A taste of Susan Feniger’s Street
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Chef Susan Feniger, half of the Too Hot Tamales duo responsible for restaurants Border Grill and Ciudad and countless Food Network appearances, will step into her own spotlight Monday when her long-awaited Street restaurant debuts in the former Highland Grounds spot.
Located on Highland, a bit north of Nancy Silverton’s Mozzas on the Melrose intersection, Street concentrates on the formula that worked for Feniger’s other restaurants -- an upscale take on cultural cuisine. Sticking mostly to Asian-inspired street food dishes, the dinner menu is broken down into small plates meant for sharing, then noodles, stews and curry dishes. There are also entrees made in the wood-burning oven. After Monday’s dinner opening, the restaurant will serve lunch and Sunday brunch (the former probably being a welcome treat to the workers at the nearby row of production houses as well as nearby residents).
This past Saturday, Feniger and her Street staff hosted a sampling party. Those in attendance included comedian Will Ferrell. (Diners in the interior courtyard had an only-in-L.A. experience as an LAPD helicopter hovered nearby as it searched the adjacent neighborhood for someone or something.)
Keep reading below as we share a taste of what’s on the menu at Street.
Why fill up on bread when you can whet your appetite with millet puffs? These sweet-and-savory balls of grain are accented with curry and other spices, and come at the beginning of the meal.
This platter of Thai bites is a build-your-own snack. Start with baby collard leaves, layer on the tamarind palm caramel, fresh toasted coconut, peanuts, dry shrimp, ginger and chiles. Cost is $12.
The paani puri, at right, is the dish that started it all. According to legend, Feniger stumbled upon these in a street market in Mumbai. Everyone from street kids to business workers in suits were waiting in line for these puffs of spiced potato, chutney and sprouted beans doused with yogurt cilantro.
This is part of the dumpling menu, which also includes mandoo vegetable dumplings with roasted honey yam, Moldavian meatballs with dill sour cream, pork dumplings with orange zest, Cantonese white radish cake with Chinese sweet sausage and topped with a fried egg, and huge dim sum-inspired Chinese sesame cakes. Prices for the tea cakes and dumplings range from $6 to $12.
The noodles and curries keep it simple and familiar. The Massamum chicken curry is a big bowl of traditional Southern Thai curry -- chicken, mushrooms and red yam are sweetened with a coconut milk broth. There is also a South Indian-style saag paneer with kokum dal and rice, beef pho and spicy peanut noodles with vegetables. Prices for these go from $7 for a small noodle shop soup with tofu and soba to $18 for spicy fried noodles with shrimp.
Street’s answer to the New York strip steak is to marinate it on a skewer and roast it in the oven. It’s served with mushroom spaetzle and rapini, plus creamed onions and bacon. There’s also an Egyptian-style baked fish with braised greens. Prices are $24 and above.
Desserts? They are there, but were not being served Saturday night, and we only got a chance to sample the peanut butter cookies with jam.
Susan Feniger’s Street, 742 N. Highland, Hollywood, (323) 203-0500, Eatatstreet.com.
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Too Hot Tamale chef Susan Feniger to open new restaurant Street
Top photo: Ann Johansson / For The Times; other photos, including the links, by Alexander Woo / For The Times