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The Glutton

June 26, 2008

From the "edgy" personas of Food Network semi-stars Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (the "renegade chefs who play by their own rules" and brought us the short-lived "2 Dudes Catering"), the Glutton expected the Food Dudes' new Miracle Mile restaurant Animal (435 N. Fairfax Ave.) to be another sorry example in hipper-than-thou cuisine. Instead, this old bacon lover was thrilled to discover a small, friendly if a bit spartan restaurant that will melt the greasy cockles of the most hardened hearts.

Animal is the perfect place to indulge your pork fetish by incorporating bacon into every course of your meal, even dessert.

Half-brownie, half-fudge and topped with smoky bacon crumbles, the bacon chocolate crunch bar has drawn more unexamined hype than John McCain's "maverick" label. Try it once -- like sky-diving or reading a Thomas Pynchon novel -- just to say you did, but there are better things to be eaten at Animal.

There is the delicately battered and fried soft shell crab accompanied by pork belly so tender it nearly melts in your mouth. Or you could order the artisanal grits that might be the fluffiest in all of L.A. For something sweet, try the mouthwatering nectarine and blueberry crisp. On the succulent side of things, there's the fried quail made more blissful by a side of slab bacon.

When even the shaved asparagus is dressed with bacon, the Glutton's in hog heaven.

-- theguide@latimes.com

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