I’ve long heard about Animal, located in Beverly Grove. Animal, along with sister restaurants Son of a Gun and Trois Mec, are some of LA’s most popular restaurants and all 3 have been on my must-try list for some time. I had the opportunity to go to Animal this past week, and although the menu was incredibly gluten UN-friendly, I managed to find a few options to suit my NOBREAD life so I could still experience a 5-star meal…
At first glance of the menu, there were several items I wanted to try, but given the use of sauces, meats, and ingredients I wasn’t familiar with, I asked my waiter to kindly show me which menu items I would be able to have. My menu of ~30 options immediately shrunk to 6. Four dishes were 100% GF and 2 were GF if you were able to handle cross contamination. The four dishes that WERE 100% gluten free were grilled quail, tuna tataki, smoked turkey leg, and lamb birria, and the two dishes that were GF but subject to cross contamination were the poutine and the pig ear. From this list, my friend and I ordered the tuna tataki, lamb, and pig ear. The tuna was INCREDIBLE, and absolutely the best tuna dish I have ever had. The pig ear was incredibly interesting and flavorful, and the lamb stew was out of this world. The lamb was served with accompaniments on the side and house made corn tortillas, so you could make your own lamb taco. I can’t put into words how delicious and flavorful the lamb was. The corn tortillas, as simple as they were, were out of this world too!
My friend did order gluten, given how few GF items were available, and for each dish she ordered we asked what the gluten culprit was. The Brussels sprouts, which looked amazing, had breadcrumbs and thus weren’t GF. When I asked if we could order the sprouts nobreadcrumbs, I was disappointed to learn that the restaurant made NO modifications, even for modifications as simple as withholding breadcrumbs for an allergic person. Animal is the perfect date spot or place to grab dinner with a few friends. Yes the food is delicious, but if you are gluten free, there are definitely gluten-friendlier restaurants out there.