arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Throw Out The Rulebook

at Animae

Two San Diego chefs are rockin’ the San Diego food scene by throwing out the culinary rulebook and rewriting the menu.

Animae Restaurant San Diego

What is Animae:

In a city with a culinary scene known for its daring and unique cross-border flavors, Animae takes the spirit of San Diego’s creative, collaborative culinary culture to the next level.

A Pan-Asian-inspired restaurant, Animae features an east-meets-west, anything goes, breaking all the rules menu created by celebrity restaurateur and former Top Chef finalist, Brian Malarkey, along with his executive chef Tara Monsod. But these two kitchen rebels aren’t just throwing out the rule book, they’re writing their own.

Inspired by their own unique culinary backgrounds, love of wild experimentation, Asian flavors and San Diego’s abundance of local ingredients, Animae is a true original – merging Italian culinary training, with traditional Asian ingredients and locally-sourced seafood to create something entirely new… like their broth-less ramen noodles, or their escargot butter dumplings with wagyu beef and lemon. Yum!

San Diego’s easy-going year-round climate, its location along the Pacific Coast, the abundance of rich, agricultural farms and energetic spirit, draws chefs from all over, and Brian and Tara acknowledge that it’s a great place for experimentation and invention.

“There are so many great farms,” chef Brian says, before also listing off the great fishermen at San Diego’s docks and fish markets, the great beaches he visits with his family during his off time, and all the great food and fun to be had in the city.

Animae Restaurant San Diego

And Brian’s eager to reciprocate all of those fun feelings in his bold, fresh cooking, because San Diego’s creative and accepting atmosphere makes it “open to trying new things.” And its eagerness to embrace new ideas, experiences, and opportunities, makes San Diego the perfect place for Animae.

But the city itself is also an inspiration to the chefs. When asked what part of San Diego inspires their cooking the most, chef Brian neatly twirled a spatula and said with a boyish smile, “the WHOLE city inspires my cooking!”

And the interior of their restaurant is just as unique as the menu. It’s chic-luxury with a sense of humor and a fun, yet upscale vibe – because San Diego never takes itself too seriously. Imagine green velvet furnishings, ornate chandeliers, gold columns, and oversized cushioned booths as plump as bao buns sprinkled with hip, playful touches like Japanese toys behind the hostess counter and a massive fifteen-foot painting of a giant robot floating in a koi pond above the bar.

At first glance, it appears to be a mismatch. But in true San Diego fashion, it’s a melting pot of good things, coming together to create something new and exciting, proving that it isn’t a mismatch, it’s a mashup.

Animae is a place where different thoughts, energies, and perspectives come together to create an original. It’s reflective of the spirit of San Diego and serves as a reminder that fresh thinking (or cooking) doesn’t come in a vacuum, but through inspiration and collaboration.

Animae Restaurant San Diego

What's on the Menu in San Diego?

From the fresh seafood coming off the San Diego docks, to the organic farms in the area, Animae brings in all the rich resources the city has to offer to craft its amazing menu. And you can sample it all, from corn scallion karaage, broth-less ramen noodles, wagyu porterhouse cuts cooked in miso butter, escargot butter dumplings, and kare kare short ribs with bagoong peanut oil, all prepared on a custom charcoal flame oven that delivers a one-of-a-kind taste in a one-of-a-kind city.

More from San Diego

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Deals just for you

Whale Watching

Luxury Whale Watching Onboard Catamaran. Save $10

Davey's Locker Whale Watching & Sportsfishing
Valid: Sep 6, 2022 - ongoing

Onboard our 50’ pristine Catamaran Yacht, our always low passenger capacity makes for an intimate at sea experience. The luxury whale watching...

Accommodation

Extreme Planners Rate

Humphreys Half Moon Inn
Valid: Mar 14 - ongoing

Perfect for the extreme planner, this rate is bookable 30 days in advance and comes with huge savings! You know what they say, the early bird gets the worm. If your dates are set, then go ahead and...

Accommodation

Linger Longer Offer

Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle
Valid: Mar 14 - ongoing

We could all use a fun and relaxing getaway right now — why not choose Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle? Slow your stay down and savor the little moments with our Linger Longer, Save...

Events to check out

Event

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 28, 2022

The SDCCU Holiday Bowl is America’s Finest Bowl Experience! Find out how to be a part of this signature San Diego event between some of college football’s most competitive...

Event

San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 30, 2022 - Jan 2, 2023

Where the cars are the stars! The San Diego International Auto Show features the widest variety of new vehicles under one roof.

Event

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 11 - Dec 18, 2022

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish