Proudly showcasing The Hungry Cat locations in Hollywood, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, the proprietors of this sassy upscale, yet casual seafood restaurant can be proud of their accomplishments. The packed houses that arrive prove to the owners, the staff and locals that this is certainly a terrific place for a fun lively atmosphere, a great environment for providing fresh seafood and libations to customers, and a trendy relaxing…and we must say…visually appealing location between the calming ocean blue of the restaurant’s facade, it’s convenient multi-area dining space inside, and the restaurant’s stunning location along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Our last visit to The Hungry Cat was to the Santa Monica location, and we were happy to discover how much we approved of this perfect locale by the ocean. We began with cocktails at a table on the patio. The crowded interior was nice to see, but the noise level at 6 PM that evening was a lot more subtle on the patio. It’s not a large outdoor dining area, but a charming and well-appointed one. Small tea light candles are lit and placed in holders atop the tables out of doors. The space is well taken care of by management, and it’s evident that they made a point to cater to as many details as possible to invoke a pleasant and even romantic atmosphere here.
Above, a seasonal cocktail list, a view of The Hungry Cat menu, and the cover of the eatery’s beverage menu cleverly titled ‘Thirsty Cat’, which I thought was a genius idea. Below, we indulged in a signature Greyhound Proper ($12) cocktail made with Plymouth Gin, fresh grapefruit juice, and candied grapefruit. We also delighted in a traditional Lemon Drop Martini ($13) , which was excellently prepared and served in a vintage Champagne glass with a sugared rim.
Signature Greyhound Proper and a Traditional Lemon Drop Martini
The Hungry Cat caters to the seafood lover. If you are in search of fresh, coastal, stunningly-presented delicious seafood, The Hungry Cat is a sure bet for finding that. Our meal began with a two-tier ‘Fruit Of The Sea’ platter ($85) that provided Alaskan Snow Crab, Maine lobster, large prawns, and succulent clams and oysters. This was almost a meal in itself, as you can see in the photos below. Fresh-tasting, served on ice at the perfect temperature, and visually pleasing to the eye as well.
Two-Tier ‘Fruit of the Sea’ Platter
Once the elaborate seafood platter had been devoured and the remnants were removed from our dining table, we continued on. I favored the Dungeness Crab Salad ($14) with green papaya, heirloom melon, green curry and peanuts. At this point, I had eaten so much between the crab salad and the seafood platter, I wasn’t sure I would have any room left for more! This salad was light, yet filling enough to enjoy as an entree. A glass of Champagne also pairs nicely with this dish, as I found out! Sizable chunks of Dungeness crab were tossed with fragrant juicy green papaya, while the nuts rounded off the entire presentation with an earthy-tasting delightful crunch.
Dungeness Crab Salad
My husband opted for the Prosciutto Wrapped Sea Bass ($28), which possessed phenomenal flavor combinations. Tender and flaky, the meat of the fish was enhanced with Swiss chard, a lima bean puree, and a salsa rustica that just called out for its photo to be taken. This was a delightful offering, and one we are sorry to not see on the menu anymore.
Prosciutto Wrapped Sea Bass
I suppose I found a bit of room remaining after dinner after all, because when my husband ordered the Blueberry & Ricotta Beignets With Meyer Lemon Curd ($6), I happily consumed half of it. These flavorful bites of sweet beignet dough were filled with warm ricotta cheese and blueberry compote bursting with flavor and wonderment. The adversity of the slightly tart Meyer lemon curd sauce was a favorable contrast to the sugary taste of the entire presentation, and complimented it magnificently.
Blueberry & Ricotta Begniets With Meyer Lemon Curd
The Hungry Cat in beautiful Santa Monica was a fantastic romantic dinner locale for us. Sit on the intimate patio, or dine at an indoor table or at the raw bar. Wherever you sit here, you’re sure to have a memorable experience as we did.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: An upscale seafood house casual enough to feel relaxed as you enter. A welcoming beachy nautical feel persists inside, while a more private intimate outdoor patio area exists for dining as well.
- FOOD / DRINK: Fresh quality seafood, stunning entree presentations, and outstanding flavor-filled cocktails.
- LOCATION: The Hungry Cat is locate at 100 West Channel Road at Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, CA 90402.
- HOURS: The Hungry Cat in Santa Monica is open for dinner Monday through Sunday from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM and on Friday and Saturday from 5:30 PM to 11:30 PM. The bar opens Monday through Friday for Happy Hour and for access to the raw bar inside. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM with the raw bar and cocktails offered all day on the weekends.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Friendly, courteous servers assist with most anything you can think of from entree suggestions, to wine pairings, to the perfect cocktails to enjoy before dinner.
- PRICE / VALUE: Fair prices for the quality fresh seafood and other items available. There’s no doubt that we will be returning to experience it all over again.
- CORKAGE FEE: $35 per 750mL bottle with a two-bottle limit per visit.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (310) 459-3337, Website: www.thehungrycat.com
- PARKING: Valet parking is provided for your convenience at the main entrance to the restaurant.
- TOTAL BILL: Our final bill came in around $180 (including tax), but we’d do it again in a heartbeat. Well worth the splurge. And well worth the experience.
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.