SUSAN FENIGER’S ‘STREET’
SERVING SENSATIONAL, SAVORY STREET FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD THAT WILL MAKE YOU SAY ‘WOW!’
Celebrity chef Susan Feniger has outdone herself with her latest restaurant, STREET, that recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.
An L.A. culinary staple for nearly 30 years, Feniger, and her longtime collaborator Mary Sue Milliken, the dynamic duo known as the “Two Hot Tamales” from their Food Network series, first opened City Café on Melrose Ave back in 1981. In 1985 they debuted Border Grill followed by Ciudad in downtown Los Angeles in 1998. Most recently, in part due to the onset of the gourmet food truck phenomenon, they unleashed the Border Grill Truck on the streets of Los Angeles. And just last year, Feniger went solo with her first self-opened restaurant STREET where her love of travel and her insatiable appetite for the foods from other world cultures delectably comes to life.
Located at 742 N. Highland, tucked neatly between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Ave, even the restaurant’s location is part of L.A. nightlife history having served as a gay biker bar (Greg’s Blue Dot) many moons ago and for one summer, back in the day, was one of the coolest rock clubs in memory as CAMP Hollywood, a rock & roll video bar where patrons would grill their own burgers and dogs and toast their own marshmallows over the open fire while the latest rock videos of the day blared away on an oversized big screen.
An indoor/outdoor restaurant, the lighting outside at STREET takes some getting used to during the day as the oversized pink canopies give everything a different hue that protects you from the sun but manages to create a trippy atmosphere.
At STREET, your journey of delicious exotic comfort foods begins with a complimentary offering of Millet Puffs to prepare your pallet. A small pastry made with unsalted butter, marshmallows, puffed millet cereal, whole cumin seed, whole fennel seed, black mustard seed, Reshampati chili powder, turmeric powder, dried currants, kosher salt, and a chopped curry leaf, it may look like popcorn but it delivers a kick. First your taste buds will absorb the sweet taste of marshmallow but then quickly pick up on the curry. You’ll definitely want a glass of the purified osmosis water to ease your burning tongue.
And let your savory sojourn begin.
A restaurant devoted to traditional, handmade street foods from around the globe, you have to go with the Panni Puri (small tastes of spiced potato, chutneys, and sprouted beans enclosed in crispy puffs of dough dipped in yogurt-cilantro water), one of STREET’s signature dishes.
Another signature item that’s a must, and a favorite of Chef Feniger, is the Kaya Toast, a uniquely Singapore experience of toasted bread spread thick with coconut jam, served with a soft fried egg drizzled in dark soy and white pepper. It really has that homemade feeling, as who hasn’t mixed buttered bread with an egg at home. This is delicious, rich comfort food done right.
I also recommend the Honeydew Melon Agua Fresca, it’s completely refreshing and a wonderful summertime drink.
The Spinach Varenyky, small Ukranian dumplings filled with spinach and a light layer of salted cheese, boiled and then pan fried, served with sour cream, fried onions and lemon marmalade, is a great starter dish too. As is the Mandoo Vegetable Dumplings - Asian vegetables and sweet potato noodles with a roasted honey yam and sesame dipping sauce.
The Japanese Shizo Shrimp, marinated shrimp rolled with shizo, nori seaweed, and crispy dough, served with ponzu, grated radish, and wasabi, is rich and succulent. The Lamb Taquito is another favorite offering a hearty and completely satisfying taste.
And make sure to leave room for dessert, or make a trip just for STREET’s wonderful array of sweets. The Bittersweet Chocolate Roulade Cake with wonderful Florentine Cookie is perfect for all chocolate lovers. The cookie alone is reason enough to order this decadent treat.
The Thai Tea Cream Caramel is light custard infused with Thai tea and offers a thick tea taste. The Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp is very tart and the side of Rhubarb cream soda is very interesting.
The Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie sounds a little better than its actual tastes but the cookie really does come to life when you bite into its jelly center. And the Egyptian Basbousa Cake is sweet and comes with a tasty, thick crust. This dessert is highly recommended if you’re a fan of lime that sometimes can be an acquired taste.
Stop by STREET and travel the world and experience all the wonderful bite-size (and not so bite-sized) delicious, handmade/homemade treats that will delight your senses.