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The Hungry Cat?

O.k. finally going to The Hungry Cat this Friday night?

Bring on the seafood suggestions?

Also whats the hype on The Pug Burger?

I remember a while back somebody had a link to photos of this?

If that person is still around can you post that link again?

Thanks,

Stuart

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  1. The person with the photos is for Hungry Cat's Crab-Fest, which is a special (and hopefully renewing) once-yearly event.

    As far as the eating there, you generally won't go wrong ordering their specials of the day. Their wine/cocktail list is pretty good too. Haven't had the Pug Burger yet myself.

    Do report back :)

    1. No, this was a different post-they included photos of the famous PUG Burger, lobster roll, and other dishes?

      It was a slide show site?

      Wish I save their photo link?

      I'm sure they'll show up on here.

      Thanks,

      Stuart

      1 Reply
      1. I really liked my meal there, but stick the seafood, The pug burger was the only dispointing thing (TOO MUCH Blue Cheese, and I LOVE blue cheese!). The fries however are amazing!! :)

        --Dommy!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Dommy

          Sorry to disagree, but I think the PB is the best burger you can get in LA right now. IMO, there is a perfect proportion of blue cheese to the excellent (and perfectly cooked) meat. Onions slices, tomato and lettuce are fresh and cold and crisp. Bun is delicious. My only complaint is that the thing is too damn thick to eat like a normal burger--you can really only eat it with a knife and fork.

          1. re: Dommy

            went last night and everything we had was great: watermelon salad, raw oysters and clams, lobster roll, and grilled scallops special (though the chipotle (?) sauce didn't work, i thought.)

            however, i was dissapointed in the fries that came with the lobster roll. they were soggy and limp. i'm assuming the fries you had had a little more texture? i guess even fries can have an off night, huh?

              1. re: mc michael

                I hope so. Returned this very weekend to try their brunch and I was horrified by the state of the fries this trip. I thought perhaps it was a brunch thing. But their fries at our previous dinner were done SO well, so precise. I hope it's not a sign of bad thing happen when the boss isn't in the kitchen... :P

                Aside from the fries, the brunch was really nice (especially the drink... YOW!!). Although we did concur AGAIN that there is too much blue cheese in the Pug Burger! We both enjoy the FO burger MUCH better because the sweetness of the carmelized onion really helps reign in the blue cheese making for a much more balanced burger...

                --Dommy!

                1. re: Dommy

                  You may be on to something re the onions. In the old days, the Roquefort Burger at Hamburger Hamlet had a thick slice of red onion that melded well with the meat and cheese.

          2. I like the lobster roll but I think their portions are really small.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tissue

              We ate there Wednesday night; after hearing all of the complaints about portion size (especially the lobster roll), I was steeled to go away hungry.

              I was surprised, then, to find that the oyster chowder and market lettuce salads were both fairly generously sized, and the raw tuna portions were larger than I had expected (but still not huge).

              The crab cake was fairly small for $14, that's for sure. While I enjoyed the crab cake, it was a little *too* packed with crab for me -- it was all crab, with a baked crust. Sad to say, I guess I really prefer the adulterated (and cheaper) crab cakes I've had elsewhere that are just a little crab and lots of other stuff mixed in. But I obviously wouldn't know authentic crab cakes if they hit me upside the head.

              It was definitely a good meal.

            2. I love the pug burger. Crab cakes, fries, and oysters were all excellent when I was last there a few months back. It's a bit expensive for such a strange little space. Felt like eating in a submarine it's so narrow.

              1. I stuck to the fish and seafood and liked everything I had there. Their greens/produce are amazing. Get the cucumber martini and the bread pudding. Both are winners.

                1. i think this place is highly overrated and can't wait for a better seafood place in LA, closer to the west side especially. Water Grill is much better food than Hungry Cat.

                  it doesn't compare to the lobster rolls in other cities, like nyc. or maine.

                  + i thought the oysters there weren't all that fresh.

                  i like to think i know a lot about seafood and thus am triply disappointed with it.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: epop

                    Not to be contentious but... Water Grill is a much more expensive restaurant than Hungry Cat. Are there any other lobster rolls in LA to compare with HC's? Notice you don't mention Water Grill in this connection. C'mon, the oysters are fresh. The produce is fresh. The liquor is good. And, last and most important, it's not on the Westside!

                    1. re: mc michael

                      some of us are on the west side, where not so many great restaurants are, btw. most are more central.

                      it isn't a classic lobster roll, in that it is rather greasy. but for that H C is okay. in nyc there are several better ones.

                      it was presented to me as a place for seafood, in general. and in that respect i would have to side with water grill. but still i think there is a niche that hasn't been filled, for super fresh seafood of various types.

                      as for price, i don't know, with one glass of wine my lunch was 60 or 70 dollars. (lobster roll and some oysters). my dinner for 3 at water grill was about $150. no comparison in ambience or quality of food.

                      i just wasn't impressed. a humble opinion, though

                      1. re: epop

                        YMMV, but then you are coming from the Westside. :)

                        1. re: epop

                          With a lobster roll at $22, and oysters at $2 a pop(no pun intended), that must have been one very good and expensive glass of wine to take the bill to $60 or $70, or you ate one hell of a lot of oysters, which you claim were not that fresh!
                          HC is a casual place, unlike Water Grill, and if you just compare dinner prices at each, you will see WG to be a bit higher. Also, for lunch, you will not find fish tacos, and other lighter fare at Water Grill.
                          They are just different places entirely, neither of which is westside proximate. Ocean Avenue Seafood is Water Grill related if the proximity issue drives your decision.

                          1. re: carter

                            i like the way you argue your point. i did order a bunch of oysters b/c i was so excited after reading the reviews. it was my mistake. not to say that they weren't fresh, they just weren't that fresh. i've had much better.

                            22 + 10 oysters + a glass of wine and you're there, as i tip well. besides, i normally have much more than 10 oysters. are there people that order 2 ??

                            so, again, i found it fair but nothing special, as much as i want it to be much more special. i think this city deserves a great seafood place, that's all.

                            + i think water grill is a notch better for seafood experiences. fresher too.

                            Orris, mentioned below, is a nice place but not really a seafood house. if anything i prefer their vegetarian and meat dishes, which usually isn't the case with japanese places.

                          2. re: epop

                            I agree that the lobster roll was too greasy for my liking, but I have found a number of other dishes that I liked at the H C (usually their daily special & the oyster chowder), and yea... I too am a little shocked at your $60-70 bill for lunch.

                      2. Another Westside seafood possibility is Orris on Sawtelle. Now that I think of it, I believe there's a place in Long Beach that may have a lobster roll that's more to your liking. Somebody here should know. It's not the Westside but it's more convenient than NYC or Maine.

                        1. I have always been able to saunter into HC and (without a reservation and no more than a 10-15 wait) procure bar stools for 2. Not so last night. Good food, word-of-mouth and great press have made the joint very, very crowded. Could not even get glassware for drinks. Left for Los Balcones del Peru...which was excellent.

                          1. [Your latest post does not seem to have a reply icon.] Anyway, since we are looking at the economics of the situation and you've explained your HC bill, what did 3 people have at Water Grill for dinner for $150? Couldn't have been much if you "tip well" and have to pay tax. Net for the meal couldn't be more than $125. Doesn't seem to leave much room for alcohol, or much of anything at WG prices. Did 1 person just come and watch? I think you'd be doing exceptionally well for 2 to eat at WG for $125. You could easily spend that much each.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: mc michael

                              well, the other 2 ordered only entrees. i ordered wine, an entree and an appetizer plate of oysters. it may have been a bit more than 150 dollars but it was roughly that. i don't remember others not eating. funny try... but we all came away with a great meal. whatever it is i don't think it is considerably more expensive than Hungry Cat. lobster rolls are not cheap, they shouldn't be. + money has nothing really to do with the issue:

                              the main point of my msg concerns my disappointment with the quality of seafood places in LA. i haven't struck gold yet... except for the sushi, which can be superb.

                              mc michael, can you really say that HC offers an outstanding experience of seafood?

                              1. re: epop

                                I think I understand what you are saying. I think I have only had such an experience in preKatrina New Orleans and France. But I give http://www.thehungrycat.com/menus.htm# credit for trying. The lobster roll is a red herring in this discussion. It is what it is but it's little, expensive, and some don't like it. Put it to one side. I like the crab cake. I like the clams and oysters. I like this seafood carpaccio thing they do. It may not be an outstanding experience of seafood (and I would agree that that is what Water Grill tries for) but I think it can be a fresh, lively and delicious meal. I guess I enjoy the let your hair down vibe of the place whereas I have to be in a more serious mood to want to get dressed up and go to WG.
                                Haven't been in a while, but maybe you'd enjoy Cafe del Rey in the Marina.

                                1. re: mc michael

                                  noclue concurs, mc michael. this person states what i felt even more bluntly. i left there so disappointed.
                                  it will be great to see something like an Aquagrill of NYC in this city. again, not saying food is better in nyc. far from it...

                                  1. re: epop

                                    Like I said, leave the lobster roll out of the discussion, then offer a comparison.

                                    As for noclue, "Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage." ;-)

                            2. I hate this restaurant. Tiny, expensive, overly mayo'd lobster rolls. Charcoal encrusted burnt chocolate creme brulee. Horribly uncomfortable patio seating. Why do people like this place? Water Grill is always fantastic. Always fresh. Too expensive you say? Compare the value received to that twinkie sized $22 lobster roll at Hungry Cat and then tell me about expensive.

                              Or fine, go to McCormick and Schmick's for a great oyster selection and well prepared seafood for much less.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Noclue

                                Must say that I love both the Hungry Cat AND Water Grill, but find them to be two very different experiences. The sommelier at Water Grill, Cara Bertone, is amazing. She pointed me towards a Sauvignon Blanc called Sabathi that paired perfectly with our dinner. Then at Hungry Cat we couldn't get much help with the wine list, but ordered a Gruner Veltliner that turned out to be super. So somebody is picking things right.
                                I do agree that some dishes at Hungry Cat could be priced better, but overall I have really enjoyed my experieces at both restaurants.

                              2. I enjoy Hungry Cat for their clams & chorizo with an ice-cold Tecate. Good stuff!

                                1. Apparently there's some sort of lobster roll available at the Lobby Lounge of the Ritz Carlton, Marina Del Rey. Any word? Probably not cheap there either.