The Other Side of Street

Kajsa Alger, Street's chef behind the chef

Behind every celebrity chef, there's a hard-working chef that you've probably never heard of, the one actually cooking the food you eat. Kajsa Alger is one of those unsung heroes. Since the '80s, she's worked at all of Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken's restaurants, from City to Ciudad, and now she's partnered with Feniger on Street, opening March 29.

Street's focus is global street food–everything from Korean barbecued short ribs to Vietnamese pho, Maldivian meatballs and Indian dal fritters–with a Feniger twist. During recipe development, Alger explored L.A.'s ethnic markets for authentic ingredients. Here are some of her favorites:

Filipino: Seafood City

"It's hidden in the Target mall, but I can do 90 percent of my shopping here. I buy a ton of noodle products and a Malaysian-style white bread that we use for our Singaporean dish called Kaya Toast. The seafood selection is incredible." Seafood City, 2700 Colorado Blvd. # 140, Eagle Rock; 323-543-2660

Ethiopian: Merkato

"I buy berbere spice mix, and the fenugreek and other spices are nice. For a truly authentic Ethiopian meal, you can get injera [buckwheat crepes] in bulk here." Merkato, 1036 1/2 Fairfax Ave., Little Ethiopia; 323-935-1775 or ethiopianmerkato.com

Indian: India Sweets and Spices
"The Los Feliz one has a wider variety than the other locations. I get chapati flour and almost all of my Indian spices here, and you can get masoor, urid, and mung-bean dals in bulk" India Sweets and Spices, 126 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz; 323-345-0360 or indiasweetsandspices.net

Susan Feniger's Street, 742 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; 323-461-7813 eatatstreet.com