Two CHOW editors on a caloric extravaganza exploring innovation, novelty, and deliciousness. RSS
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At Street, Cultures Mingle Happily

What were those judges on Top Chef smoking? Susan Feniger lost last season’s Masters when she served Kaya toast, a traditional Singapore hangover cure. It’s toasted white bread slathered with coconut jam and topped with a sunny-side-up egg doused in soy sauce. It was one of the most delicious things we ate in LA, when we stopped for lunch at Feniger’s Hollywood restaurant Street.

Sweet and salty, with creamy coconut custard, a saucy egg yolk that breaks over the plate, and crunchy bread: Kaya toast is a cross between a grilled cheese and French toast. If there’s a better to thing to make and serve to your SO in bed on a weekend, we can’t imagine what that would be. (The Los Angeles Times has posted the recipe.)

Street is the first solo venture from Feniger, who rose to LA culinary fame with three mostly Latin-themed restaurants she runs with partner Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill and Ciudad). The theme of Street is—as the name suggests—street food. The innovative, slightly risky spin on it, though, is that it’s not just one country’s street food, but all countries. Tacos, saag paneer, falafel, Brazilian black-eyed pea fritters, lamb kebab, Malaysian clams, and Thai rice noodles all share space on the menu. The experience is a little reminiscent of an international food court from the 1980s, where you’d go from the “Chinese” to the “Italian” area, and so forth, ending in a state of overstimulation. There’s something a little overwhelming about the menu, where there are so many greatest-hit things to choose from, from such distant lands. The tyranny of choice and all that. Luckily, Feniger and her operatives know how to cook very tasty food, so breathe deeply through the ordering process and know that peace and abundance await you.

Besides the Kaya toast, we were charmed by a tangy Burmese melon salad, covered in toasted coconut, sesame seeds, and a gingery dressing, and a seasonal fresh corn salad spackled with crispy bits of pork belly and slivered jalapenos, dressed in fish sauce and lime. Of course the beef tacos kicked ass, but as one of our dining companions noted of the chef who built her career cooking Mexican food, “If Susan Feniger can’t do tacos right, we’ve got big problems.”