It isn't exactly new anymore, but it's about time we bust out these pics of Animal to show the few (minor) changes to the sparse Fairfax space---most notably, the sound panels. The biggest gripe most people had was the clamouring noise level, something a lot of new restaurants suffer, and chef/owners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo knew it. Shook's response to our comment about it the first time we went in: It was either good stemware, plates and cutlery or sound absorption. Priorities, people. The design fits the concept: stripped-down, rustic, aggressive (let's equate that with 'loud'), although there is more care given to the menu than, say, the unpainted benches (which aren't nearly as uncomfortable as they look). It's very communal, a place made for resto industry people (two reasons: the foie gras biscuit and late hours on the weekends) from young gutsy guys whose serious palate belies their constant use of "dude." And they have a lot of praise to prove it (although not Miss Irene's scene so much). For further reading, more previously.
Eater Inside: Animal
by Lesley Balla
Red sauce Italian in Lincoln Heights, oodles of noodles and congee in Monterey Park, and more