Uzbekistan in Hollywood
I went in December with a russian friend and tried several dishes, but was only impressed by the dumplings (nicely oniony). My kabobs were flavorless, and the plov was unimpressive (compared to just about any garden variety Uzbek place in Brighton Beach NY).
The service was terrible (they just ignored us for the most part). As for the vibe... it was a shark skin suit, pinky ring type of crowd. I did note that the guys were, for the most part, drinking full glasses of vodka. I don't think I've seen that outside of Russia and Mongolia so I guess one can say it is authentic in that way. Ditto for the C rating.
I like going to Uzbekhistan Restaurant every once in a while because the kebabs, soups, and Plov (Central Asian rice pilaff) have been very good and rather unusual. The service is about usual for Russian restaurants, that is to say, slow and short on English fluency. Do avoid the place when the duo playing Russian-language pop is there, unless you like very loud disco with a noisy beatbox.
The "C" rating makes me rather less likely to visit. On the other hand, some of the places in which I ate while I visited Russia would rank somewhere in the second half of the alphabet...
I just checked the DHS website and they're up to an 87 now, which gives them a high "B" rating. I hope they keep it that way.
I have to admit that I'm less excited about this place than the Chowhound consensus. While I assume people give this place bonus points for being probably the only Uzbekistani place in town, I have to admit I was at first turned off by the "C" cleanliness rating. (I'm sure other chowhounders have no qualms about eating in sub-B establishments, but my personal belief is that if management doesn't even care enough to clean the rat turds off the floor before the health inspectors show up, how much attention are they really giving to the food?) The dish that I had was beef stroganoff, I think, and I found it quite mediocre - a ridiculously heavy version of an already heavy dish, and without any of the complexity of flavor I look for from the dish when properly made. I had a few other things too, and they were OK I guess, but nothing really stood out. The food here is in general incredibly unhealthy which I have nothing against in principle, but it bothers me more when the food is mediocre as well.
My current favorite eastern European dive is Csardas, for Hungarian food. Great schnitzel there. There are a lot of Russian restaurants in the Hollywood area that appear to only be frequented by Russians, and I haven't tried any yet. I passed by a very interesting looking Russian restaurant on Selma or Fountain in the Hollywood area the other day, the cars were lined up - anyone know what it is?
It's a great place. There are lunch and dinner specials, fairly inexpensive, where you get our choice of skewered meat, soup, salad &c. that's a fine place to start. Vibe is very interesting. I was there at lunch, where the only other table (a long one) was occupied by several members of an extended family -- probably Russian -- celebrating a child's birthday.
There's a kind of bandstand, so presumably live music at night. My suspicion is that it can get fairly raucous then