Susan Feniger’s Street
742 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
The first real meal of my trip, I appeared to be the first person through the door at opening. They were prompt at getting me seated, fed, and on my way. By the time I left, the place was almost full.
This place seems ideal for a table of four to order a bunch off the menu and share around. Unfortunately, being a table of one, I was limited to trying only two things: the kaya toast and the Syrian lamb meatballs with carob date molasses. Prior to their appearance, my bouche was amused by a curried millet treat, which was a play on a rice crispy square with puffed millet playing the rice role and with the sticky, sweet being cut by the addition of curry powder. It was interesting, very sweet, and a pretty good summary of my experience at Street.
The meatballs were fine. As a sauce, the carob date molasses was complex and sticky, but didn’t seem to add much beyond sweet.
The kaya toast is as good as advertised. The one downside of ordering it is that it appears to be either restaurant policy or at least a highly appreciated cultural feature to repeat the story of Ms. Feniger’s creation of the dish on Top Chef Masters, her subsequent elimination from the competition based on the dish (complete with quote from the critic who liked it the least), and her defiant return to her restaurant to place the dish on the menu. I watch the show, so hearing the story was charming but unnecessary the first time. The charm wore off after hearing different servers tell the same, labored story to each table around me. I get that it’s a triumphant middle finger to those who drove her from the show or whatever, but after a few retellings, the tale stops being entertaining. That said, it’s delicious, the critic was wrong, and you should absolutely order this.
I feel like I would have been better served with a larger group, like there’s unfinished business with Street. That said, there are places in LA that I’m much more likely to drag a group, so I don’t know when I’ll be heading back.