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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pug Burger Fails to Impress

Here's a quickie report on our burger club outing to Hungry Cat.

You can order the famous pug burger two ways -- with or without a fried egg on top. It comes with bacon, avocado and blue cheese, all of which you can get on the side.

The verdict: above average but Houston's still reigns.

I had it without the egg and set aside the bacon that I consider a distraction from the purity of a good burger. I can have the bacon separately as a side but not as an integral part of the burger when I bite into it.

An overall very tall burger that's hard to eat. Translation: expect smears on your face and stains on your clothes.

The patty: texture was a bit pasty and not as flavorful and glossy as Houston's.

The bun: ciabatta bread was an interesting alternative but it was too thick and dense for me to finish. Super-soft, classic sesame-sprinkled buns are the way to go.

The fixins: I prefer arugula to red lettuce leaf (better for wrapping kalbi!) and the red onions and avocado were fine. I should disclose that I'm not a huge fan of blue cheese so had to scrape off some of it because it overpowered the patty, as did the bacon. I enjoyed stealing tiny bites of the bacon strips between massive burger bites, however.

The fries: underwhelming. They were lukewarm to cold and had obviously been fried one too many times and drenched in oil so tasted a bit stale and not very fresh. Also oversalted.

Soup: we had the smoked haddock chowder with yukon gold potatoes, leeks and bacon. Wrong choice if you're having a burger afterwards because it is so incredibly salty. The smoked haddock is already salty and with the bacon, it's sodium overload.

Dessert: Hungry Cat mildly redeemed itself with its chocolate bread and butter pudding, which was delightfully decadent and delicious. Not too sweet and sufficiently chocolate-y without being too rich. The chocolate beignets, on the other hand, were a dud.

We went to the original Hollywood location but it also has a Santa Barbara branch.

The place was packed and reservations on weekends are a must, which led me to wonder whether we had simply ordered the wrong things. Maybe we will try its seafood offerings next time, but I won't be having the pug burger anytime soon. For the same price of $16, I would take Houston's California burger any day. Trying it with the fried egg is tempting but truthfully, I could try that at home. Those who had the burger with the fried egg liked it.

Next stop: Weiland Brewery in Little Tokyo. We need a cheap eat to temper the Hungry Cat meal ticket.

Hungry Cat
1535 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 462-2155

1 comment:

omurice said...

i agree with the hungry cat verdict: they have an okay burger but houston's is definitely better. think the hungry cat is a good place to hang with friends especially because of their extensive drink menu. if your questing for burgers only, i say look elsewhere.