Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Street Food, Hollywood-style

The infamous $16 pho. The $10 kaya toast that everyone loved but that I'm used to getting for less than $1 back home. These were all reasons I haven't checked out Susan Feniger's STREET until now. The concept is awesome. Street food from all over the world, all in one spot. In Hollywood. But one kitchen and how many countries? Can they pull it off?

I finally gave in and tried it the dinner suggestions thrown at me were Thai and Indian. Well, let's have both then! Both and more. So here goes. Ain't gonna compare to "real street food". Will just see how is this Hollywood restaurant faring overall.
STREET is hip-casual. Not exactly street-vendor ambiance but, hey, you still don't have to wear a tie. Besides the main dining area, you can also walk-in for the bar or counter or patio or the "lounge" upstairs. They do get crowded around 8 PM so walk-ins = long wait.

When we came we got seated upstairs where I got a nice view of the restaurant. We were also the only people up there so I can go flash-happy shamelessly :P
Besides the food, STREET also offers a variety of cocktails and also interesting non-alcoholic drinks such as three types of lassi, crysanthemum tea, etc.

I opted for the Cantaloupe-Beet Agua Fresca ($3)
I loved it. Loved it quite a bit. Not to worry, there's no strange vegetal aftertaste from the beets as the sweetness of the cantaloupe manages to take care of that. Yet the beet smoothes out the cantaloupe.

We started with some Scandinavian Beet & Apple Salad (black currants, toasted walnuts, juniper vinaigrette) - $9
Maybe it doesn't seem very 'ethnic street food' since it looks like a salad you'll get at a Californian restaurant. Regardless, it was an excellent salad. The beets were fresh and sweet. Yes, this is overall a sweet salad with the beets, apple, and walnuts. On the other hand it's not overly sweet and the texture kick from the walnuts are great.

Stir fried noodles with shrimp (pork belly, chinese broccoli, choy sum greens) - $18
This was the table favorite, but it came at a higher price than the other dishes. Very flavorful with a rather sweet sauce - oyster sauce, perhaps? The thick noodles were slippery and had a nice texture and they were generous enough with the shrimps and pork belly.

Indian Vada Dumplings (crispy dal fritters topped with yogurt sauce, mint sauce, and tamarind date chutney) - $8
Thought these were okay. The dal fritters themselves were pretty bland without the sauces accompanying it.

Vietnamese corn with pork belly - $6
The corn was very sweet and delicious! Personally I thought the pork belly was kind of superfluous. But it didn't detract from the dish, so it's okay.

Mandoo vegetable dumplings (asian veggies, sweet potato noodles, roasted honey yam, sesame dipping sauce) - $9
These were also okay. The filling was pretty small, although the dough was good and the dumplings were cooked well, but otherwise it did not stand out. Also, were these supposed to be Korean? If it weren't for the name, I can't tell.

Lamb Kofta Skewers (spiced ground lamb served over baked white beans, roasted artichokes, grilled vegetable and tomato jam) - $24
The lamb was tender and nicely flavored. The artichokes were also delicious. This was also a hit for our table, though again, came at a high price of $24.

I steered away from the pho. And while you guys should try the kaya toast, I'm waiting to get mine back home very soon since my trip home is only a few months away.

Total bill: ~$100 for 3 people.
STREET is a good LA restaurant and it does provide a fun experience for all diners with their very eclectic menu, both food and drinks. Price point is Hollywood-price, though I thought the appetizers and small plates were much better-priced than the entrees. Oh and you've read the reviews, so you know what to steer away from. Don't expect authenticity but you can expect good ingredients, good flavors with some menu highlights.

Susan Feniger's STREET
742 N. Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 203-0500
www.eatatstreet.com
Street Restaurant on Urbanspoon
STREET in Los Angeles

8 comments:

Aaron

In a city like LA, do we really need a place like Street? The diversity of the city is endless; we can get any one of those dishes at much more reasonable prices and with a touch more authenticity. I guess if you have a picky group of diverse eaters who can't settle on one type of cuisine, a place like Street might be ideal. Otherwise, I'd rather just find the places that specialize in each one of these dishes.

Thanks for the review though. I was wondering what all the hype was about.

MyLastBite

It's on my to do list for this month. Thanks for helping me decided what to order! Cheers.

mattatouille

that's funny that we all loved the $10 kaya toast but hated the $16 bowl of pho. Well I would've loved the pho if it was delicious, but it wasn't! nice review (though I can't see any pics at work..grr..flickr rules!)

burumun

Aaron: I think this place will be good for the hipsters to hit before their parties. Can't imagine they'd be going down to the SGV on a Friday night before clubbing, so STREET it is ;)

Mattatouille: Yeah, after all of your reviews abt how bad it is I made sure to steer away from the pho! Sorry abt the photobucketing, I'll try to use flickr more! (they said i can only see most 200 recent photos with free acct, so trying to save the space ..)

Kung Food Panda

While I don't think this restaurant is something we actually need in a city like LA, you're right about the fact the target audience are mainly the hip yuppy crowd of Hollywood. As a SGV resident, I doubt I'll be getting any of the food there, but it's a good concept.

Much like Kogi, which I don't much care for. Cool concept, but just don't do it for me.

Diana

I've been a little skeptical too, but overall the food looks really good. Especially that lamb and pork belly noodle dish! And I could definitely go for that beet acqua fresca right about now...

burumun

Diana: Oh that cantaloupe beet agua fresca was sooo good! And $3 is a good price for it too, it was all fresh. Much better deal than, say, boba teas :P
I can really use one now too. Hot day.

Melissa Good Taste

yummsicle!

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