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Jan 24, 2011 04:36 PM

Swedish Smorgasbord?

I was out with some friends last night, and they wanted to know if there were any Swedish Smorgabords around. Can be pretty much anywhere from Orange County to San Fernando and anywhere in between. Or is there a Swedish restaurant around.

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  1. As questionable as this may sound, Ikea's köttbullar (meatballs) are actually quite authentic, if you have homesick Swedish expats in your midst.

    Some Ikea locations are doing a Easter Smorgasbord in April. I plan on going, since I enjoyed their Julbord (Christmas feast) so much back in December.

    1. Other than IKEA's (I know, I know) Christmas smörgåsbord or events put on by the Vasa Lodge, I don't know of any. There is a Swedish bakery in Glendale and that is frankly about it for purely Swedish food (as opposed to general Scandinavian, not that there's much of that either) in the Greater Los Angeles area.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        You can also get Scandinavian items at Olson's Deli in LA. They have a lot of cheeses and meats. Lefse, candy, etc.
        5660 Pico Bl. (east of Fairfax)
        LA, CA 90019
        (323) 938-0742
        Call for hours since I believe they close at 4.

        The bakery that Das mentioned is called Berolina Bakery on Ocean View on Montrose/Glendale. They do Semlor during Easter. And make a very nice Princesse Torta. Limpa and Kringle they also have. Swedish coffee and jams as well.

        There is/was also a place called Nordic Fox in Downey. I am not sure if they are open any longer - we met the owner a couple of years ago at the Cal Lutheran Scandinavian Heritage Festival (she was selling scandinavian wares) and I noticed her card had the Nordic Fox info on it. But Yelp says it is closed. But then I heard something recently about them catering. Not sure how true this is, or helpful, but thought I would throw it in there for what it is worth. That festival is always fun - it takes place in April.

        Vasa does a lot. They actually have a large park off Kanaan that is called Vasa Park. I performed there with my Swedish Folk Dance group for many, many years. They have midsommar and other festivals there. I will post when my mom tells me about them.

        I also just learned that othe places than the Sons of Norway do annual Lutefisk dinners. Some of them are Swedish lodges (I understand the Swedes actually eat more lutefisk (lutfisk in Swedish) than the Norskies do). I will talk to some people to find out when and where they will be taking place. They usually take place in Nov/Dec. I know there is on lodge (or church) that does it in the Palm Springs area.

        What is said about Ikea's food is correct. My mom has not made Swedish (or Norwegian) meatballs since she found out the Ikea ones were so good. They are good! I just had some when we met at Ikea on Monday. I usually get the shrimp sandwich which is very authentic. That is my favorite, but I decided to switch it up a bit. Their apple cake is just like my farmor used to make. Yum!! The stuff they sell in their marketplace is the same stuff that was put out on my grandma's table every day. But her cheese was not in wedges - it was a huge round thing that she kept in the basement to age it. I miss her swedish pancakes that she would make anytime anyone requested it (even when we were suffering from jet-lag and were wide awake when it was the middle of the night for her) and her fried fish. Trader Joe's used to have a great Swedish pancake mix, but as with many of their items I have loved over the years, it has gone. Ikea has a boxed mix which I have not tried.

        Also, the Norwegian Seamen's Church in San Pedro has a small shop where you can get all kinds of scandinavian items. They even have the bread that most people put on their table (baked in house by the hus-mor). Sausages, Medisterdeig, fishcakes (my fave with brown sauce), soup packets - they finally, finally got my most favorite - Tomat Suppe med Makaroni. Try it - you will never eat another tomato soup again. Just add water - and a hard-boiled egg if you want. Delicious!! They also have Norwegian Waffles on some mornings and grot (porridge). They do several dinners and breakfasts. It is great when a ship goes by and they play the ship's national anthem over the loudspeaker and send a greeting to everyone on the ship. When I was there before Chrismas for the Julebazaar a Norwegian Cruise Line ship was headed out so we all stopped the raffle and stood up, sang the Norwegian National Anthem as the ship went by. It is different and cool.
        click on Kalender on the left. Unfortunately it is all in Norwegian, but I think you can get the general gist of it. For example: Lordagsgrot - is Saturday's porridge (we eat it with butter, sugar and cinnamon). Lunsj pa Kirken is Lunch at the church. You can always just call and ask. They usually have food after all activities.
        Here's some pics of some of the wares in the store. What you don't get to see is the section of cheeses and meats (the frozen and dairy section).

        1. re: WildSwede

          Thank you, I will look into all of the information you gave.

          1. re: paprkutr

            You are most welcome. Found another link for you to check out. For the Vasa park - it says the months that they have their various activities. I did not see their 2011 calendar posted yet.


            In the beginning of December most Swedish lodges have their Lucia program and Christmas party which includes a lot of traditional food favorites.
            I know we are the LA board, but I am going to throw this in there. There is also a Midsummer Fest at Balboa Park in San Diego in June.