Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Hungry Cat

I have been wanting to try The Hungry Cat ever since they opened a couple of years ago, and I finally made it out there for lunch a couple days ago. Nestled off the street in a courtyard on Sunset and Vine, it is a small, modern, and comfortable lunch spot. The relaxed atmosphere, combined with polite, unobtrusive service, was conducive to enjoying a leisurely afternoon with an old friend. We started off with a special of fried oysters. The thin, crunchy, airy tempura batter made for some of the best fried food I have had. My friend had the sandwich of the day: open-faced with halibut cheeks, shallot and parsley, served with onion rings in the same wonderful batter, fried to perfection.

I could not resist their “Pug” burger when I saw it on the next table. All my favorite burger components were there: thick bacon, blue cheese and avocado. But the burger was so tall, it was impossible to bite into it! Even without the top bun! I had no choice but to use a knife and fork – the most ridiculous looking way to eat a burger! And certainly the least enjoyable way! I wanted to experience all the flavors at once, not in sections. Oh well. Next time I will stick to the seafood dishes (including raw bar selections), which are really their specialty.

On our way out of the restaurant, we saw my favorite chef (who also happens to be married to the chef-owner of The Hungry Cat), Suzanne Goin, dining outside on the patio. While you are in the area, check out the new K&L Wine Merchants just down the street on Vine.

The Hungry Cat
1536 N Vine
Hollywood, CA


Anonymous said...

That pug burger is so good but I've found that the best way to eat it is to cut it in half and then pick it up as if it's a really messy and overstuffed and deliciously sinful taco.

Those fries are top-notch too.

(It's on Sunset and Vine, by the way.)

H. C. said...

Seafood is consistently good there (though there have been a few misses); oddly enough, I've always been missing out on the pug burger. Hope my mouth is large enough! :)

Anonymous said...

I too base my choices on the dishes I see others eating. The 'Pug' looks amazing. I like how the bacon covers the entire sandwich (I could see why it would be difficult eating).

I usually cut my hamburgers in half when they present such a formidable challenge.

I'm not a huge fan of blue cheese on hamburgers - I much prefer Boursin - but you can only find it very rarely.

AK said...

I have to say the Pug Burger was my favorite thing at the Hungry Cat, even after trying the seafood there. The quality of the meat was so amazing, I had it rare and it was fabulous. What's on top of the burger? Is is bacon? It looks different... Great pictures by the way

Anonymous said...

Their seafood is always quality. By far, though, the best reason to go to the Hungry Cat is for the drinks. They do wonderful, crazy, obsessive things like soaking blueberries in gin for days at a time to make a night's special. Good beer selection too.