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Jun 23, 2007 08:47 PM

Hungry Cat for birthday dinner?

So I have two little kids and I don't get out much these days. But we're going out to dinner with 6 other friends for my birthday in a couple weeks, and we're thinking about The Hungry Cat. I've never been there, but it sounds delicious. I'm just wondering, is it crazy to think about a birthday dinner there? We're definitely not looking for anything trendy or too fancy. But I don't want to go somewhere that feels more like a place you should go to for lunch or a place that you should only go to for drinks or after a movie at Arclight.

If you don't think the Hungry Cat is right, where else should we go?


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  1. Hungry Cat is waaaaaaaaay trendy and very expensive. For example -- I met a friend there and had a drink (which are amazing) and a very small lobster roll and it was close to $50 and I was still hungry and waaaaaaaaaaaasted. Most dishes are "tapas style" -- translation, a lot of dough for not a lot of food. If you have friends with money to burn go -- it's good, but everyone will probably be spending about a hundred per person (if they're gonna drink). For that $$$, I'd rather go to Grace --

    I can give you suggestions, but need more info. Area -- cuisine -- budget -- etc.

    Of top of me head... magnolia -- which is across the street -- is also trendy but has a bigger menu (HC is all seafood) and is not so expensive (though it's still pricey, but the portions are not so tiny). My husband and I enjoy it there and might be a good place to go.

    Oh, and btw, HC is def upscale --I wouldn't go there for lunch. Def a night-scene. And the drinks are amazing. Sorry if my advice sounds paradoxical -- it's just pricey or what you get.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Silverlaker

      It's good. It's not that pricey and it is filling if you avoid the lobster roll.

      1. re: Silverlaker

        Thanks for the tips. We live in Silverlake. Last couple years we went to Cliff's Edge and Dusty's. We were thinking about Blair's but it is expensive and I'm not that excited about it. I'd love to do Canele but they don't do reservations. What about Ammo?

        1. re: KSalsa

          I've heard lots of good things about Blair's. If you wanna save money, eat good Italian and drink wine, go to Angeli Cafe. For something different, try a late thing downtown. Hit Pete's for a meal then make it over to Seven Grand for serious drinks.

          1. re: KSalsa

            Why on earth would anybody be excited about eating mediocre food among mediocre staff for such prices at Blair's? You'd be much better off at Hungry Cat, where the portions, I think, are fine.

            That's a shame about Canele. I wish they'd take reservations too!

            1. re: PseudoNerd

              People get sticker shock at Hungry Cat when they pay $22 for the lobster roll and it's not that big and they are still hungry cats. But the portions and prices of the other offerings are right.

              1. re: mc michael

                About once a month a very good friend and fellow foodie mom and I go to lunch. So far we've hit Providence, Mozza and The Ivy among others. Our last one was HC, my choice because I was missing my Lobster Rolls. I will be going to MA in August so I should get my fill then and be asking for food recommends while in Boston and Springfield. I had the LR she had soft shell crab. We ordered the soup (some type of chowder, I can't remember) and an order of onion rings (delicious) and were stuffed, stuffed, stuffed.Anyway, the lobster roll was "good" and the fries were great. Yes it wasn't that big and for $20 something dollars, I expected more but there were plenty of great fries which I couldn't stop eating, especially dipped in the garlic aioli. It is definitely a hip trendy place but I don't see why lunch time isn't recommended. It is loud inside because of the acoustics and music and outside it is loud because of the H/C system for the building so if the price doesn't deter you, take the kids. Check out the menu & $$$ on their website

          2. re: Silverlaker

            8 people in that tiny space might be a challenge.

            Also (and the waiters often warn you of this) the food comes out when it's ready, so with a large party like that, some will have their food and some won't and the lag can be up to 10 minutes. Do the people who already got their food start right away, or wait for everyone to be served?

            I never have trouble with this method because I have only gone as a couple and if you are sharing everything, it seems like it's paced just right.

            Finally, the only non-seafood option is the Pug Burger. As long as all 8 people love seafood or think a burger is fine, it might not be the best for a group.

            I'm sorry, I don't have any suggestion for a group. It's a shame you couldn't reserve the large table in the window at Canele. I didn't know they didn't take reservations, even for parties of 8.

            Good luck and congrats!

          3. The food at the Hungry Cat is very good, but the bill adds up quickly. Check out their menu to get a better idea:

            I really like Tropicalia Brazilian Grill in Los Feliz, and the prices are much more reasonable. ( They share a wine bar with their sister restaurant next door, Farfalla ( Both restaurants serve good food at reasonable prices and Vinoteca (the wine bar) provides an excellent wine list.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mojoeater

              YES! Great idea. I have seen them group tables in the back of the wine bar for larger parties. (not that 8 is all THAT large, but again, it's kind of small.) It's a great space.