Sunday, March 14, 2010


A few months ago, my mother suggested we try Susan Feniger's new restaurant in Los Angeles called Street. If you are not familiar with Susan Feniger, I believe she is a chef definitely worth knowing of. Together, she and Mary Sue Milliken were nicknamed the "Too Hot Tamales", they wrote Cantina: The Best of Casual Mexican Cooking (Casual Cuisines of the World) and opened two restaurants, Ciudad in Los Angeles, and the Border Grill in Santa Monica (later one opened at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas).

Street, however, is Susan Feniger's first solo project. She traveled to many different countries to sample street food from which to create her own recipes. What results is a large, amazing menu that is not self righteously ethnic; it simply is. I will admit, it's tough to go and not drool over items such as the Turkish doughnuts. Hopefully though you will have someone unlike my father, who ordered them, much to my dismay.

What struck me most was the friendly notice on the bottom of the menu asking me to inform my server of any food allergies I may have. Reading this always gives me a feel of calm, since I won't have to be nervous about harassing my server in a (usually) loud setting so that I won't get sick from what I eat. I have to say that most servers are friendly about this, and my server at Street was no different. He checked immediately with the staff about what oils were used, and if any other allergens would cause problems. He also came back with the kitchen staff's suggestions for what I should eat, which was very helpful.

Since we were there for brunch on Sunday, I had a breadless version of Your Way, which is a simple yet tasty standard breakfast. My mother (who is my most staunch supporter) ordered the Korean Rice Salad, which our server recommended, saying he ate it for lunch weeks in a row. It was delicious, and it's a dish that does not make you conscious about what you're not eating. Instead, you're enjoying the medley of rice, fish, and egg.

I also contacted Street, and the Sous Chef Christine Brashear sent me a very helpful email back. Here is some of what she wrote:

We take great pride in accommodating to those who have specific allergies and/or dietary restrictions. I know that sometimes it can be challenging to navigate around a menu that is as eclectic as ours, but we really emphasize with our wait staff what items do include nuts, dairy, and wheat gluten. With a combination of training along with a genuinely astute staff, we are able to be sensitive to the needs of our guests.

She then included a list of foods that are gluten and dairy free from the Dinner Menu.

Gluten Free (all dishes are as is, no substitutions necessary)
millet puffs, served complimentary upon arrival
Acaraje, Brazilian black eye pea fritters
Moroccan Squash
Fried Plantains with coconut chutney and curry leaves
Moscow style roasted eggplant
Toasted amaranth with toasted almonds, corn, sweet potatoes and almond milk
Peking Quail with chestnut rice and tea steeped prunes
Massamum beef curry

Dairy Free (all dishes are as is, no substitutions necessary)
Cous Cous Tabbouleh,
Thai rice noodles
Indonesian Peanut noodles
Massamum beef curry
Tatsutage fried chicken (egg)
Albacore tuna steak
Toasted amaranth
Japanese shiso shrimp (egg)
Mandoo vegetable dumplings (egg)
Ono sashimi (egg)
Chinese broccoli
Moscow style eggplant

She also mentioned that many of the dishes can be adjusted as well, which fortunately many of us are already professionals at. (By the way, those millet puffs they give you when you sit down are amazing. They have marshmallows inside and curried puffed millet on the outside. It's beyond yummy.)

When I looked at the website, I was also pleased to find much information about what makes Street green. I was very happy to find out that they only serve sustainable seafood (like Black Cod, Barramundi, and Artic Char) and do not serve Tuna or Swordfish. The restaurant only works with natural and organic farms, uses an in-house Reverse Osmosis water purification system to avoid purchasing water (which then wastes bottles), and the restaurant has a composting and recycling program that leaves them with only 3% pure waste.

Only recyclable and bio-degradable products are used for the to-go containers, and the decor itself is made from recycled materials. The bar tops, counter tops, bathroom sinks, and outdoor tables are all made with a Forest Stewardship Council approved material derived from recycled paper.

And believe me, you cannot tell. The decor is a bit like the Border Grill, but has its own trend to it that is a catchy cross between retro and city. There is a bar with creative cocktails, seats for large parties, and an upstairs area where live music plays on the weekends. If you live in the area or happen to visit, I recommend visiting Street. Susan Feniger's reputation never disappoints; her cultured culinary skills always shrine through.

743 No. Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 203-0500

1 comment:

Spice's Lovely Mother said...

Spice didn't mention that our initial interest in Street was instigated by the stories of a mutual friend of ours who went with Ms. Feninger throughout India sampling street food to get ideas for the restaurant. Intrigued, we made the initial visit descried by Spice. And the Korean Rice Salad - I would never had thought the combination of rice, fish and poached egg could be so delicious.

Recently, Grill King Daddy and I again went to Street with a friend from out of town...we ordered and sampled an array of dishes, and were even more delighted than on our first visit. Nothing sounded "familiar" (and I think we tend toward the familiar when ordering for the first time off an unfamiliar menu), so we relied on the recommendations of our waitstaff. Many good choices.