Hungry Cat, Hollywood
HB and I ate at The Hungry Cat before I took off for DC for the doc (more on this trip later).
Whenever we get a hankering for fancy-pants seafood, we go to Providence. which, given the expense, is not all the time. However, we always have a wonderful meal at Providence and walk away marveling at the delicacy of chef Michael Cimarusti’s touch…delicate touch yet robust imagination.
Anyway, because people also raved to us about Hungry Cat, we went knowing it was going to be several notches more casual, but hopefully equally satisfying in its own way.
We had an excellent, if slightly briny, king crab claw in a butter-and-mulled herb broth that was out of this world. The crostini was also slathered in butter and tasted exactly right with the shredded crab meat.
However, the Santa Barbara shrimp was a mishegoss–sorta Asian, with light tempura batter and a egg-foo-yung-ish mottled chili sauce. The egg resembled extremely soft tofu in color and consistency, and helped thicken the sauce. Otherwise, I’m not sure what it brought to the party. Ok, when you start biting Asian style, you really have to know what you’re doing otherwise it’s a mess. Because any wobbles in your “pan-asian” and I am outta there and headed over to San Gabriel valley where they KNOW from seafood. (Sometimes old school IS betta.)
And when you start riffing off the tofu and red chili-spiced sauce, your shrimp better be big, fresh and plentiful. Two out of three ain’t bad, but I really wanted the sauce to be edited down (“busy” and “muddled” were two descriptions that came to mind) and where the heck was my *other* shrimp? You know, like, two each instead of one each between HB and myself.
Dessert was a chocolate-bottomed brioche (i.e., wet bread) and sugared cinnamon crust. We should’ve passed–I don’t know why I thought brioche or bread pudding would *ever* tantalize. Soggy bread has never done it for me before, so why would it have been different this time? The dessert was a bust but we should’ve gone elsewhere given that there’s no other choices at Hungry Cat.
You know when you go to hawaii and you have haole feet because the sand is too hot to stand on?
Well, I’ve been in DC walking all over tarnation in my Los Angeles mules and I have a bad case of Angeleno feet…ripped to shreds because those good lookin’ shoes ate your I-drive-everywhere feet for lunch.
So if you see someone limping, no, hobbling across the mall near the National Museum of American History or the Library of Congress, that would be me. Have a heart and give me a band-aid.
Hug Your Local Archivist
The archivists at the Smithsonian are top notch and they know it. And I know it. I worship them. They make wonderful things magically appear out of their mysterious vaults.
I can’t decide who are the pelagics and who are the pilot fish in the equation: me, for keeping the oceans chum-free while archivists hover and keep the barnacles off? Or the archivists, who see us filmmakers come and go while they barrel through the seas, endlessly digesting digesting digesting?