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POLKA POLISH....

I've seen the "CHOW" postings but, went there today and thought I'd provide a new year update......
A little on the expensive side but, to me, worth it. Katherine, the owner, is quite gracious and the meal included a wonderful cup of tomato bisque and salad. Food is delicious! I had chicken cutlet w/a side of sauerkraut. My friends and I sat for near 2 hours without being pushed out the door. In fact, Katherine was all too happy to share w/us books about Poland kept on the side wall book shelf. Almost felt like being in her living room. :)

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  1. POLKA was my first experience of Polish food and I loved it and so did the other five people we took along. We all felt the the food was fantastic, and we felt very welcome.
    I felt like I was at home in my own dining room. WARSAWA on the other hand was dissapointing. The food was not what the hype made them out to be, the portions were small.

      1. re: paprkutr

        Polka is in a little strip mall on the corner of York and Verdugo. Take the 2 South and take the first exit- York. Turn R and drive to the corner of York and Verdugo. You'll see the restaurant on the R side - Very small place.

      2. i thought polka was supposed to be cheap? that is if you're talking about the polish joint, near glendale.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kevin

          Kevin- What's cheap to you??? A meal will run you 20$, a little less for the pasta (Pierogi) meals. Remember, all meals include soup and salad. Maybe a little more than you might expect but, add in the small homey atmosphere, more individualized service and great tasting food!! Worth the 20$ for sure!

          1. re: Kitchen Queen

            I have to agree that this is no longer the "cheap eat" place it used to be billed as. Some of the side dishes are frozen vegetable you can find at any grocery store. We had cabbage rolls which were excellent and the side sausages are delicious and a steal. The portions are huge, but would I say this is a "cheap eat"? No.

        2. here is link. this place is great. i think that it is very reasonable.

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          Polka
          4112 Verdugo Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90065

          1. Polka is wonderful Polish Food. My husband was raised in Poland and it's the best he has had here that we don't make at home. Try the meat Pierogi and the Flaczki. Flaczki is a very delicate tripe soup. Much more elegant that Menudo. Oh and the Bigos (hunter's stew) is very very good as well. mmmmm need to go now

            2 Replies
            1. re: PurpleTeeth

              Here is the website. When I was looking at the website I saw a tab for "sesame delight" dressing. I well recall the excellent salad they serve with dinner and that apparently is the dressing. Once you taste it you will see why a simple side salad is described as excellent.

              http://www.polkacatering.com/

              1. re: SIMIHOUND

                I had to add these photos from the website which show some of the faire offered.

                http://www.polkacatering.com/MenuSlides/

            2. menu is set up in 3 different price levels, starting at 15.95. i got the number 1 traditional polish sausage dish. spinach soup was so yummy i thought the rest of the meal would be equally delicious. salad was okay, but the meal itself felt like nursing home food. steamed veggies, mashed potatoes and 3 bland sausages. i felt cheated, disappointed. the little pudding dessert at the end didn't make things better. this place is huell howser and jonathan gold approved but i didn't feel like our $50 (2 of us) meal was worth it.

              5 Replies
              1. re: xulitron

                The soup's always the best thing there! As far as entrees go, I really like the potato and cheese pierogi (light as air...) and the spicy kielbasa.

                1. re: xulitron

                  i now see why you all say it's so expensive or rather not reasonable, even though it's 16 per person, prixe fixe, i guess since the salad might be supermarket quality and served with dressing out of a package, canned vegetables, pedestrain sausages, and a scoop of dreyer's or breryer's for dssert topped with a cherry, then it does sound like a waste of money.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Are we reading the same thread? "i now see why you all say..." No, only one post out of 14 made a specific complaint about the food or the pricing. ALL other comments about the pricing is that it's not cheap. No one else discussed it being a waste. Which leads me to ask: Why would you trash a restaurant it appears you haven't been to?

                    Where on this thread does it say the dressing is out of a package? The dressing is Polka's own that they now market. Which post states that they serve ice cream, let alone Dreyer's or Breyer's for dessert?

                    Only xulitron specifically complained about the sausages and feeling ripped off. That's one of the dishes I haven't had, and perhaps that is the case. However much like ALL the other posters on this thread, I also think Polka is great. So yes, we're all in agreement here that it's no longer cheap (which it once was).

                    If you haven't been (or even if you have), you really shouldn't generalize in such a way.

                    1. re: Briggs

                      My bad I may have overgeneralized.

                      i guess me and the other poster are in the minority on this one..

                      what i'm saying is even if the food is a lot of courses, but it's not good, why wast 15 bucks on not. you might as well go somewhere else for better food for the price.

                      1. re: kevin

                        Which of course brings up the Woody Allen line:
                        'Such terrible food".
                        "Yes, but such big portions..."

                2. Just on the basis of our one excursion to Polka, I thought the food was all quite good, and not at all expensive given the amount of care and effort that goes into it. We went with our posse, a large enough group so that we could all order different things and share them. Cabbage rolls, pierogi and sausages were all quite tasty, I thought. My only criticism would be of the cuisine itself: this is Polish peasant food, for the most part, and except for green cabbage and the occasional flash of orange carrot, everything is a shade of brown, tending towards beige. It's delicious, it's comforting, but it's never exciting - and if you're down with that you'll be happy. I am, and I was, but I've never felt a strong urge to go back.

                  Warszawa was a different matter entirely, and while we all spent a bunch more there than at Polka we all were more than happy to. None of us would have agreed with Simihound at all, except perhaps about the small portions, at least if you're expecting Polka's loaded plates. As it was, we got something like eight or ten different dishes, beginning with appetizers and vodka, and while we didn't carry any doggy bags home we definitely felt fed, not to mention satisfied.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Yes that is Polish peasant food done very well. I have to say everything at Warszawa was rather not Polish comfort food and so leaves a real Pole to feel rather sad.

                    1. re: PurpleTeeth

                      Nope, it's Polish aristocrat food, which uses a lot of the same ingredients, but with more fish and game and mushrooms and other things you'd find in a forest if you owned one. I love prole food as much as anyone and more than most, but we sure had a heck of a good time here. The vodka probably helped ;-)

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        I know the one thing Polka lacks is vodka. We usually bring wine with us there. But I will say the quality of the cooking at Polka is more homade. I didn't dislike Warszawa but it just didn't hit the spot like Polka does. That could be because most of the Polish food I have eaten has been in homes in Poland so for me that is what I crave. BTW of you go back to Polka try the Flaczki it is the best.

                        1. re: PurpleTeeth

                          My only exposure to Polish culture has been via one friend and her family, whose background would be better reflected in Warszawa's food than Polka's. I have a personal background in a lot of traditional rural German cooking, which is not all that different from rural Polish cooking, or any other middle-European rural cooking...and I love it. Cook that way a lot, too. What I like about Warszawa is that it introduced me to stuff I don't cook and didn't know about, and did it deliciously.

                    2. re: Will Owen

                      I have to agree with Will. While the portions are not enormous, they were plently large for me and I can eat a lot. And that duck at Warszawa is some of the best damn duck I've had in the city.

                      1. re: mollyomormon

                        is warsawa the joint in santa monica on lincoln, cross street santa monica.

                        for some reason, it never gets any notice on these boards nor have i been there myself.

                        does anyone happen to know (im goinng on a tangent hre) if there's an uzbek restaurants in la, ther used to be one on sunset and la brea, if my memory serves me right.

                        1. re: kevin

                          Yes, Warszawa is at 1414 Lincoln, just one door south from SM. It has been mentioned here a few times, twice at least by me. Good place - the room looks very formal, and there are whole families eating there all dressed up, but it's not stuffy or pretentious at all. Our group showed up in our regular casual work clothes (or in my case non-work clothes) and were treated superbly.

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            that's another reason to love this place; the service is absolutely fantastic.

                            Noah found this place that serves uzbek food:
                            http://manbitesworld.com/articles/66/...

                            but RIP Uzbekistan. that place was really delicious...

                    3. I tried Polka for the first time last week for lunch. Man, am I sorry I didn't try it sooner. Super friendly service, adorable atmosphere and outstanding food (we had the spinach soup, tasty salad, stuffed cabbage and the pierogis). Good beer too! I will definitely be back.

                      And Warszawa? Meh. I think its very overpriced for what it is.

                      1. I love Polka. As many have hinted, the soup is about the best in town. (It changes daily...I've had a spinach soup, mushroom soup, tomato soup, vegetable... all just wonderful). I can eat A LOT and whether I go for lunch or dinner, I always take food home. And the couple who own it are just lovely. Their prices have gone up in the last year or so but I still think it is a very good value, given the quality and amount of food. It is simply home cooking. My favorites to order are the Kielbasa - spicy and broiled, not boiled, for me and the Royal Combination plate where you get three dishes: Pierogi (dumplings), Golabki (stuffed cabbage) and Gulasz (beef stew). No one could order this and think it was not enough food.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Tom P

                          Ok- Went to Roys Hawaiian for dinner -50$ just for my meal. Yes, food was different than Polka but, I'd go to Polka any time over Roys. - This WAS expensive and not worth the price at all! And, I didn;t even pay. Almost felt guilty for making the choice but, It was across the street from the movie and I had never been b4. NEVER AGAIN.

                        2. The sweetest place in all of Los Angeles. They treat you like family and the food is delightful -- homemade and homestyle and they really know what they're doing in that little kitchen.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Hungry4Good

                            If you look into some thread history on Polka, there are some people that do not find the atmosphere at all welcoming, much less homey or friendly which to me is beyond comprehension personally . . . at least quaint if your standards are such geez. I have never had a bad meal there, and yes I love soup I make soup all the time, I freeze soup etc. and I mean this in the nicest way, but I am REALLY tired of being told the soup of the day is chicken tortilla. (And this is not just about me being a Lithuanian-Polish-Irish-German [mutt] from New York and my love for traditional comfort being obvious.)

                            I am always grateful too at restaurants where I know the vegetables did not come out of the freezer, the entrees were not packaged, etc. like too many (even mom and pop) places these days.