Thursday, May 27, 2010

Get Ready for Hungry Cat's CrabFest VI ! (CrabFest V Recap)

June 27, exactly a month from now, marks CrabFest VI at The Hungry Cat in Hollywood. That not only meant that I had to call and make a reservation immediately, but I also better hurry and review ... last year's CrabFest V.

Shows you how much I procrastinate. Wow.

CrabFest at The Hungry Cat happens one Sunday a year, where a crab-centric prix fixe menu takes over the restaurant. Last year's $60 menu included 5 courses + 2 sides.

Bartender Matty Eggleston has long since been gone from Hungry Cat, but he had developed the cocktail menu there at the time. I'm not sure how much of it had changed, perhaps not at all.

The ones manning the bars that day made solid drinks and Matty was actually on his day off and was eating crab at the counter.

I didn't like the drink I ordered but I loved the Black Eyed Plum that LA&OC Foodie ordered, made with plum, lime, and cachaca.

Our feast started with the Crab Roll "amuse", sitting enticingly in front of me.
I loved the creamy crab salad, not overwhelmed by the mayo, it let the fresh and sweet Maryland blue crab meat shone through. I loved it on top of the crisply toasted dinner roll. Too bad this was an "amuse" and I only got one. If this was a la carte, I would've ordered another.

"Pride of Baltimore" crab soup, grilled bacon fat, cornbread.
A hearty bowl full of crab flavor. I don't know if you can see it, but there was a lot of crab meat floating in the bowl.

Whole pan-roasted softshell crab, haricot verts, pancetta, corn.
This was probably my favorite course of the day. Not heavily seasoned, the focus is on the crispy yet meaty soft shell crab with a big burst of juice when you bite into it. The juice from the crab combined with the pancetta was decadent, but the haricot vert is there to cut it.

Two sides were served to provide a break from all the crab: tomato and pecorino cheese, and potato salad.
The juicy tomatoes were pretty impressive, and it paired nicely with the mild sharpness of pecorino.

The main attraction came with little wooden mallets. Steamed Maryland blue crab, six for each person.
Sure, cracking the crab for the meat was a lot of work, but it's all part of the fun, and the sweet crab meat inside is well worth the effort.

The aftermath:
That might or might not be all mine. Uhm.

For dessert: peach crisp.
It was unfortunately served cold. Cold crisp, really? It was okay, and perhaps they would be too overwhelmed with the crowd if they have to heat up their crisps for each person, but I would've enjoyed the dessert more if they did.

Well, regardless. We came for CrabFest. The steamed crabs and the rest of the crab courses were well worth the $60.

Here are LA&OC Foodie's and Mattatouille's much more timely reports of the same feast.

The Hungry Cat
1535 North Vine
Hollywood, CA
Hungry Cat on Urbanspoon



thanks for sharing! Didnt know about this one. Need to make a reservation

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