Drink Up: The Animal Adjective

As an Angeleno, you've probably heard someone say: "Let's go to that restaurant, the one with the animal in the name? It's like... an adjective and then an animal ...?"

Not terribly helpful. There are enough restaurants and bars in Los Angeles weirdly tuned into the Adjective Animal trend to confuse and mystify the best of us. So to help you avoid the "Was it the Irritable Dolphin?" conversation, we've rounded up the herd of LA's zoological spots to help you tell these beastly eateries apart.

Lazy Ox

Since 2009, this gastropub has been serving up brunch, lunch and dinner to downtown crowds hungry for roasted vegetable dishes, truffled potatoes, paella, and delicately prepared exotic meats like braised rabbit leg, octopus and a pig ear "chicharron" dish. The beer and wine list is carefully selected, with plenty of craft beers and flights to choose from.

Blue Cow

This downtown organic eatery focuses on sustainable ingredients and specializes in sandwiches and salads and breezy casual vibe. Case in point: their drink menu lists sections such as "approachable wines," "cocktails with care," and a "hopefully intriguing beer list."

Fat Cow

Gordon Ramsey's latest L.A. venture is due to open at The Grove in late summer. Taking cues from British pubs, the menu will likely involve European-inspired cuisine including charcuteries and seasonal vegetable dishes. We also heard the cocktail menu could involve spiked milkshakes. How very American of you, Gordie.

Hungry Cat

With two L.A. locations -- one in Hollywood and one in the Santa Monica canyon -- the Hungry Cat serves up all manner of seafood, including a raw oyster bar. As for libations, there are carefully crafted cocktails, beer and a nice wine list to help you use up some of those nine feline lives.

Surly Goat

Opened by co-owners of the Eastside pub Verdugo, The Surly Goat in West Hollywood has 27 rare craft beers on tap and around 100 bottles to choose from, plus a bar with all the usual hard-alcohol suspects. Oh, and a stuffed goat bust hanging over your head. For ambience.

Fat Dog

Tucked into the complex with Commissary and Lindy & Grundy butcher shop, the Fat Dog is a relatively new gastropub that offers outside seating, an unfussy atmosphere, and updated pub-grub like short rib French dip sandwiches and jalapeno mac n' cheese. Sure, there are a dozen beers on tap, another dozen in bottles plus a decent wine list, but total dorks may find it hard to resist ordering cocktails with dog puns, like the Germain Shepard and Key Lime Pug.

Thirsty Crow

Oh, Silver Lake. Of course you have a bar specializing in whiskeys and guys in suspenders slinging drinks with a sneer. Despite the painfully, preciously hip vibe, the classic cocktails are legit, and the whiskey list is enough to make any squawking bird shut up.

Blue Boar

An unpretentious Cahuenga Crawl beer bar wearing the clothes of a respectable gastropub by serving fancy cocktails and British fare. Order the Pimm's Cup for the ample fresh produce, or the Cap'n Jack for the smoldering cinnamon stick.

Little Bear

This charming Belgian beer bar has a draft list that will make even the biggest beer snob smile and fall over drunk. They also boast a full bar with their Vincent's Ruin -- made with Bulleit rye, St. Germain, lemon juice, and a Pernod rinse -- being their most popular cocktail.

Bourgeois Pig

If you're a bored screenwriter, a suffering artist, or you just miss the '90s, you'll love this coffee house located in bustling Franklin Village. No booze is sold, so you'll have to stick to their coffees and teas, although we have a feeling the hipster baristas wouldn't mind you spiking your latte ... as long as you share.

Blue Hen

This Eagle Rock Vietnamese restaurant proudly uses local and organic ingredients whenever possible, to create their dishes. No alcohol, but they offer "mocktails" of fresh squeezed orange or lime juice, sparkling water, and simple syrup.

Black Boar

This no-frills bar in Eagle Rock was opened by the chaps behind Laurel Tavern and The Griffin, and is great for a casual night out. Friendly bartenders, plenty of good beers, a fireplace and a British vibe -- plus a decent jukebox -- makes for a solid neighborhood watering hole.

Big Fish

According to Yelper Javier J., Big Fish is "one part dive bar and one part Elks lodge." If you can get yourself to Glendale, order a Rusty Nail or a Harvey Wallbanger, talk like you're in an episode of Cagney & Lacey all night, and be glad that you're here ironically.

Red Lion

Red Lion is a kitschy-in-a-good-way Silver Lake-meets-Germany restaurant with three separate full bars, including an outdoor beergarten that begs for daytime drinking and turns into a meet market on the weekends.

Flying Pig

Lovers of the Flying Pig food truck will appreciate this new brick-and-mortar -- and not having to sit on a curb to devour the Asian-inspired menu. Another bonus of being inside? Being able to consume wine, beer, and sake under a roof.

Hungry Fox

A North Hollywood diner seems like the perfect pre-walk of shame joint. If you're aching from the night before, you can eat away your hangover while you attempt awkward conversation with your companion ... or so we've heard.

Honorable mentions:
Oki-Dog
Jollibee
Sugarfish
Honey Pig
Golden Ox
Flying Fox
Black Cat Bakery
Black Hogg

If you could name your restaurant any animal-adjective, what would it be? Remember: the world is your oyster. Hey, what about the Giddy Bivalve?

Boar with a hat by Flickr user NH53; Big Fish Budweiser sign by Flickr user tamedblossom.

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About the Author

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark are best friends, TV shows hosts, and cocktail experts.
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