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Hungry Cat
1134 Chapala St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 884-4701

  • Category: Seafood
  • Hours: Mon: Closed, Tue-Thu: Noon-3pm, 5-10pm, Fri: Noon-3pm, 5-11pm, Sat: 11am-3pm, 5-11pm, Sun: 11am-3pm, 5-10pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

Reviewer: JP from Santa Barbara, CA
Four of us went for the Anniversary Clambake dinner. This was my second time eating at Hungry Cat and will be my last. The first course of fish stew was delicious. The clambake was horrible. No flavor or seasoning was noticeable. The clams were rubbery and inedible. The crab claws and legs were not cracked so we had to "wrestle" with the food. I don't care for that. There was a bowl of drawn butter supplied but it quickly became cold and congealed. Overall, for the price, it just didn't make it. There are better seafood restaurants in town.

No modifications...NO PATRONIZE
Reviewer: Jojo from Santa Barbara, CA
The food is fine, the service...with the very firm no substitutions or modifications is rough. I like this place, I like their drinks, but the chef and this rule cramps my style. Simply asked to swap the grain for a vegetable and got the firm "NO". It was an easy swap... and my preference would have been for the waiter to at lease entertain my request and step away and pretend to ask the chef.

some of the best seafood
Reviewer: marie from Santa Barbara, CA
The arctic char was amazing as well as the oysters! Creative drinks and friendly staff.

Reviewer: Linda from Santa Barbara, CA
We have been eating here since it opened and loved the food. However last night we went, hoping to have a great meal since reading about the changes. It was VERY disappointing. The cod fritters were mushy, the seafood special was recommended so we were excited as we have eaten this dish all over town(CAVA has best Zarzula).. it was minimal and the sauce tasted like beef bouillon ! We left hungry and went to Olio for a pizza!!!

Excellent but be willing to pay
Reviewer: Mario from Santa Barbara, CA
First off, whoever listed this place as having a price range of $10-20 is misinformed. You can get two oysters for $10. For $20 you can get two oysters and a drink. The last time I went on a date there we got a dozen oysters, two entrees, and two drinks each. The bill, including tax and gratuity was $170. That being said, this is one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara. The food is excellent and the drinks are the best in town. But if money is tight and/or you don't like seafood - in particular raw - this is probably not the place for you. The only really negative experience I have had was that I recently called up to make a reservation for 6 and was told they had a table. When I then went on to say that two of our party were children, the table suddenly was not available anymore. The person I was taking to claimed it was just an honest mistake on her part, but part of me thinks they don't want kids in the place. They make more $$ off people who drink...

Good Fish Tacos but...
Reviewer: Toby from Santa Barbara, CA
The food here is typically good. Fish tacos are a standard, the oysters are incredibly fresh, and the cocktails are solid, but the more i have been here in the last 6 months, the more i learn that nobody likes working here. and the staff turnover is the highest of any restaurant i know. it has me thinking of other places to go these days...

I don't see what all the fuss is about
Reviewer: PJ from Santa Barbara, CA
Went there for lunch and had never been before. I heard raves about the food. Really it was nothing special and expensive. The lunch menu is limited for my tastes--I don't eat raw or on the shell so that eliminated a lot of choices. The fish tacos were good but nothing special for $15. $22 for a lobster roll? $16 for a burger? I wouldn't bother and won't be going back.

Overpriced mediocre food
Reviewer: Hal Incandenza from Santa Barbara, CA
The burger seemed to come together the best (not too many ways to go wrong...), but a sweet sauce that didn't complement the raw yellowtail, overly bitter beef, and cheap-tasting crab balls that made for a surprisingly large bill left me feeling more taken advantage of than my last relationship. Great place if you have a limited budget and want to start dieting.

Great Place
Reviewer: B R from Goleta, CA
Took two of my friends to lunch at the HC on Sunday. We were all very please with the service and the food. We will definitely return. The Chef was great! Try the watermelon salad!

Hungry Cat does a flip-flop
Reviewer: jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
File this under does it really matter what I think, but Hungry Cat the other night failed in the food and did far better in the service at least no longer up-selling or giving that always unwelcome dose of attitude. They finally got the wait staff part right. Place was full of 30 somethings, happy diners. Went for the beloved Pug Burger which always kept me coming back, but alas no longer. The beloved PB just was not that good anymore and add me to the list of those finding no charm in a bloody bun, that dissolved into sticky, sickly glop which made eating the full, over-sized burger totally impossible. Probably was my 9th and final life with them after giving them more chances than they should have gotten. The last few times the food and service failed but we kept hoping it was just an off night for the PB which was heavenly the first few times after they opened. Yet, this place is a success so as I started out, does my petty complaint about their consistent PB inconsistencies matter? Nope. Carry on Cat. You have your fans and to your credit. This is a tough town for restaurants and you carved out your niche. Meow.

Really liked it!
Reviewer: Susan from Thousand Oaks, CA
Great food, good service. Like that it's small and casual. Loved my Seafood Cobb Salad. Would certainly go again!

First visit the Last Visit
Reviewer: Susan from Santa Barbara, CA
Went to HC for first time yesterday with some friends. Won't be coming back. It was small and cramped, there was some definite comfusion in the kitchen,and took what seemed be forever to get our food. Ordered the Pub Burger medium well. First time it came to the table it was RARE! The second time it came back,I cut into my burger and it was still undercooked, red juices running on to my plate and into the bun. Finally get my burger, this time it was cooked to order, but did you have to put it back on the same blood soaked bun!! Really people!!!!!

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