Here we have a review of brunch at Hungry Cat, provided by guest blogger/erstwhile Knife partner D.R. Stewart. He was only too happy to help.
Dana suggested brunch at The Hungry Cat. I said something about fish heads on toast.
Get past thinking that seafood and early-morning weekend stomachs do not mix and you find that Hungry Cat doesn’t miss. From my lobster roll to her oyster po’ boy (and blueberry muffins with whipped cream and Meyer lemon curd), it was the kind of meal LA-haters claim you can’t get here. Smart, low on pretension, high on flavor.
We got there early, which means go over to the Borders (sorry, mom&pop book shops) and pick out Right-Wing books to secretly leave on the desks of screaming liberal co-workers. Then watch them really scream. [Ed. note: Huh?]
11AM finally came and we walked into Hungry Cat with way too many expensive hardcovers. We ate at the alternate bar, built in their expansion. Again, they could have expanded and blown the charm of the place, but the second bar and demo kitchen (for oyster shucking and other cold prep) allowed us to be entertained by a gracious prep cook and his Jack-Black-in-"High-Fidelity" partner. [Ed note: Said gracious cook also bore a certain resemblance to "High Fidelity’s" Todd Louiso, which I suppose would make chef-owner David Lentz John Cusack.] The bar also had a high-concept decor, otherwise known as “pretty fruit in bowls.” If it’s good enough for the old Masters to paint, it’s good enough for us to look at on a Sunday morning. It’s like going to the old Getty with all its still-life pictures, then getting to eat them.
Parking is tricky on the weekends – farmer’s market is there Sunday, but the Sunset&Vine structure is reasonable (4 bucks for 2 hours) with validation from Hungry Cat.
Me? What he said, pretty much, although I think the muffins could use a little help — they were on the tough side. However, major props for that po’ boy — fried oysters, celery root slaw, arugula and homemade mayo, all piled on toasted baguette. That’ll work.