Hungry Cat - My Non-perience
Tried to make a reservation at Hungry Cat at 6:30. They said that they didn't have anything then, but had a 6:45. Seemed odd, but fine - what's 15 minutes? Arrived at about 6:50 and there were at least four empty tables - I only looked straight past the hostess, and not behind me. Two were cleared and two were empty with plates and napkins still on the tabletop. The hostess was like - great, you're right on time and grabbed two menus. She then proceeded to open the front door and walk out to the *completely 100% empty* patio. We were like - ummmm, it's about 50 degrees outside, and you have tables inside, and no one is sitting out here - can we get a real table? She said they couldn't. We said - "oh, ok, bye." End of story and end of hungry cat being on my must try list.
On a totally unrelated note, the restaurant was really musty and fishy smelling. I now they serve a lot of fish, but I wonder if they couldn't use a better ventilation system.
I too was completely underwhelmed by my one Hungry Cat experience and have no plans to go back. The location and atmosphere is awful. Food was ok but there are other pefectly good or better seafood options around.
In their likely defense: most restaurants turn tables in 1 - 1 1/2 hours, most diners arrive between 7-8:00. If you show up at 6:50 and they're fully booked, you may end up without your choice of tables even if the dining room is empty at the time.
"I only looked straight past the hostess, and not behind me"
Are you eluding to a line of people behind you? I'm not sure what you mean by this but, nevertheless, the hostess should have accommodated you. You weren't a walk-in, you had a reservation. You asked her about being seated inside where you weren't going to be cold, she said 'no' and she allowed you to walk away? Unacceptable. I'm always a little curious about a place when there appears to be little business happening and there're dirty dishes scattered over a table waiting to be bussed.
I agree with the smell issue. Regardless if a restaurant serves nothing but fish....if the restaurant smells like fish then there's something amiss.
If memory serves me, behind nachosaurus would be the (empty) patio, especially if the hostess was inside which I assume she was if it was that cold.
You know, I've eaten at HC a dozen times now, and I've never been that impressed. I've never had any service problems like nachosaurus, but the food is always a little off. With the exception of the oysters, which are difficult to ruin as long as they're fresh, the dishes have all been a little amiss. It's like the chef/cook is executing a recipe but not tasting the food.
So I'm always a little puzzled by the hype the place gets on this board.
re: lil mikey
yes, i was unclear.
we walked in and faced the hostess. no one else was waiting or in line or came during our brief interaction. straight ahead were a line of tables along the glass wall on the right. straight and to the leftish was the bar area. behind me to the right, middle and left - I believe was the restaurant. i really didn't see it all that well though. so, i don't know if there were empty tables there as well or not.
all in all - i just couldn't believe that with a reservation at their requested time and four empties with no one waiting we were not seated inside (even after asking). it's just absurd, and not a place i want to spend money at.
we ended up at boho. we were seated promptly at the table of our choice. had the crispy rice and tuna (fair, not great - but good wasabi) and shared the burger. the burger was quite good. i thought the bun got a little wet - but i liked the meat (could use a little more seasoning). toppings and taste were good.
I've actually enjoyed my experiences at Hungry Cat, but I've never really had to deal with the service aspect as much since I've always just sat at the bar to eat. The waiters/bartenders there have provided good service - might want to give that a shot if you ever wind up there again.