The Hungry Cat
1555 N Vine St
Hollywood, CA 90028

2.5 stars

Ambience: Urban casual
Must try: The Pug burger & Crab Soup
Price: Entrees range from $8 to $22
Scene: In and out kinda place

“The kitchen’s small, but the food’s good” – Charlie, the Waiter.

And so set the tone for our dinner. You won’t go hungry at the Hungry Cat…but where in this urban casual venue was the cat? The industrial setting felt like we were eating in a small noisy factory, including exposed insulation and wiring. The tables are on top of each other, so forget privacy, and if you want your food served at the same time as your guests…well, there’s that small kitchen problem, so forget about that.

Our adorable straight-but-not-narrow waiter welcomed us with gusto, explaining the menu at this new spot in the Sunset & Vine complex (parking’s a bitch, so go for the lot around back). We had heard wonderful things about the Cat, but found only some of them well founded.

Michael compensated for the atmosphere with one of the best Greyhounds. There aren’t appetizers at this restaurant, so we tried some small dishes to start, like the Peel N’ Eat Shrimp with a tasty sauce; we chose to have them pre-peeled, which they did for $16 per half-pound. The Crab soup “Cambridge Style” is unique, loaded with crab, quite spicy, and very flavorful. The price of $8 was reasonable as the portion was large enough to split with a friend. Another starter dish was the assorted cheese platter with honey and walnuts, weighing in at $14. The cheeses were flavorsome, although not remarkable; but the honey and walnuts were perfect for Scott’s insatiable sweet tooth.

Michael couldn’t resist the huge Pug burger, served loaded with smoked bacon and a generous amount of avocado and smothered with blue cheese, delivered perfectly prepared at the requested medium rare. The lobster roll at $22 was a bit pricey for the duo, yet full of flavor; but not better than City Bakery’s lobster which, even at Brentwood’s prices, rolled in at $12. Both were accompanied with a sensational gigantic mound of crispy, thin “Longely” French fries.

The Hungry Cat is not big on variety (remember, it’s the “small kitchen” issue, which shouldn’t really be imposed on the customers) and so if you’re jonesing for something sweet and lip-smacking, your choices are narrowed to only one; well, two, if you count Charlie the waiter. That said, it was pretty sensational, composed of a mixture of chocolate bread and butter pudding a la alloro, and served in a large bowl for $8.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 2:45 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

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