The Black Cat Gives a NYC Transplant a Scratch of Home
I’m a New York City transplant and even though Los Angeles has won me over as my choice of home, I still get nostalgic about the food and dining experiences of my hometown.
You just can’t fuck with NYC in that regard.
You can call New York out on a lot of things but not the food.
Located at the Sunset Junction area of Silver Lake, The Black Cat used to be Le Barcito, a gay Latino bar that hosted drag shows. Before the Le Barcito era it was named The Black Cat Tavern, also a gay bar which subsequently played a role in the gay rights movement, so there is a wealth of colorful history to this establishment and I praise the owner for paying homage to it’s history.
The Black Cat satisfies my hunger for NYC atmosphere with it’s dark wood paneling and dark green banquettes, along with the grandiose towering dark wood bar.
When I walk in I feel like I am transported to mid-town Manhattan.
My only caveat for The Black Cat is the noise. When it is busy your eyes and throat will be challenged. So if you are on the look out for a quiet, intimate setting this is not the place.
The wait staff are professional and courteous and the bartenders are well trained mixologists. Their cocktail menu is classic. Featuring old, respected favorites like Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs and Old Tom Collins.
My favorite though is the Smokey Martini.
The Black Cat menu offers a variety of fun incarnations of meat, fish and poultry dishes, but when you first walk in it’s the bar that impresses you. Not the smell from the kitchen at the far end. This is where the fault lies and where The Black Cat is NOT like NYC.
The food isn’t excellent. It’s good on some nights and frankly just fair on others. Their dishes just don’t pack a whole lot of flavor or ingenuity. I would venture to say that The Black Cat prides itself more as a bar than as a restaurant.
The attention to detail and style of the establishment from the brass chandeliers to the Art Deco water pitchers are what makes this place stand out in my mind.
The boner is in the atmosphere and quality cocktails, not the grub.
I will be back again, The Black Cat, just not in the immediate future.