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Sep 26, 2010 11:53 AM

Susan Fineger's Street-- nothing to write home about

Checked out Susan Fineger's Street for Dine LA week. We had a 30% discount which saved us 20 bucks off a 70 dollar bill, not including drinks.

We tried six dishes, including the lamb meatballs, the Vietnamese corn, the green beans, the Brazilian fritters, the black peppered clams, and the kale with white beans. The two standout dishes were the corn and the green beans. The corn was very flavorful and the green beans were fresh and tasty. The green beans did taste like a simple dish that one could make at home, though (fresh green beans, butter, olive oil, lime, salt). The clams were a disappointment. They tasted like someone had an accident with Kikoman soy sauce in the kitchen. The clams were overpowered by the sauce.

The other dishes were nothing special. Without the discount, it would've been an over-priced, mediocre meal. Service was good, except for the hostesses, who took too long to get us a table, even with a reservation. The space, in my opinion, is too small and tight for a restaurant like this. They crammed too many tables into a small space that looks like it would do better as a vintage clothing store, instead of a restaurant.

In my opinion, if I want street food, I won't be going back to Street. I'll head to downtown LA for food trucks on Thursday night or try the local food trucks in Pasadena, Highland Park and El Sereno.

I will say that the bartenders at Street do make some interesting drinks. The honeydew cucumber fresca was very good, and my hot toddy (whisky, lemon juice, honey and hot water) was very good, too. The highlight for me was the drinks and the two vegetable dishes mentioned above. Beyond that, I'd say Street is nothing to write home about.

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    1. The reason that this concept does work is that there are plenty of people (non-chowhounds) who would never consider venturing into areas like Pico-Union or Westlake, let alone actually eating something there from an outdoor street vendor’s cart or a truck. But they are totally okay with paying 6X for pseudo street food that may even be inferior as long as it is served in a restaurant where they have the perception of comfort and safety.

      1. re: Sam D.

        "there are plenty of people who would never consider venturing into areas like Pico-Union or Westlake"

        Absolutely correct. And even more so, a fortiori, into "Macau to Jaipur to Havana".

        1. re: RicRios

          I have to agree as well, even though I love Susan Feniger as a personality.

          I brought my non-hound coworkers and boss here for my birthday lunch. While my boyfriend and I silently thought it was a huge disappointment, my coworkers + boss (minus the scared intern that looked like she was revolted by everything served) thought the place was amazing -- so much so that my boss put me in charge of finding a "new cool restaurant" for my company to go to every month!!

          FYI - a breakdown of what my BF and I had:

          Vietnamese Corn - revoltingly over-limed and old tasting

          Burmese Melon Salad - not bad but on the watery side, def muted x10 for Vanilla diners

          Korea Rice Salad (I think that's what it was called) - turned out to be just a very average Bibimbap

          Kaya Toast - fine but disappointed that the egg was not the super soft watery version that requires a bowl. Btw this dish really freaked out all of my coworkers + boss.

          If I could take my birthday lunch back I would, but at least with my new designation as "new cool restaurant" person I can pick something better next month!

          1. re: eatingculture

            Hi eatingculture, if you're still around I'd love to know what "cool" restaurant(s) you've picked since. I am planning an office holiday lunch and Street was at the top of my list until I saw this thread! TIA.

            1. re: rmb123

              Hey Tia,

              We haven't had any occasions for $$-$$$ lunches lately, unfortunately. A company favorite is Royal/T, not for the food (it's OK), but for the general ambiance. Last week we ate at Tara's Himalayan, which is not new or really "cool", but one of my coworkers liked it so much he went there again by himself this week. I wanted to eat at A-frame and Waterloo & City, but unfortunately they're not open for lunch. Sorry I can't be of more help!


              PS I should mention that my coworker found his falafel at Street to be "one of the best" he's ever had.

              Tara's Himalayan
              10855 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

    2. Ditto. I was there this weekend after a family member chose this place for brunch. I thought it was expensive too, especially the drinks!! $14 to $15 for cocktails, including $14 for a bellini? Our server forgot two of my requests and kept trying to up-sell us on more cocktails. For the prices I expected better service from the waiter. I thought the Turkish donuts were good, although the famous coconut spread on toast was overly rich. I felt like I had put a quarter stick of butter in my mouth.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mari

        I wasn't very impressed with the brunch. I'll give them props for having one of the most creative -- or should that be 'strangest' -- brunch menus I've ever seen, but I didn't find the choices incredibly appealing, and what was served was rather heavy-handed and messy.

      2. Bravo, katkoupai - could not agree more.
        IMHO, the very name "Street " is kind of too kind - Ditch or Gutter, anyone?

        1. While I completely agree that the food is mediocre verging into bad, Street has one of the best Happy Hour deals in town. When everything is $5 and under and the place is virtually empty, it tastes a little better. I just wish the Ginger cocktail was on the happy hour menu, because I refuse to pay $16 for it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: LAEats

            I love the Ginger cocktail...but it is expensive. I really like the idea of Street more than the restaurant. I love that the menu is different, and I think the place has a good vibe. But I've either had really good service, or awful service. The food is hit and miss. But I will check out the happy hour deal. I've actually had some good lunches there....better experience than dinner.

          2. I was excited to use my 30% off coupon for Street and I am sorry to report that I completely agree with those who were underwhelmed. The Kaya Toast was interesting but it defiantely lost its lustre after the second bite.
            We did *love* the basboosa cake dessert. The farmers market berries on top of the yummy semolina cake were amazing.
            I think Ms. Feniger needs to rethink the menu and concept.