Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Meow! Chowing Down at the hungry cat

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.


East Coast seafood dishes -- albeit with a definite dash of West Coast flava -- have finally made it to Hollywood. Surprisingly, though the heart of Tinseltown is only 10 miles from the ocean and is home to great number of sushi spots, the area doesn't have a lot of restaurants that specialize in seafood and raw bar items, except maybe for the local Red Lobster.

To the rescue of those craving Northeast fare are chef-owner David Lenz and his wife Suzanne Goin (Lucques, AOC), who opened the hungry cat -- a rare-in-LA late-night fine dining establishment -- at the Sunset and Vine complex. Located next to the new Schwab's and across the alley from a Border's bookstore, LAist made an early dinner visit on a recent Thursday night.

Despite the numerous open tables early in the evening, the hostess greeted us at the door with the favorite "do you have reservations" line. We didn't and were offered the bar for dining despite the less-than-bustling hour. Though a little off-putting at first, the hungry cat was packed within the hour. And this made us feel a little better.

Support for LAist comes from

The friendly bartender offered us good and honest suggestions for both food and wine. Though we passed on the extensive selection of various oysters on the half shell at ($2 each), the party next to us sucked those babies down like they were on a Nantucket porch. The restaurant also offers Little Neck Clams for the same price. Peel n' eat shrimp costs $16 if you peel 'em yourself and $18 if the kitchen staff does it for you.

We tried the lobster roll with celery root and fries, which was basically a lobster sandwich (and not a sushi roll). The lobster was tender, fresh and very tasty, but at $22, the portion size wasn't great - we could have easily eaten two. We also tried the poor man's lobster - a monkfish stew - which was a heartier meal. There was leftover broth so LAist asked for bread to soak up the stew. the hungry cat did give us some grilled bread -- for a charge. Sheesh.

But we overlooked the nickel and diming as soon as the dessert arrived. You can't go wrong with sharing the restaurant's chocolate bread pudding ($8) - it was piping hot out of the oven, more like a soufflé than bread pudding. It was a chocoholics dream.

So while the hungry cat's an oasis for the seafood lover in you - unless you got the change in your pocket, you may still leave wanting more.

the hungry cat
Where: Sunset & Vine, 1555 N. Vine St., Hollywood; (323) 462-2155
When: Dinner 5:30 PM to midnight Monday to Friday; 3 PM to midnight Saturday; 5:30 to 11 PM Sunday; brunch 11 AM to 3 PM. Sundays. Street and lot parking
Info: (323) 462-2155