Susan Feniger’s Jitlada

On Saturday I had two great meals in L.A.: lunch at Susan Feniger’s Street and dinner at Jitlada.

Street, on Highland just north of Melrose, is a new restaurant by Feniger, the co-chef behind Border Grill and Ciudad. She’s also a Claremont Colleges alumnus. Street is devoted to foodie versions of the world’s street foods. Our table shared spinach varenyky (a Ukrainian dumpling), a half-size New Jerusalem bread salad, Hawaiian poke plate (ono fillet, Japanese style) and Egyptian basbousa cake, plus mango lassi to drink. We liked it all, and at lunchtime on a Saturday or Sunday, street parking is free. The meal came to $53 plus tip.

The only disappointment was that Street has an A from the Health Department. This is street food; the grade should be a C.

Jitlada, on Sunset in the Thai Town neighborhood, is another acclaimed restaurant. Besides the usual Thai options, there’s a couple of pages of southern Thai dishes unknown to most of us, which is why there’s such a buzz. Jitlada is in a minimall and there was a half-hour wait, but for a Saturday night, that’s not bad.

We had fish cakes, a very good rice salad and, the clear winner, the crispy catfish and mango salad. Very good stuff indeed, and I’ll have to go back to try some of the other dishes everyone raves about. The bill was about $38. The interior seems to have been furnished from someone’s basement — a Michelob lamp near framed portraits of Thailand’s king and queen? — but Jitlada is well worth a visit.

I can also endorse the movie “An Education,” now playing at the ArcLight in Hollywood, and eventually to a theater near(ish) you.

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  • meg

    Jitlada was just featured on the Next Iron Chef show (yes, I have a soft spot for crass reality shows). I wondered as I watched whether they paid for product placement….

  • stephanie

    Susan Feniger graduated from one of the Claremont Colleges — specifically Pitzer College. She makes really tasty food. Yum.

    [Thanks! I was too lazy to look it up. — DA, candidly]

  • SAW

    David, I am puzzled about your comments regarding the Health Department grade for the first restaurant you visited. You said it had an “A”, but should have received a “C”, because it was street food.

    I think that the Health Department grade pertains to the degree of cleanliness and safety: The food should be prepared in an environment that is clean and safe. I would never buy food from an establishment displaying a C placard, sitdown or streetside.

    Glad you liked “An Education.” I am looking forward to it since seeing the trailer and the print reviews. And now, yours.

    [I was just joking about the C, SAW (see-saw?), contrasting Street’s upscale nature with the (arguable) merits of authenticity. Any real street food vendor, especially in a Third World country, wouldn’t have an A for cleanliness and food safety. — DA]

  • SAW

    Oh. It’s hard to see jokes at 1 a.m.