Chef Susan Feniger enjoys eating out, but nothing beats a quiet Sunday by… (Stefano Paltera / For The…)
A renowned chef like Susan Feniger would know if something's being spread too thin, and she insists this isn't the case with her time and her still-burgeoning restaurant empire.
"I go between Street, the Border Grills here and in Las Vegas, Ciudad, the food truck, the Border Grill kiosk downtown, and if we can ever get through the political nightmare, we'll have a Border Grill Taqueria at LAX," Feniger says. "I'm really optimistic, and because of this experience with all the red tape, I've finally learned my way around City Hall after 18 years."
The restaurant Street, which opened last year in Hollywood, is her most recent venture, but the longtime "Too Hot Tamales" cohost has also found time for appearances on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" and a plum catering assignment this weekend, the annual post-Emmys soiree thrown by "Entertainment Tonight."
When she isn't working, Feniger serves on the boards of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the Scleroderma Research Foundation. She lives in the Santa Monica Mountains with her partner, writer-director Liz Lachman, and their two dogs and three cats.
All that jazz
On a lot of Friday nights, I'll find my way back to Street and sit outside by the fire pit with my cocktail of Canton ginger and tamarind tequila and maybe nibble on black kale and white beans with toasted olive bread and white anchovy butter. But if we were going out, it's fun to meet friends at Charlie O's over on Victory Boulevard, one of my favorite jazz spots. It's not a fancy, supper-club kind of place, it's a bar, and that's fine with me because I'm not an upscale kind of girl.
A meal & a movie
For breakfast on the weekends, I like Back on the Beach because you're literally sitting in the sand, although I liked it better when it was dumpier. And Snug Harbor and Callahan's are good diners on Wilshire that we go to often. And then there's Izzy's Deli and Roscoe's. And then maybe we'd catch a movie at the Landmark at Westside Pavilion.
Liz and I both love music, so on a Saturday we might go to Leimert Park, where's there's always music and good food. And I love going over to the Ford theater. It's outdoors like the Hollywood Bowl, but with slightly easier access, and it's just more low-key, which I like too. A little more personal. That's why I tend to prefer the Taper to the Ahmanson.
Scrub & grub
Another place I love is Beverly Hot Springs on Oxford. Can you imagine, natural hot springs here in L.A.? So you go in the hot water then the ice-cold thing, and there are fantastic body scrubs and massages. After that, I'll go to this little trailer behind the California Market on Western where they make these Korean pancakes stuffed with brown sugar and butter. Delicious!
The good life
On a Sunday morning we'll sleep late and then take the dogs hiking up at Crestwood Hills Park. Well, I shouldn't say hiking because that's misleading. It's more like strolling. Then we'll come home and dive in the pool, which feels like heaven. After growing up in Ohio, I still can't get over the fact that I have a pool in my backyard. So we'll just sit around there, looking out at the ocean with some coffee and the Sunday L.A. Times — fantastic.
And then in the evening, we'll go out for a nice dinner at the Brentwood. It's a real neighborhood hang with simple but delicious food. It's just right.