Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday at the Hungry Cat

The Hungry Cat
1535 N. Vine
Hollywood, CA

Saturday afternoon after a 90 minute tennis session in the heat and smog, we cleaned up and headed toward to Arclight to watch Rocknrolla, and stopped by Hungry Cat to feed our hungry selves. Hungry Cat is located in the Sunset and Vine complex, convenient to doing some shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond, watching films at the Arclight, or a Hollywood bar crawl. And the food is top notch.

The sandwich board on the sidewalk lures customers in with the promise of oysters on the half shell and the much hallowed Santa Barbara sea urchin.

As you turn into the alley that leads to The Hungry Cat, you will be stepping over Angela Lanbury's star. Hiya Angela! Your long running show Murder, She Wrote was part of the inspiration for the title of this blog. Thank you, Angela!

Inside, the blackboard at the front bar suggests drink specials and reiterates the shellfish of the day.

I love the simple, clean and fresh decor in The Hungry Cat. The citrus fruit is inviting a cold drink, and the bartender uses the industrial juice presses often to make truly fresh juice beverages, one of them being the grapefruit michelada from the blackboard.

The new raw bar. I don't know when the expanded into the next door space, that I think used to be a small sushi bar. But I am very pleased by this addition due to my passion for oysters.

Just gorgeous. Someone is talented at presentation.

The drinks! To the left is the grapefruit michelada, fresh squeezed (about a minute before it was served) and Tecate with salt on the rim. Slightly bitter and acidic, but lovely. To the right is an extremely generous pour of a Spanish Alvarino.

We also sampled the Australian Bundaberg ginger beer. I haven't has ginger beer since I lived in London, and it is always a treat for the taste buds.

First munchy item out were the oyster crackers. We went through a few bags of these waiting on our food because the raw bar & pantry kitchen were spectacularly slow at 3 pm on a Saturday with a half full restaurant.

Les huitres! Malpeque, Fanny Bar and Sol Azul. I have been pondering recently why people praise a restaurant for its oysters. The restaurant didn't create the oysters. There is no special recipe. Each place does the presentation in terms of accessories slightly differently. So, what up? As long as they are fresh, and eating oysters in a busy restaurant more or less guarantees this, then why are we congratulatory? Does someone have an answer to this?

I love taking pics of oysters.

Why are they so photogenic?

I even love looking at the shells. The textures, shapes and colors.

D ate a this giant Cobb Salad. He said it is the best Cobb Salad he has ever had. Fresh (not canned) tuna, avocado, some kind of ham/bacon (we weren't sure how this was prepared, but it was somehow more special than bacon), eggs, butterflied prawns, pecorino, guava, and crab all very lightly dressed.

My salad was also phenomenal. Market lettuces with pecorino cheese, avocado and hard boiled egg. How do they prep the hard boiled egg so it is fluffy like this? Do they grate it with a cheese grater? I want to know. I devoured this. It was delicious and large enough to be filling.

All about the restaurant are pics of Lentz's and Goin's cats are hung. Loves.

On the menu, The Hungry Cat offers a "Pug Burger". Since the photographic theme is the owners' pets, I assume this adorable hound is who the Pug Burger refers to. WooF!

Here, kitty kitty!

Hungry Cat on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Here's some Hungry Cat trivia you'll appreciate.
Randy of Silverlake Wine found said Hungry Cats (2 I think) behind the dumpster at Campanille and gave them to Suzanne. The love of good food, wine & animals binds us all together!

Food, she thought. said...

Randy found the cats and gave the to Suzanne? LOL....they are adorable. I like the inclusion of the pets in the schema. Makes it feel so personal.

Jennifer Maiser said...

I have an undying love for the Hungry Cat ... especially the cocktails!

inland empire restaurant and food reviews said...

Those oysters look great!

Food, she thought. said...

It really was a delicious little lunch, inland and Jennifer.

Inland, I work a lot in the Inland Empire and I am going to have to follow you to learn about the restaurants there.

Jennifer, I am looking forward to my next meal there in a few weeks.

Oishii Eats said...

Why did I read this??? I miss the Hungry Cat! But every time we go for drinks, we end up ordering oysters and fries and everything else and our bills comes out to $120+!!! If we go next week, I am blaming you!!! jk!

Epicuryan said...

Those sea urchins sitting on ice are just screaming at me to be eaten.

Speaking of ginger beer, I know XIV has some but I had it in a cocktail and couldn't really taste it.

Food, she thought. said...

tangbro: ginger beer has an extremely distinctive taste. if you missed it, that's because the bartender did a poor job of featuring its specialness in the cocktail. if you see it again, I suggest you try one. its a wonderful experience.

Food, she thought. said...

jeeeeeeennnnnnn: the hungry cat is calling you. go. go now.