The Greasy Foodie

The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.

I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Greasy Foodie" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.

If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at greasyfoodie@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Animal








Los Angeles

From Best Thing I Ever Ate


435 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90036
I will be honest and blunt.  This place is almost impossible to get into.  I waited six months to go. This place has no sign.  It's just there. 

This was one of the top 3 best meals of my life.  I cannot begin to explain to you how incredible this place was.  I dream of this place at night, and not just of one dish, but of multiple dishes, actually all the dishes...

This place was just.....perfection.

Animal is a gastrointestinal journeymans dream.  It is a culinary mecca.  It is a restaurant kingdom.  It is a meat restaurant with a focus on meat highlighting meat, but in the most inventive and incredible ways imaginable. The owners and chefs take cuts of pieces, organs, disregaded pieces, and make them into something that is nothing short of a masterpiece.  The plates are small and are meant to share, and althought sharing food sends me into a neutrotic spiral of sweats and panic as I worry I won't get enough food, the sharing at this place is required so that you can try as many things as possible.

The menu changes daily.

Animal will go down as one the greatest experiences culinary wise in my life.

I went with two other guys.  The waiter recommended 2 dishes per person, we went with 10 total plus two desserts.

In order down the menu from the night I went (you can keep score on the photo above)
1. Marrow bone, chimichurri, caramelized onions: Bone marrow has been #1 on my food bucket list since I started charting my gastrointestinal journey, and it did not disappoint.  They bring the bone split with everythign inside, and you just scoop and put it all onto a perfectly toasted piece of sourdough.  Amazing!
2. Pig tails, “buffalo style,” celery, ranch: the most creative and messy dish on the list.  The pig tails were meatier than I expected.  Great!
3. Fried cauliflower, tahini, white anchovy, wild rice, lemon: our veggie of the evening and so incredible.  The anchovy gave it a hint of like herring in sour cream which reminds me of meals in the south, a dish my grandmother loves!
4. Beef heart, paprika, dill-crème fraiche, potato, pickled beets: so tender and incredible. the sauce was perfect balance and the potato, which was a potato chip, was a perfect addition.
5. Pig ear, chili, lime, fried egg: not the easiest to eat, but the most creative in terms of flavor.  Perfectly spicy bacon strips is the best way to put it!
6.Barbeque pork belly sandwiches, slaw: Made my southern gentleman belly quite happy, and the pork belly is the most tender I have ever had!
7. Veal brains, vadouvan, apricot puree, carrot: this one was good, not amazing, but good, had a few spices I didn't care for, and my uncle, who is a gastrointestinal doctor I love and trust told me after the fact "avoid neurological matter"...whoooops!
8. Iberico pork secreto, marinated onion, garlic scapes: Picture the most perfectly cooked pork tenderloin, and thats what you get here, with some of the rarest veggies in the world, garlic scapes, which bloom only 3 months of the year
9. Crispy pig head, short grain rice, bulldog sauce, soy egg: Again, avoid the neurological matter!
10. Duck breast, charred cabbage, liptauer, mustard: A late addition to the meal, but probably the best dish of the night.  I have only had duck once before, and now I know, it was greatly overcooked.  This was one of the best dishes I have ever had in my life.  Perfection  This goes on the short list for death row final meal!
11. Poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar: this is a masterpiece that sticks with you for weeks to come.  Poutine is a canadian dish eaten in the dead of winter to keep warm and fat.  It's fries drenched in gravy and cheese.  This is a rich man's chili cheese fries, and Animal does it best.  Just imagine fries drenched in the finest beef stew of our life covered in the richest cheese of your life....Masterpiece!

Dessert:
Bacon chocolate crunch bar, s&p ice cream: Mindblowing!
Tres leches, dulce de leche: perfect ending!

Let me say this again..and I cannot reiterate it enough!


Animal will go down as one the top 3 greatest food experiences in my life.


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