I've eaten plenty of uni in sushi restaurants, but I have to say that scooping uni out of a sea urchin at Hungry Cat's new raw bar set a new standard for me. The flavor is more subtle, a little sweeter, and much more delicate. The raw bar had two urchins when I walked in. I ordered one, and the other was gone by the time I walked out. It's definitely a case of grab it if you see it.
If you're curious how the remodeling at The Hungry Cat has affected the menu, rest assured that the cooked items are as great as ever. While they currently don't have my beloved crab legs in mustard butter, they have a really tasty sofrito and clams (a riff on a previous menu item, chorizo and clams). And my current favorite there is simply getting whole fish: the head and tail are left intact but the backbone is removed and it's stuffed with aromatics like lemon, rosemary and tarragon, depending on what's fresh that day.
They've got seats available for New Years Eve, if anyone's looking for a place to go that evening, especially for a later seating which includes a champagne toast. (I'm only going to be there for an early turn, opting instead to head out to a nightclub for my toast.)
So yeah, fresh uni at the Cat. The presentation is simple: they take the sea urchin out of the case, put it on a plate and that's it. It makes that stuff that comes out of a little wooden box in the Japanese fridge section seem almost pedestrian.
The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028