Like an honest contractor or one’s online password repository, great Russian food is often difficult to find. News headlines aside, navigating gaudy interiors intended to lure the nouveau-riche can dissuade non-natives. Siberian dumplings and homemade vodka, however, are worth the hunt. Sometimes, there is nothing better than cozying up to a bowl of borscht in the middle of an LA winter, UGGs optional. Here now, the essential Russian restaurants in LA.Read More
5 Essential Russian Restaurants to Try in Los Angeles
Finding good Russian food can be difficult, but it’s worth seeking out
All dishes are prepared from scratch at this casual Marina Del Rey restaurant with an LA vibe. Their hand-pinched pelmeni, or Russian dumplings, are stuffed with chicken and served in a light broth with dill and a side of vinegar. The restaurant’s name comes from the Russian word for “home”, so it makes sense that the honey cake tastes like it’s baked at babushka’s. Their menu of impressive traditional dishes is peppered with more LA-centric, seasonal options, like quinoa and heirloom tomato salad. The mix of classic and modern makes it the perfect place for a California-Russian.
Romanov Restaurant and Lounge
Look past all of the baroque glitz and glam of an oligarch’s den, and the food at this Studio City restaurant is worth it. Go with a group. The atmosphere is dancehall-dining and it’s definitely an experience. It only feels right to order caviar and blinis given the ornate ambiance. Be ready to dance if going here on a weekend because Romanov is a popular birthday venue. You might be invited to join in because after all, Russians know how to party.
Order vodka at this white tablecloth tavern in West Hollywood. Homemade vodka shots are doled out with large kosher dill pickles as chasers. The plates are kitsch but the food on top of them is tasteful. The stand-out dish is galubsty, ground veal and rice stuffed and steamed cabbage oblongs, which aren’t easy to find. This no-frills entree arrives with three galubsty and just the right side of fresh dill and sour cream, like all good things Russian.
The restaurant inside this West Hollywood banya is a little-known treasure. There’s no need to pay entry to the spa to enjoy the restaurant and full bar, which is open all day and night until 11:30 pm. The vibe is absolutely comfy — seriously, people will be in spa robes. Kick your feet up and order the vareniki, a Russian-style pierogi with potato filling. It’s even better having hidding the adjacent ice plunge.
Kalinka Russian Cuisine
This new Russian gem is located on the corner of a Glendale strip mall. Open for lunch and dinner, all of their dishes are as delicious and traditional as one would find in St. Petersburg. The borscht comes with a side of part-savory, part-sweet Borodino molasses bread for dipping — always a good sign. They even have fan-favorite fermented drinks, compote and kvas. Homemade Russian food doesn’t get better than this.