Sunday, March 18, 2007

Big Electric Cat

So the next few entries will be all about food and drink and silliness because if I stop to think and try to write about seeing the Santa Barbara version of Arlington West last evening, with 3000 candles flickering on the beach, not even enough for each fallen US soldier, let alone 200 times not enough for all the dead Iraqis, I will cry on the computer and short it out. How in the world did we get into this war and why in the world can't we get out?

Instead, let's talk food and drink, and hope someday all can enjoy food and drink. INOTBB has reported several times on the Hungry Cat that's due to open in Santa Barbara in December, Winter, now the end of April. I got the word straight from the Cat's mouth, so to speak, as Amy and I took a delightful cooking class at the Cook It School with David Lentz, chef/owner of the Hungry Cat, and his all-too-young-to-know-so-much chef in charge Dylan Fultineer last Thursday. (Note to possible class-takers: it is hard to go back to work after a class, especially when a chef brings along his beverage manager Tim who will crank out utterly delicious greyhound propers [a sign!], kumquatinis, and raspberry-infused tequila margaritas.)

It seems that getting permits through in Santa Barbara is difficult (who knew?), and building a kitchen in a space that had none (gee, wonder why L'Ombretta failed) takes time. But, when the spot is finished, Santa Barbara will have what Lentz hopes is a "neighborhood restaurant," which is good, as it will seat only 45 people, many at the bar. And, if the food is anything like we ate last Thursday, we're all in for more than a treat. For instance, we've had the clams, chorizo, and beans dish down at the Hollywood Hungry Cat (note to restauranteurs--never open a Hungry Dog in Hollywood, or everyone, ok, everyone like me, will think of poor Marie Provost), but the version they helped us 15 chefs-in-training whip up this time was even better. Most likely that's because Fultineer made his own chorizo, leaner and tastier than pre-made, and found killer fresh beans at the Santa Barbara farmer's market, plus got Lentz in contact with a clam-grower from the Chesapeake who's trying to save the bay with a special clam-raising method that's both ecologically sound and makes for terrifically tasty mollusks. And that's just one delicious dish--collect them all: quick cured hamachi with grapefruit, Thai basil, and Fresno peppers salad; asparagus salad; crab cake "salad" with Meyer lemon aoli; chocolate bread and butter pudding (the only dessert the Hungry Cat has ever served, as Lentz admits he doesn't like sweets, even though he'll have a variation on strawberry shortcake available soon).

But not soon enough--I need another raspberry infused tequila margarita.

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Blogger Mike said...

Mmmmm. This cat's hungry after reading that.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Tessitura said...

If I have to, this neighbor will single handedly keep this neighborhood restaurant in business...jeez George I should have asked you what you made that day...that sounds great.

WV:...try #1)zoeaqc try #2)giylzbg

11:10 AM  

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