I was suspicious of Animae (969 Pacific Highway, Downtown). The cross-cultural Asian fusion concept seemed so very 20 years ago, and not necessarily in a good way. We’d been there before, as had Brian Malarkey with Burlap. Did we really need to do go there again?
Then I took one step into the place and it suddenly seemed to make sense. The décor was the first clue. Art deco stylings hinted at a something beyond the obvious. All the soft surfaces and big, cozy banquettes spoke of high-end New York places of yesteryear (and in a good way): comfortable, eclectic and sophisticated.