When researching LA bars, The Hungry Cat kept coming up. My intention was to find bars and lounges, not restaurants, but this place came up so often (particularly on Chowhound) that I finally decided to add it to the list. As a vegetarian, I don’t normally go to seafood restaurants and can’t speak to the food served here, but we stopped in for drinks one evening mid-week to try them out.
Like I said, this is primarily a restaurant, and so the bar area is fairly small, but they have a good-sized outdoor patio in front, including a “cocktail garden” type area with stand-up tables that serves as an extension to the bar area. The bar was full but it was a nice evening, so we opted to stay outside after picking up a drink menu from the host.
The Hungry Cat is known for seasonal cocktails, and their drink menu (labeled “Thirsty Cat”) has a “Seasonal Cats” section. Their current drink special, the Pink Mustain — a vodka tonic made with muddled raspberry and, if I remember correctly, ginger-infused vodka — was tempting but we opted to order off the menu instead. I had the Echo Park Cocktail, pictured above, which is made with vodka, lime, cucumber, and mango, with chili salt. Very tasty, and I would have ordered a second one if we hadn’t gotten hungry and had to go find food elsewhere.
As an aside, I might have the Pink Mustain ingredients wrong; I tried to call the restaurant to verify, but they don’t actually answer their phone, instead using voicemail to take reservations requests with no way to reach a live person.
Sarai tried The Slice, which is the red cocktail in one of the thumbnail images below (click for a larger version). This one is made with gin, basil, watermelon, and fig vinegar, and was really interesting. We keep getting these watermelons from our CSA but we don’t really like them, so maybe I should try making something like this at home.
This place is a little tricky to find. We might have missed it completely if not for a small portable sign they had out on the sidewalk. To get there, enter off of Vine toward Borders Books. When you get to the end of the walkway, the restaurant is on the right, across from the entrance to Borders (see the last picture below).
While this might not be the type of place to spend an evening out, it’s definitely a good place for an afternoon or pre-dinner drink. I may have to stop by again on my next LA trip in November to see what they’re mixing up for autumn.