The vibe was awesome. Unlike most restaurants in Los Angeles, it feels hip and funky with loud orange painted walls and a large outside dining area that glows red from the reflection of the awning. Fun hand painted art covers the walls and the bathroom is equipped with soap made from recycled and cleaned kitchen grease.
The food, I must admit, was good but a tad disappointing. That's usually what happens when I come in with the highest expectations. When I think of ethnic street food I think spice, explosions of flavor, perhaps exotic and a bit erotic. I want to take a bite and say "wow, that is incredible, I've never had anything like it!" Out of the six dishes we ordered, only one nailed it. Not surprisingly, it was the weirdest item on the menu. Toasted bread smothered in coconut jam with a side of soy sauce and a sunny side up egg for dipping. Crazy! I know, but also CRAZY good! The saltiness of soy sauce mixed with the sweetness of the coconut and richness of egg yolk made this dish ridiculously tasty. I had never tasted anything like it before.
I will say that the dishes were innovative. Ukrainian dumplings filled with cheesy spinach and smothered with lemon marmalade, were good but left something to be desired. Lamb meatballs drizzled with molasses had a nice kick to them and the Mexican ricotta noquis (steamed cheese dumplings in a tomatillo salsa) were nice but the wow factor wasn't there. The other dish that caught my attention was the black kale and white bean puree served with toasted bread and anchovy butter. To eat this I made a little tartine and spread the anchovy butter on the toast followed by the bean puree and then kale. I loved the first piece but went too heavy on the anchovy butter with the second and it was a little overwhelming.
I have a lot of respect for a restaurant as innovative as Street, especially since it strives to push the boundaries of Los Angeles cuisine. Street has some really interesting and unique dishes to offer and is a refreshing treat from the endless California inspired eateries that dominate LA. If you are looking for something new and fun I would take a trip to Street where you can travel the world and still be home in time for bed.
Susan Feniger's Street
742 North Highland Ave
Los Angeles CA 90038
Spoondlicious Rating: 8 out of 10