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nose to tail.

6 May 2011

Last week in LA, my mother and I had a spectacular dinner at Animal, the much-hyped restaurant known for its over the top preparations of offal and all sorts of non-traditional meat parts (I think it was Frank Bruni who referred to fans of the restaurant as carniwhores).  The meal did not disappoint. 

From the top:

1. Grilled sparagus salad with pancetta dressing, fried soft-boiled egg, and parmesan.  This started out the meal, and was the lightest thing we would have all night. 

2. Left: veal brains with vadouvan, applesauce (yes, applesauce!), and baby carrots.  I’d never had veal brains before.  Oh man oh man, so good.  The vadouvan was incredibly fragrant.  On the right: sweetbreads with bacon, ramp dressing, and parsley.  I never turn down a chance to eat sweetbreads, and while I’ve had better iterations, these were still *really* good.  Even better, though, was the bacon — almost paper-thin, at once crispy and melt in your mouth.

3.  The dish of the night: Julienned pig ear with chili, lime and a fried egg.  This was kind of like the ultimate breakfast-for-dinner dish — the ears were shaved thin, then sauteed, so they had this great crunch to them, and paired with the egg, sort of like a hash brown.  The egg yoke covered everything with an extra layer of richness. 

4. Buffalo-style pig tails with celery and ranch dressing.  Oh yeah

How good was that pig ear dish?  So good we ordered a second helping instead of dessert.  No, really.

And because I clearly have no sense of boundaries or restraint, I went at it again this week, here in New York, at The Brooklyn Star with my pal Donny.  To wit:

Yup. Bacon + jalapeno cornbread, followed by sweetbreads + hominy and fried pig tails with hush puppies. What? Don’t judge me! (The Brooklyn Star meal, was great, by the way. I probably shouldn’t mention that instead of dessert this time around, Donny and I headed to Best Pizza for a slice and a half order of garlic knots.)

Feel the need to detox from all that fried meatiness?  Here are some photos of the restaurants’ interiors, the calm before the meat storm. 

See? It’s like that insanity never happened. Pig ear? What pig ear? Carry on.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mike D permalink
    9 May 2011 4:16 pm

    beautiful photos… and that fried soft bowled egg. I think I’m going to dream about it.

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