In 2007 SIV withheld all stars when she reviewed David Lentz's Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara. Today she pays a visit to his newest kitty, Hungry Cat Santa Monica Canyon, which ups its rating to a full three stars. Nice. Sher is glad to find a non-kitschy seafood restaurant by the sea (it's about time), and she's especially smitten with its raw bar and three tier seafood tower, not to mention GM Nick Somers who is "[a] big asset" to the restaurant.
Hungry Cat has definitely raised the bar with this appealing new spot. A terrific raw bar, a menu of classic and eclectic seafood dishes, fine cocktails, a quirky wine list and warm and unpretentious service add up to a restaurant I strongly suspect will be around for a very long time.As for constructive criticism, Sher feel that the wine list is "awfully small," but at least the restaurant's "high" noise level has been "somewhat mitigated" through ceiling sound panels. Nonetheless, "[w]e've finally got a great casual seafood restaurant at the beach." [LAT]
Jonathan Gold heads downtown to comment on the LQ@SK pop-up at Starry Kitchen: "There was a raw plate of cod eggs, thinly sliced poached monkfish liver, tongues of local uni and a raw quail yolk buried in its shell under fat salmon eggs...But nobody quite knew what to do with the main course — a Provencal-style daube of beaver leg and bear tenderloin simmered with spices and lots of red wine...If nobody had told you what you were eating, you would have assumed it was beef. If nobody had pointed out which meat was bear and which was beaver, you wouldn't have guessed. There was no wildness, no errant gaminess to the dish: It was a professionally made stew. And for that, I suppose, I was grateful." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: Eating LA visits Beer Belly, Gastronomy dines as Nha Trang, kevinEats at LudoBites 7.0, Midtown Lunch tries 101 Noodle Express, Refined Palate revisits Bar Bouchon, and Sinosoul hits L'Epicerie.