Thursday, June 24, 2010

Food that's right up your street, but service that's not...

Last night we ventured to Susan Feniger's STREET restaurant for the second time and although the food was equally as good, this time the service left something to be desired.
Susan Feniger's Street
Located on N Highland Avenue, just up from Melrose Avenue, it's not the largest restaurant in the world, but you do have the option to either dine inside or outside in the covered patio area.

As the name suggests, the menu mixes food from the streets of many cultures, infused with the chef's years of expertise.

On our last visit when the place had just opened, we'd seen the recent star of Bravo's Top Chef Masters herself going table to table making sure her diners were having a nice time and enjoying their food. You also got the impression that all the staff were making an extra special effort to explain the food and how you should eat it and recommending their favourites.
Susan Feniger's Street food starters
On this occasion even though the food was fabulous, without Susan Feniger in attendance the service seemed much sloppier. I know it's supposed to be casual dining, but it took time to be greeted at the door (and we had a reservation) and ordering from the menu seemed to take an age as the waiter flitted randomly from table to table.

Our drinks orders sat on the bar for a couple of minutes in full view and we could have simply gone up to collect them ourselves quicker. The waiter also seemed to skip between tables when taking orders, rather than concentrating on all the guests at one table. It all felt very strange.

To start we shared some Panni Puri cakes, made from spiced potato, chutney and sprouted beans in crispy puffs of dough which I remembered from my last visit. You pour a little yogurt-cilantro water into them and pop them into your mouth and you're in heaven.

Some special scallops were also a welcome addition to the menu and small Ukranian Spinach Varenyky dumplings, made for a nice variety of starter.
Susan Feniger's Street food entrees
We choose a trio of different main courses to share next and I have to say the Andouille Sausage and Shrimp Bayou-Style Gumbo was delicious. Plus our table also enjoyed the Beef Tenderloin Schnitzel and Tatsutage Fried Chicken in rice batter.

Let's just say we were too stuffed to try dessert this time. Again the only downside was that it took an age for our plates to be cleared once we finished eating each course. Personally I can't relax if there's uneaten food in front of me when I'm done.

Anyway, these are all minor grievances, but if they could just improve the service, the overall dining experience would match the fantastic flavours and selection of food on offer.

I'll definitely be dining at Susan Feniger's STREET again, and hope that next time some of the kinks in service have been ironed out.

Until next time...


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