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SHOW ME HOW
There are many ways to publicize a new restaurant, but in this age of Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen, Susan Feniger has come up with a cool new way to let potential customers get a glimpse of her cooking style -- and the many headaches of opening a place from the ground up -- by starring her own web-based, making-of-a-restaurant reality show. Produced and directed by Liz Lachman, and edited by Barbara Babchick, Street Noise has been released in three- to four-minute segments every few weeks since January. Yesterday, the team released Episode 6, in which Feniger receives the keys to her crumbling kingdom -- the old Highland Grounds that was transformed into The Dive before it shut down and became available for Feniger's new venture, which opened last week. (See Jonathan Gold's First Bite on Street here.) Starting with Feniger's exhilaration in showing off the raw space and describing her big plans for the place as she motions where windows will appear and walls will be moved, the clip cuts to cooking scenes -- including shots of the development stages of Feniger's Vietnamese pho, one of the most controversial dishes on the menu so far. The discovery of termites and water rot harsh Feniger's mellow. But Feniger, working without longtime partner Mary Sue Milliken (with whom she still teams up at their Ciudad and Border Grill restaurants), shows the plucky, full-steam-ahead spirit that has always led her to try bold and unfamiliar flavors, introducing LA eaters to foods they might otherwise be reluctant to try. One of the videos on Feniger's TV.EATATSTREET.COM teases Feniger for her pluck with a mock Mary Tyler Moore Show opening set to the theme song "Love Is All Around." In the Episode 5 clip seen above, Mary, er, Susan, deals with a too-small dish station, a break-in at the restaurant construction site, and shows how seriously she and her team took the making of their beer list ... by drinking lots and lots of beer.