My girlfriend was in town, so we went to two places that we go to almost every time she is here: The Hungry Cat and the Alcove (in Los Feliz). Now, I know there is some split amongst 'hounds about the food and price at these two places, but my girl and I have always found these two places to be reliable and worth the overhype and price. To keep things short, I have a separate post on our experience at the Alcove.
The Hungry Cat. I have been here at least 5 times and never had a problem. This last visit, however, was ... difficult. It was a Saturday night and we were a party of four. I will qualify the foregoing laundry list by saying that when we arrived, the restaurant was slammed and everyone appeared to be very busy.
- Had reservations for 8:15, seated at 8:55. In the meantime, the hostess apologized for the wait (which was nice), and offered to take our order for drinks while we waited. She took our order around 8:30.
- Said drinks did not arrive until 10 minutes after we sat down. The drinks, as always, were fantastic. I do love the drinks here.
- The waiter got around to our table a few minutes after our drinks arrived. We asked him questions about the entrees and the specials, and he non-answered every question by saying, "Oh, it's totally awesome. You should get it."
- The first two entrees came out 25 minutes after our initial order.
- The second two entrees arrived 10 minutes after the first two, and after we shared and finished off that first set.
- The waiter came by once to ask if anyone wanted a second drink. My friend ordered another cocktail. Cocktail #2 arrived just as we were finishing up dessert.
- The bill took 15 minutes to arrive, after asking for it twice.
All in all, we arrived at the restaurant at 8:10 and didn't leave until 11:45ish. I had the barramundi, which was delicious albeit salty. My girlfriend had the crab soup (very tasty!) and the squid stuffed with chorizo (I don't like squid, so I can't comment. My girlfriend thought it was good, but worth only 12 out of the 16 dollars it cost). Our friends had a crab salad (pretty good, but also overpriced) and the special, a salmon riellete (not so great - tasted like bologna). We also had chocolate bread pudding for dessert (their only one), which was great according to everyone who likes bread pudding (not me).
As I said, I have been here several times and understand that there are off-nights. Just lucky that we didn't make plans for after dinner, because after all that waiting, we were all really tired.