positively Delicious Photos from Animal on Flickr

My Many Visits to Animal, Start Here

food and wine best new chefs chefs 2009 animal restaurant vinny dotolo jon shook food and wine best new chefs chefs 2009 animal restaurant vinny dotolo jon shook food and wine best new chefs chefs 2009 animal restaurant vinny dotolo jon shook food and wine best new chefs chefs 2009 animal restaurant vinny dotolo jon shook “Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine.Congratulations to chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook

4 Comments

Filed under Eating Out, Little Bites

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

3 Comments

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

L.A. Mag Food Event ’08

My husband Peter and I arrived early to L.A. Magazine’s Third Annual Food Event. There were several wine booths set up at the beautiful Saddlerock Ranch, but honestly we were mostly there for the food!

This didn’t mean we didn’t drink our share of vino… just that we were more focused on the FOOD. Drinking alcohol in the early afternoon (mixed with the hot canyon sun) never works for me. If it weren’t for the tasty eats, I probably would have curled up under a tree half way through the event!

The first table we stopped at was Tra di Noi restaurant. Their three dishes were a fresh and delicious start to the afternoon…

Orecchiete Al Pecorino (Truffled Orecchiette with Pecorino Cheese). The presentation was just lovely, tossed in a bowl carved from a wheel of cheese. I remember Mario Batali doing this on an episode of Iron Chef. Very cool!

Tra di Noi's Orecchiete Al Peccorino by MyLastBite.com

Tra di Noi’s Sformato Di Carote (Organic carrot and zucchini flan with micro greens).
 
Tra di Noi's Sformato Di Carote by MyLastBite.com

Tra di Noi’s Carpaccio Di Polipo (Sliced Octopus Carpaccio with celery, cherry tomatoes and paprika aioli). 
Carpaccio Di Polipo MyLastBite.com

Hampton’s Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho.Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho MyLastBite.com

Onyx Restaurant’s Hamachi Poke & Crispy Chips

Onyx Restaurant's Poke, L.A. Mag Food Event by MyLastBite.com

Matthew Gladstone’s Jambalaya. Savory, spicy and lively… just like Chef Gladstone
Matthew Gladstone's Jambalaya from L.A. Mags Food Event by MyLastBite.com

And our favorite bite of the day… MOUTH-WATERING, BELLY-PLEASING BBQ Ribs from our friends at Animal Restaurant! Jon and Vin took the demonstration stage at around 3:20pm and gave the crowd what we wanted (and were lacking)… MEAT!!!

Jon showing off a cut from Niman Ranch.
Ready for Ribs? Animal's Jon Shook by MyLastBite.com

Jon & Vin getting ready to cook.Animal's Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo by MyLastBite.com

With co-host Cher Calvin
Cher Calvin with Animal's Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo by MyLastBite.com

Vin making the BBQ Sauce.
Animal's Vinny Dotolo by MyLastBite.com
co-host Merrill Schindler…
Merrill Schindler with Animal's Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo by MyLastBite.com

OH YES. IT WAS AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS HERE!!
Animal's Slow-Cooked Ribs, L.A. Mag Food Event by MyLastBite.com
More about ANIMAL Restaurant.

And a few Chef Photos!

Eric Greenspan, The Foundry on Melrose
Eric Greenspan, Jo MyLastBite.com

Neal Fraser of Grace Restaurant.
Jo, Neal Fraser MyLastBite.com

Nancy Silverton, Mozza
Jo, Nancy Silverton MyLastBite.com

Even though we didn’t stay through the end (blame it on that 1pm wine start!!), it was a beautiful event and all for a good cause. Proceeds went to the L.A. Regional Food Bank.

Lastly… I loved the Sweet and Spicy Chowder from Darrens Restaurant. I had two servings so quickly that I forgot to take a photo, but found one here taken at the restaurant!

Event Date: 10/26/08 More about the Food Event

Update 11/1/08 
I just found this photo on the L.A. Magazine Website. Peter (my husband) is wearing the baseball cap in the background. Our pal Jon Shook of Animal Restaurant holding the ribs.

L.A. Mag Food Event

L.A. Mag Food Event

1 Comment

Filed under Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.)

“One Chick, One Pan”

 By Jo Stougaard  Updated 11/3/08

“One Chick, One Pan”… Recipes that I’ve prepared from the cookbook “Two Dudes, One Pan: Maximum FlavorMaximum Flavor from a Minimalist Kitchen” written by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, chef/owners of my favorite restaurant, ANIMAL.

(11/3/08) Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon”. Loved the creamy sauce! Can’t wait to try it on broccoli or asparagus. Page 137 of the cookbook.

Two Dudes Creamed Brussels Sprouts, MyLastBite.com

(9/26/08) I made “Jon’s Sausage, Broccolini and Pasta Frittata” over the weekend. It was the easiest recipe yet, and also the most filling! We had it for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. I topped with shaved Manchego cheese and served with fresh mango (topped with red pepper flakes). Recipe on page 58. 
2 Dudes 1 Pan Frittata by MyLastBite.com

Recent recipes that I tried (9/20/08) are: “Chicken Provencal” Page 112. 
“Fennel Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette” on page 30. 
Chicken Provencal, FoodWhores  Fennel Salad, FoodWhores.com

The chicken skin was SO CRISPY, and the fennel salad was a whole new flavor mix! Totally refreshing.

9/16/08
“Tri-Tips with Salsa Verde” on page 122.
“Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, Capers and Parm” on page 178.

I have never had tastier cauliflower, especially with the crispy bits on top. My husband Peter couldn’t figure out the mystery ingredient in the Salsa Verde. He thought I had made chimchurri (which I make all the time) but he was surprised to find a deeper, richer flavor in the sauce, that he couldn’t quite describe. I told him “It’s the Umami… the fifth taste”. The mystery flavor was anchovies. He still couldn’t taste them after I told him, and then he asked for more…
Tri-Tip Salsa Verde, Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

9/10/08
The first two recipes I tried were “Peaches & Arugula Salad” on page 29, and “Chicken in White Wine and Herbs” on page 114. One pan (skillet) for the chicken, and one bowl for the salad.

Easy prep, easy pan sauce and easy cleanup. I loved the tart flavor that the vinegar added to the wine sauce. And my friend Laur enjoyed the salad so much that she almost licked out the bowl!

Chicken in White Wine & Herbs Chicken in White Wine & Herbs

Info on the book “Two Dudes, One Pan”

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipes

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