ANIMAE Is Now Open For Dinner In ‘The Garden’

Under the guidance of the new Culinary Director, James Beard Award Winner, Nate Appleman, ANIMAE’s eclectic West Coast cuisine, layered with Asian influences, returns with nightly dinner service in their beautiful outdoor space, ‘the garden’ Tuesday through Saturday starting at 5:30 p.m.


Tucked away between lush ferns and soothed by the sounds of the water, ANIMAE will offer diners an escape from trials and tribulations that await us on the other side.

Both the dinner and cocktail menu serve as a complement to ANIMAE’s design. The brainchild of co-creator Chris Puffer, ANIMAE’s Great Gatsby-meets-Madmen-meets-The Matrix interior is a fantastical futurist’s journey, transporting diners to the Shikoku firefly forest in Japan, a space that’s both ethereal and theatrical. Bringing that experience outdoors, ANIMAE will be utilizing the garden and fountains located alongside the Pacific Gate by BOSA residential tower.


ANIMAE’s eclectic West Coast cuisine, layered with Asian influences, comes to life under James Beard Award-Winning Chef Nate Appleman. Applying a California cooking style to ANIMAE’S traditional coal-fired oven and grill, Chef Appleman’s menu is as thoughtful as it is refined, elevating local produce and seasonal ingredients to create a lively and progressive culinary program.


Chef Appleman’s ANIMAE menu is divided into four sections, Cold, Hot, Plates and Steaks. A much expanded Cold section of 12 lighter small plates, allows guests to experience multiple dishes, such as Ora King Salmon, Albacore “Kinilaw,” and Lobster Nuoc Cham. The Hot section reimagines a few ANIMAE favorites, Butter Dumplings and Tom Yum Mushrooms, and introduces new items like the Coconut Shrimp Karaage, fried in coconut flour and served with makrut lime leaf and a green curry mayo.

The Plate section showcases Chef Appleman’s ability to highlight the quality of ingredients with simple and thoughtful preparations. Standouts include the Steamed Rock Cod with celery, mushrooms, ginger, yuzu kosho butter, and aonori seaweed, Lamb Ribs with cumin, honey, black pepper, cilantro, shallots, and the Wagyu Burger with milk bread, cabbage, bulldog sauce, and kimchi mayo.


Under Chef Appleman and co-creator Brian Malarkey’s guidance, ANIMAE’s wagyu program has been greatly expanded. The menu features American Wagyu sourced from Snake River Farms in Eastern Idaho, handpicked by Chef Malarkey after touring the ranch late last year. Cuts range from an eight-ounce filet to a 32-ounce porterhouse, prepared simply and roasted over the coal-fired grill. This allows for the exceptional flavor profile of the wagyu to shine through with each bite, showcasing not only the craftsmanship of the kitchen and chef but the protein as well.


ANIMAE’s cocktail program is as vivacious as it is refreshing. Curated by ANIMAE’s General Manager and spirits extraordinaire Lucien Conner, alongside resident Sommelier Taylor Berk, the menu offers a playful spin on the crushable summer beverages that are meant to transport imbibers to a paradise far, far away. Emphasizing local produce and seasonal ingredients, favorites include the Peché Collins with bourbon, yellow peach, ginger, lemon and soda and the double melon gin spin on a Last Word, aptly titled The Last Melon with gin, chartreuse, honey dew, cantaloupe and lime.

It all looks and sounds amazing – we can’t wait to go!

Click here to book your table!

See you there….and stay healthy, San Diego!

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