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Week in Reviews: Animal's a Star, Gordon Ramsay, The Counter, Daisy Mint, Kitchen 24 and More

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Bacon palace, by Alen Lin

Well, we knew this was coming! Miss Irene has been spotted at Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's Animal twice so it was only a matter of time before she bowed down before the Food Dudes at their altar of meat. But from the get-go she just sounds like she's getting too damn old for this bacon-stuffed scene:

I want to root for these two out-of-towners who have managed to open their own restaurant. I applaud Animal's concept and aesthetic -- dietarily incorrect, exuberant and indulgent, with bacon popping up in almost every dish. But while some of the dishes are pretty good, I'm finding it hard to fall for this restaurant, despite the enthusiastic young hipsters all around the dining room shouting out that the grits are amazing and the ribs fabulous.

You hear that, hipsters? Pipe down!

I know the chefs are having a ball in the kitchen, dreaming up dishes, sending plates out to friends and fans -- but somebody has to get a grip. Hide the salt and the sugar (too much of either or both escape onto the plates) and maybe -- just a thought -- cut back on the bacon.

Which is basically like telling the Dudes to cut off their arms. Overall, she likes some dishes but finds the cooking frenetic; the review ends with Virbila sounding like a fussy Jewish grandmother, wishing she could just tell Shook and Dotolo to "slow down, calm down." Animal gets a single star. And the "S"? Obviously: "stodgy." [LAT]

ELSEWHERE: frazgo at Metblogs thanks Gordon Ramsay for the perfect anniversary dinner; Dig Lounge hits the Counter in the Marina; Eating L.A. samples Pasadena's pretty Daisy Mint; Caroline on Crack discovers cocktail shakes at Kitchen 24; la.foodblogging is undecided on Bocca in Encino; LAist finds fondue redeeming at the Melting Pot.

Animal Restaurant

435 North Fairfax Avenue, , CA 90036 (323) 782-9225 Visit Website

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