There are always plenty fo reasons to visit Hungry Cat, but the location in Santa Monica has put a new focus on their wood-fired menu, thanks to their brand new wood-burning grill and rotisserie. The result is an amazing array of seafood and other menu items that take on a whole new dimension of flavor.
The menu itself has also taken on a new format recently, moving from starters and entrees to the ever-popular delineations of small versus large plates for purposes of sharing with everyone at the table. As always, all dishes rotate seasonally, so you know there’s always something fresh, whether from the farm or the sea. The menu is nice and trim yet hits all the bases you might want from a seafood restaurant.
But it’s hard to imagine a meal at Hungry Cat not starting without a seafood platter of your choosing. A couple small plates will also get your meal going, like the ever capable Rock Cod Ceviche with avocado, tangerine, fresno chili, and fried masa. The Johnny Cake was also superb, made with smoked trout and topped with fried Brussels leaves, a poached egg and trout roe. And as for when you get into it with the large plates, you’ll notice the lot of them being described as “grilled,” but these dishes are always dressed up with tasty accompaniments for complete expressions of a dish.
The Grilled King Crab with buckwheat noodles was pretty fantastic. The smoky, woodsy flavor from the wood-fired grill worked well with the nori butter and wasn’t overpowering. The ginger and scallion on warm soba were welcome, refreshing notes to the savory butter and smoky crab – an excellent but unusual combination of ingredients.
And this Sunday, the Santa Monica location is turning four, so it’s just as good a time as any to try out their outstanding food.. Executive Chef David Lentz and Chef de Cuisine Kris Longley have created a feast to celebrate, with ingredients sourced almost exclusively from the Channel Islands north of L.A. It’s $55 per person for the food, and the full raw bar will be served a la carte, with oysters priced at half price and cocktail specials being offered all day long, so you can furnish your meal with a Luke’s Lemonade or Greyhound Proper. You’ll get to taste the wood-fired goodness yourself in the globe artichoke side served with green goddess dressing, grilled corn, chili butter, lime and queso fresco. Peep the feast menu below, then make your reservation for this Sunday:
Grilled asparagus & burrata salad, fava bean puree, black olive salsa verde
For the table
Channel Island shellfish boil: rock crab, local swordfish, ridgeback shrimp, clams, mussels, local squid, pork & shrimp sausage, grilled bread, fennel aioli
Wood-roasted globe artichoke, green goddess dressing, grilled corn, chili butter, lime, queso fresco
cornmeal shortcake, strawberry & rhubarb compote, lemon crème fraiche
All food and drink were hosted.
Fourth Anniversary Celebration: Sunday, May 26, 2015
3 – 8 PM
Hungry Cat Santa Monica
100 W. Channel Road
Santa Monica, CA 90402
Hungry Cat Hollywood
1535 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Hungry Cat Santa Barbara
1134 Chapala St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101