THE ART & ARCHITECTURE OF STREET REFLECT FENIGER’S COLORFUL SENSIBILITIES. Susan Feniger built on her longstanding collaboration with famed muralists Huntley-Muir and forged a new relationship with internationally celebrated architect Neil M.Denari.
Denari has already made an indelible impact on Los Angeles with his innovative design for L.A. Eyeworks and Endeavor agency’s office and screening room. Susan Feniger’s STREET at 742 N. Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, is his first-ever restaurant project in a career celebrated for designs in Europe, Asia and the United States. His design for the HL23 condominium project in Chelsea was recently named one of the “Top Ten Designs” for 2008 by New York Magazine.
Huntley-Muir are internationally celebrated artists. Whether designing sets for operas, a postage stamp of the upcoming Olympics in London (where they make their home) or oversized murals on past collaborations with Feniger at Border Grill and Ciudad, Su Huntley and Donna Muir energize each project with a signature style.
For his first foray into restaurant design, Neil Denari worked in close collaboration with acclaimed chef Susan Feniger to create what she calls “an animated atmosphere” for STREET. Said Feniger, “It was thrilling work with Neil for the first time and to explore fresh ideas in design for STREET. The menu is inspired by great food I’ve experienced from street vendors and home chefs worldwide. We wanted the design to evoke that exciting process of discovery.” Denari and Feniger collaborated for the better part of a year in the design phase. Said Denari, “we wanted to create mood and atmosphere to enjoy Susan’s cuisine. There was a lot of respectful back and forth in our collaboration and it became clear to all of us that we wanted to convey warmth through an extensive use of wood.”
Muralists Su Huntley and Donna Muir created a number of colorful onsite original works in an integrative and collaborative relationship with Denari’s design. “The overall idea was to envelope and immerse guests in Susan’s world, which we all agree has a vitality and immediacy,” said Denari. “Su and Donna totally get the vibe of the street in their work and I am just thrilled with the result, “said Feniger. Two points of interest are the tribute to mark the passing of Blossom Dearie in the hallway outside the restrooms and the murals in back of the restaurant which were improvised when it was determined that parking would be behind STREET.
Though the restaurant is intimate in size and scale, there are a number of spaces within the space that make it even cozier. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a patio with a fire pit built around two 75-foot tall palm trees and an outside dining bar with an open window to the kitchen. In summing up their collaboration, Denari says “architects can only do their best work when a client understands our sensibilities. Susan had a real sense of what she wanted and was respectful of our work at the same time.” Su Huntley said “It is always an honor to work with Susan because we truly love her food. We keep hoping she’ll open a restaurant in London.”