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Looking for a really excellent & authentic RUSSIAN restaurant in LA

Can anyone recommend a really authentic and wonderful Russian restaurant in Los Angeles?

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  1. A strong candidate for best Russian in L.A.:

    Traktir
    8151 Santa Monica Blvd.
    West Hollywood
    (323) 654-3030

    2 Replies
      1. re: JBC

        Athen's Royal Garden in North Hollywood. Name doesn't fit it, but it is a Russian restaurant with the absolutely best borscht soup anywhere. Check it out here or on citysearch. The place has rabbits and birds hopping and flying around in the courtyard too. It is a destination as well as good food.

      2. In the past folks have named New York New York (yes, it's Russian). On Vermont south of Sunset (west side). Never tried it.

        Traktir's small plates - salads drenched in sour cream and dill, regional variations on dumplings - are delicious, but folks say the "main dishes" like kebabs, steak and "airline schnitzel" are really bland. Our group stuffed ourselves on an assortment of the appetizers, though, and had no complaints. They have an import store next door.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Cicely

          You probably right - Ordering apps only at ethic restaurants can be a wise & effective strategy (i.e., I don't think I've ever ordered a main for myself at Alcazar (Lebanese) http://www.al-cazar.com).

          For a list of Russian & "Near" Russian restaurants in L.A., and elsewhere (the list most likely needs updating):

          http://restoran.us/usa/california/cal...

          Hit the maps for location cues...

          1. re: JBC

            this is an awesome map that i've already book marked.
            the russian spots on santa monica and fairfax are right on my way back home from work so i'm gonna start making my way through them.

            have you had any experience at these places and any tips on what to order where?
            also, if some of them are more banquet only style or deli/casual style.

            thanks!

          2. re: Cicely

            In defense of Traktir's salads, only one has a (delicous) sour cream dressing. The other one is very tasty in its own way with without the dairy.

            The main courses aren't bad, I just don't think they are superior, especially the kabobs. The pork chop is usually pretty tasty. Of particular note is the delicous buttery mushrooms and potatoes served on the side.

            1. re: JudiAU

              oh, I agree that the sour cream-dill dressing is delicious. I didn't mean "drenched" in a negative way.

          3. There is Maran on San Fernando in Burbank. The menu consists of Russian and Armenian items. They have great soups there! Last time I indulged in a fabulous borscht and the Georgian dumplings.

            http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

            1. I'm a fan of Uzbekistan in Hollywood. Fairly extensive menu, although I usually go for the more bang-for-the-buck lunch and dinner special. I've gone there with people who know Russian food, and they have vouched for its authenticity.

              Uzbekistan
              7077 W Sunset Blvd
              Los Angeles, CA 90028
              (323) 464-3663

              1. I can't really recommend Traktir -- I've only been once, but I wasn't impressed with the menu offerings and the food was just ok, not great. I'm probably a little spoiled after living in Moscow for a bit, but overall I was pretty disappointed by the food (although the atmosphere was nice -- it seems to be a big gathering spot for expats to socialize and you can see cute old Russian dyedushki playing chess).

                1. Had dinner in Traktir the other night, very tasty food I must say. I had the borsch and my friend ordered kharcho both great soups. Then we split potato vereniki (russian style dumpling) and chicken blintzes in a mushroom sauce that was soooo good, for main dish I had a very juicy chicken kebab and my friends ordered the lula kebab and said it was the best he has ever had. Nice atmosphere.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Irena

                    Normally when I go to Traktir I order the borscht and pelmeni or vereniki but last time ordered the lula kebab and, like your friend, it's the best that I've ever had!

                    http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

                  2. I agree with the poster who mentioned Uzbekistan. Excellent food and some evenings they have live music. Judging by the Russian mafia types who always hang out there, I think it's pretty authentic.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Henry2054

                      Another vote here for Uzbekistan. I lived in Russia for a while and can vouch for its authenticity, both food and atmosphere-wise. (Although it's slightly different of course given that technically it's Uzbekistani and not Russian.) I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately it had a B when I went about 6 months ago, but hey, a B here and there never hurt anyone ...

                      1. re: QualityMart

                        I went to Uzbekistan last year and loved it. Really tasty food, particularly the lamb.

                    2. i think im gonna try traktir tonight!
                      i hope to get my ass kicked by a no neck Russkaya Mafiya, after a couple vodka samplers.
                      thats so authentic!

                      1. have you tried Robert's Russian Cousin on La Brea And Hawthorn ?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Vladimir M.

                          Since La Brea turns into Hawthorne as it runs south towards the PV peninsula, (and they don't cross that I can recall) are you talking about where that conversion takes place? Do you have an address or any sort of online link to the restaurant?

                          1. re: tony michaels

                            Hawthorn, in Hollywood, north of Sunset, not Hawthorne, down near Torrance, etc.

                            1. re: globalgourmet

                              Aha. Thanks.

                              Robert's Russian Cuisine
                              1603 1/2 N La Brea Ave
                              Los Angeles, CA 90028
                              (323) 851-4202

                          2. re: Vladimir M.

                            Yum, I've tried Robert's Russian and I think it's fabulous. Every time I've gone with friends we've always been the only Americans in the joint. I swear it's a hangout for the Russian mob or something, there's always a huge table with a load of middle-aged Russians and a bunch of bottles of Vodka. It's also pretty inexpensive considering the amount of food you get (and the quality). I do remember that the service was lousy though, so if you need anything you need to be pushy and practically get it yourself. It's also not the prettiest place, you'll have Russian TV in the background.

                          3. red square on ventura in the valley is also decent -- good borsht, good -- oh, those tortellini-like pasta -- I forget the name (a friend who spent a summer in siberia for reserch ate my leftovers and said they were exactly what she remembered from siberia), and the blinis were very good also -- the one we had was a bit rich, stuffed with duck. they had a pretty extensive menu.

                            1. I have yet to go, but there is a new Russian restaurant in Studio City by the name of Romanov. SIV reviewed it after it had been opened for only days....yes, days. Very unfair of her. Same owners as Republic in Hollywood.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Kenny T

                                Is that the place in the Ugliest Building In Town, the one with the friggin' garlic bulbs where Albano's used to be?

                              2. Try This place. Maran Restaurant http://www.maranrestaurant.com/
                                6430 San Fernando Road
                                Glendale California, 91201
                                818.242.1299