Nick Rhodes

On the street: Nick and Julie Anne Rhodes
Since the only globe-trotting this wing-clipped gypsy will be doing for a while is oral, I let my “tastes buds do the walking”, and went to Susan Feniger’s Street this week. The restaurant is where the celebrity chef (Top Chef Masters, Chef vs. Sun City, and Two Hot Tamales), co-founder of the Border Grill, and thirty year veteran of the culinary world shares her take on “exotic ingredients and unexpected flavors from the food of the streets.”

Street vendor in Cairo
Of course it helped substantially to have a group of adventurous eaters along with me, creating our own tasting menu from the torturously vast array of tantalizing choices. Here is what we had:

Kaya Toast: A uniquely Singapore experience. Toasted bread spread with thick coconut jam, served with a soft fried egg drizzled in dark soy and white pepper. Verdict: Sublime. She never should have been voted off the show for this. It was so good we ordered seconds.

Panni Puri: Small tastes of spiced potato, chutneys, and sprouted beans, enclosed in crispy puffs of dough dipped in yogurt-cilantro water.Verdict: Bring it on! Yum.

Spinach Varenky: Small Ukrainian dumplings filled with spinach, and a light layer of salted cheese; boiled, and then pan fried served with sour cream, fried onions, and lemon marmalade.Verdict: Tender, great flavor combination, well executed, and authentic according to my Lithuanian dinner companion.

Brazilian Acaraje: Small black eyed pea fritters with palm oil, garlic, and cilantro; stuffed with citrus cabbage slaw and malagueta chile sauce. Verdict: Very pretty and interesting temperature, texture and flavor combinations that made every taste bud pop.
Japenese Shizo Shrimp: Marinated shrimp rolled with shizo, nori seaweed, and crispy dough; served with ponzu, grated radish, and wasabi. Verdict:Exquisite.

Toasted Amaranth: With slivered almonds, cuzco corn and roasted yam in almond milk. Verdict: Such a soothing, comfort food, and definitely one of our favorites. That is a dish I will be mimicking for myself at home often.

Argentine Ricotta Noquis: From the Italian district of Buenos Aires; sheep’s milk ricotta dumplings simmered with brown butter and lemon with celery root puree: Yummy, creamy, decadence in every bite. Verdict: What it lacked in color was soon forgotten by the mouth full of satisfyingly mild, creamy decadence. Again, comfort food at it’s best. Children and the less adventurous members in your party would love this.

Malaysian Black Pepper Clams: Served on Singapore’s Eastern coast clams simmered in oyster sauce with cracked black pepper, palm sugar, soy and lime. Verdict:This dish came highly recommended to us by foodies and waitress alike, so I reckon this might have been an off night. They were good, but not executed as well as the other offerings… the flavors were a little too watered down and the clams were chewy.

Hawaiian BBQ Pork: Wrapped in banana leaf and slow cooked on the wood oven with marinade of sugar cane, pineapple, and soy served with traditional accompaniments of steamed rice, macaroni salad and sweet roll.Verdict: Falling off the bone, juicy and succulent, but warning… huge portion if you have more than one course, and you really need to save room for…

Turkish Doughnuts: Small spiced pastries fried and then simmered in cardamom rose syrup served with sour cream and rose hip jam.Verdict: We each had one, and it was the perfect note to end a fabulous meal. Just a touch of sweetness spiked with cardamom (a great alternative to cinnamon) that melded so well with the rose hip jam, leaving a wonderful taste in your mouth to savor. An absolute don’t miss!

Agnes, Romante, Julie Anne, and Steve
Trust me, even after this kind of gluttony (we ordered one of every dish, except for the Kaya Toast that we ordered seconds of, and each had a bite), we did not even put a dent in the menu which also features impressive cocktail and tea lists. I will be back to sample the rest over time. Street is located at 742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, (323)203-0500.

PS. Please excuse the lack of B&B test. I’m still on crutches, so I was too lazy to check out the bathroom, and they do not serve bread at the beginning of the meal at Street. Instead they give you a scrumptious kind of grown up rice crispies treat… a bite size ball of puffed rice, popcorn, date, cardamom, and marshmallow? Just hazarding a guess from one quick nibble.

I thought you might find this video of both menu and restaurant coming together as interesting as I did. There are more on you tube and the Street website.

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  • June 11, 2010
    4:57 pm

    Hi Julie AnneI drove by there on tuesday. Thanks for filling me in with photos and comments. The Hawaiin pork dish looks divine. What is the price range. I am glad you are getting about a bit better.

  • June 11, 2010
    8:26 pm

    That looks scrumptious! The Kaya Toast looks interesting…I'd like to try that!!Alison Sherman

  • June 11, 2010
    8:26 pm

    Oh man would I like to go on a tasting tour with YOU!!Justine Owls

  • June 11, 2010
    9:35 pm

    It was fun!

  • June 12, 2010
    5:44 am

    Very nice picture. You both look like you are dressed so nice, yet look comfortable.Nique Quesada

  • June 12, 2010
    5:45 am

    I bet! The food looks fantastic!Justine Owls

  • June 12, 2010
    3:53 pm

    OMG looks very YUMMY!!!!!!!:pMariFer Cruz Ortega

  • June 12, 2010
    4:36 pm

    Around the world in 80 bites…sounds delightful!Your outfit in the photo with Nick is WAY ahead of its time. I have seen many recent photos of celebs wearing sheer skirts over short skirts or shorts.

  • June 12, 2010
    6:14 pm

    How many interesting food… excellent tour!!

  • June 12, 2010
    10:48 pm

    My mouth is watering after looking at these meals. Seriously.Terry Munson

  • June 12, 2010
    10:49 pm

    You are so making it hard to stay on atkins, lol!!!Jodi Silverman Zulueta

  • June 12, 2010
    11:02 pm

    Don't worry Jodi.. I'll be joining you soon enough. All this good food, and not able to exercise is a bad combination!

  • June 13, 2010
    12:29 am

    Looks absolutely delicious!Kathi Morris Harvey

  • June 13, 2010
    2:06 am

    Wow! What a wonderful selection of dishes….so interesting and terribly delicious to look at. Now that would be a place to drop by to if I ever get to LA.Aussie Mum

  • June 13, 2010
    6:50 pm

    That looks amazing! Great work.Mark Downie

  • June 13, 2010
    7:39 pm

    I know… I love that outfit Suzanne… I still have it, but would need to stop eating for a year to fit back into it. Not going to happen sadly.

  • June 14, 2010
    1:13 am

    I think the Panni Puri & Toasted Amaranth appeal to me the most. I'd love to see your recipe for the amaranth when you concoct your version! Seeing the pictures & reading your descriptions are almost as good as actually being at the restaurant. I wish my friends were as adventurous as yours & would try new foods. I'm looking through the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen for some recipes to use when my sister visits in September along with some of yours. She's a fussy eater, but I think with your recipes & a few others, we'll make it through her visit just fine. She's not vegan or vegetarean, but she just might be by the time she leaves. LOL The outfit at the top of the blog is killer, wish I could wear something like that, but being 5 feet tall limits me somewhat in the wardrobe department. Well that & a budget. Maybe in my next life . . .

  • June 14, 2010
    5:03 pm

    Hi Julie Anne, I quit facebook for now, too much, lol. Love the outfit you have on, nothing better than sheer black (and good God Nick looks like arm candy too). Anyway, I am vying for a position at MTV for position as twitter jockey (I know), but we were the MTV era (still love Video Killed the Radio Star and most people can't name that video as MTVs first, lol). MTV needs to come back with more music. Will youo vote for me? My handle is heavenly35 and it's at mtvtj. Much love and looking for more recipes…….

  • June 17, 2010
    4:17 am

    Loved this entry! I read it while I was eating lunch yesterday, and found myself frowning at my fork. It was a good laugh for a moment, then I went back to reading. Hope you're feeling well!