Limited Edition Ramen at ANIMAL
Exclusive ramen bowl alert! You may know Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s Animal (the restaurant) for their exotic and unique menu items, but now two times a week it’s all about ramen! The folks at Animal refer to it as their “restaurant within a restaurant concept.” Available only on Mondays and Tuesdays starting at 9 p.m., the restaurant only has 20 bowls available on hand at the bar only. I arrived with my good foodie friends Chef Jay and Amy, from Backyard Bite who coordinated our adventurous ramen outing. Amy’s now referring to us as the “Ramen Squad.” It was a long wait so make sure to go with friends that will entertain you and make it fun.
To get a coveted ramen bowl at Animal, you have to get there early. I arrived first at 8 p.m. to sign up. I was the 3rd person in line. Unfortunately because there are only 7/8 seats at the bar, you have wait until a space opens up. We didn’t end up seated until 9:30 p.m. And it was raining too! People in LA usually never go out in the rain. That’s how big of a deal ramen at Animal was!
I love me a bowl of traditional ramen, but I knew going in that this most definitely was not going to be traditional in any sense. The limited edition Animal Tonkotsu Ramen goes for $18. The Tonkotsu broth is brewed for 36 hours. It comes with pork belly cha siu, ham hocks, Swiss chard, bean sprouts, and kale. It was delicious, although not traditional in taste at all. The broth looks very red in color as if it would be very spicy. But in reality, the ramen wasn’t spicy. It had almost a Chinese spicy miso taste, almost ma-la (numbing spice) minus the spicy aspect if that makes sense. I love the textures the kale and sprouts added. That really stood out to me.
Also, if you want extra noodles, Animal refers to it as a ‘noodle reload’ for $3. Honestly, just one bowl was good enough for me since I also had to get a slice of the chicken liver toast. $18 is pretty pricey for a bowl of ramen, as is $3 for an extra helping of noodles. I do, however think that Animal's ramen is worth trying. It's different from any of the other ramen I've had out there. Do it at least once! By the way, Animal staff also mentioned that they are planning on adding more items to their ramen menu such as chirashi soon.
Are you excited for this new addition?
435 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA