|Chaya Toast - a street food lover's paradise!!|
There are times you come across a restaurant concept that peaks your interest with a combined intensity of excitement & anticipation, along with a little curiosity & bewilderment
(what a cool concept but how the hell does that work)?
This restaurant really peaked our interest, a restaurant concept centered around street food from the world; there's something about this that could truly be a success! One of the few obstacles though would be the authenticity of each regional street food and the ultimate ambience of the venue that would lend one to believe that they are in the environment from which the food comes from...
I have enjoyed Susan's restaurants before, albeit in a quirky hit or miss kinda of way, but I am fond of her personality and her success stems from an honesty that is the antithesis of the 'celebrity chef' out of control, circle jerk engine that permeates the industry like a scourge....
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Located on Highland Ave, the restaurant is in an industrial-esque neighborhood, with factory warehouse -like businesses that give it a post Blade Runner, apocalyptic ambience...with valet....
|Interior Shot...yeah, it's that dark....|
To say that the restaurant was dark would be an understatement; it was the Cave of Forgotten Dreams and we needed night vision goggles to read the menu... We whipped out our flashlight apps in order to see anything, and then resigned ourselves to eat our meal in the dark....
I'm not sure about the interior, on one hand, I like the modern decor, but on the other hand, it totally doesn't fit the concept of the restaurant of global street food, (I'm not saying I want a melange of ethnic, patronizing chotchkies on the walls, but I wasn't expecting this).
And although I'm used to her restaurants having a quirky design sense that requires adjustment of the mind, I have yet to figure out what the deal is here...
|Did not Amuse my Bouche....|
|Chicken and Waffles...I think we got the half order at the full price!!|
|Rickshaw Noodles: Pad Thai|
|Pizza of the Day: Date and Blue Cheese Flatbread with Prosciutto|
Going onto on the last dishes of the night, we ordered the Pizza with Dates, Blue Cheese and Prosciutto (an add-on recommended by the waiter). This was our least favorite dish by far: the Blue Cheese overwhelmed the entire dish, wasting the other ingredients, (we could have had cardboard and gravel, it wouldn't have made any difference) which is terrible since there could have been a great balance with the caramelized onions and sweet dates along with the saltiness of the prosciutto....
Oh we also ordered the Korean BBQ Meatballs with Asian Pear Pickles...it was alright, they were moist and juicy but lukewarm...we didn't take a picture, it underwelmed us..
We ended the night with the dessert recommended by the waiter: Croatian Apple Fritters: Crispy Fried Sour Apple Donuts rolled in Orange Sugar Crystals with Whiskey Cider Sauce and Apple Butter. This was pretty much a sure thing, no one could ruin this dish! It was a great hit, and ended the meal on a high(ish) note.
Popular with the after party crowd, the food seems affable to those who need to soak up the alcohol in their system and with an impaired palate, everything is, 'amaze balls' and 'can't get enough'! And given the decor, it seems gear towards that late nite crowd emulating the dark dungeons of speakeasy cum uncomfortable seating- it's like the physical manifestation of someone that doesn't want the party to end, even tho everyone's gone. Why anyone would come for brunch on a weekend to sit inside a dark bar like atmosphere is beyond me, and even though I love Susan Feniger so much, I can't see Street as a success, what with the inflated prices and ambience contrary to everything that street food embodies: humble, affordable and fun......
Rick says: 'Dark, Stark and Bland'!
Ratings (Out of Five Stars)