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The Hungry Cat Restaurant Review: One would expect a coastal Shangri-la like Santa Barbara to be brimming with modernist seafood restaurants, places where the smart set washes down littleneck clams on the half shell with specialty cocktails made with candied grapefruit. And yet there were none until The Hungry Cat. Hip but not vainglorious, the contemporary urban eatery offers a neat balance of shellfish in its purest form --- freshly cracked and served raw --- and refashioned into such unique culinary gems as braised clams with house-made chorizo. Anomalous combos like corn and bay scallop chowder with bacon and cavolo nero result in an enticingly biting contrast. The raw bar offers a wide selection, from the sweet Rappahannock River oyster to local varieties. A number of caviar selections are on hand as well, including robust and creamy eggs from Mississippi paddlefish and slightly crunchy eggs from North Carolina trout. The Santa Barbara location essentially follows the model of the original Hollywood restaurant, but chef/owner David Lentz puts his own spin on the menu. Don’t miss the grand plateau: a selection of oysters, clams, shrimp, tuna tartare, caviar, snow crab and whole lobster that’ll have you purring like a … well, you know.