Animae is an interpretation by Puffer Malarkey Collective of West Coast Asian cuisine. A formal, seductive atmosphere sets the stage for highly theatrical dining on the ground floor of Pacific Gate by Bosa, Downtown San Diego’s newest ultra-luxury condominiums.
Slip into one of the opulent banquettes in Brian Malarkey’s latest venture, Animae. Under the helm of acclaimed executive chef Tara Monsod, the restaurant boasts a pronounced, Southeast Asian-focused menu, plus a Wagyu steak program. Sip a Devil Fruit (coconut infused mezcal, dragon fruit, pineapple, winter melon, egg white) alongside savory dishes like the Caviar Shrimp Toast or Lechon Kawali before indulging in favorites like the Kare Kare Short Ribs with long bean and eggplant. Cap it all off with any of the desserts from pastry chef Laura Warren, namely the Maja Kalabasa (kabocha custard with coconut, honey tuile, and toasted rice ice cream).
Animae’s executive chef, Tara Monsod, offers an unconventional prix-fixe, three-course family-style Thanksgiving menu that includes starters like Animae’s signature Caviar Shrimp Toast and Tuna Crispy Rice or new dishes like Mantao with sweet soy, chives, and sesame. Second course indulgences showcase options like Filet Mignon with ginger scallion oil, A5 potatoes, and Chinese sausage jam, or Branzino Cha Ca with rice noodles, nuoc cham, and dill turmeric, plus family-style sides of Roasted Caulini, with sesame, cilantro, and szechuan cashew crumble, and Chili Vinaigrette Brussel Sprouts. Dessert options feature a Chocolate Taiyaki Mousse Bar or Pear and Hojicha Roll Cake. View the menu online. Seatings are available from 3–7 pm on Thanksgiving Day.
Cost: $130 per person
Animae is the ideal destination for an elevated holiday event or celebration. Under the helm of acclaimed chef Tara Monsod, Animae has a lighter, more Southeast Asian-focused menu. The stunning dining room is inspired by the ancient forest of Yakushima Island, with lush moss green velvet banquettes and heavy drapery sheltering dining nooks along the wall, while playful lighting provides flattering illumination. Custom-tailored menus and specially curated wine pairings are also available.
How to book: Tables for groups up to eight can be reserved via OpenTable. Book larger parties online or by calling 619-432-1225.
Animae may be widely known as a steakhouse with Asian fusion, but under the direction of Filipino-American executive chef Tara Monsod, the restaurant delivers a few select dishes from Monsod’s culture with delicious results. Her scallop crudo incorporating calamansi, a lemon-lime-like citrus used throughout the Philippines, is a standout. Also worth ordering are the kare-kare short ribs with bagoong, a fermented shrimp paste, which delivers a hit of umami in the dish.
How to book: Make reservations online.