The Hungry Cat

100 W. Channel Rd.
Santa Monica, CA 90402
310-459-3337
The Hungry Cat +

Anne Fishbein Maine lobster at the Hungry Cat

Details

  • Tue.-Wed., 5:30-10 p.m.; Fri., 5:30-11 p.m.; Sat., noon-4:30 p.m. & 5:30-11 p.m.; Sun., noon-4 p.m. & 5-10 p.m.
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Beer/Wine, Full bar
In recent years, it might have been easy to conclude that the only kind of American seafood restaurant is an East Coast seafood restaurant, given that New England is the muse for practically every fish-focused eatery in Los Angeles. It might be true that the Atlantic coast has a longer, more storied history of seafood shacks, but it’s also very far away. The Pacific deserves its own cuisine, and with his Hungry Cat restaurants, chef/owner David Lentz has been a pioneer of exactly that. It’s now been more than a decade since Lentz opened the Hollywood location of the Hungry Cat (he's since opened outposts in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara), serving cold oysters on the half shell and fresh Santa Barbara uni and modern, creative seafood dishes that only sometimes hint at Maine or Massachusetts but more often celebrate the bounty and spirit of the California coast. And so, rather than classic fish-house fare, your mussels are more likely to have apples and almonds in their mild curry broth, your bay scallops served over winter squash risotto with sunchokes and nori vinaigrette. These are bright and airy spaces, perfect for a brunch of johnny cakes with smoked trout salad, or as a place to drop by the bar for a plate of grilled oysters with garlic butter and bacon, and a very good cocktail. —Besha Rodell

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