Traktir serves classic Russian dishes such as beef stroganoff, borscht (a thick soup made from beets), and sashlik (Russian shish kababs). Complement the meal with a shot of the restaurant’s homemade vodka, which comes in a variety of flavors including horseradish, lemon, pepper garlic, and raspberry. They are kept in glass jars on the counter, with the flavoring floating inside. Traditional Russian nesting dolls watch over your meal from the eaves, and in true fusion style, you may spot the L.A. Lakers among the wooden babushkas!
Royal Gourmet Deli
Royal Gourmet Deli serves traditional Russian dishes, as well as a selection of meat, fish, and other goods. If you haven’t room for dessert, take home a packet of cookies from the deli. You will also find chocolate matryoshka dolls, complete with a tiny toy in the hollowed-out middle.
Royal Gourmet Deli, 8151 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA, USA
The Roubo’s Place
A small restaurant in a nondescript strip mall, Roubo’s boasts both Russian and Armenian cuisine. The clientele is a series of regulars, mostly Russians, according to one of the waitresses. The Armenian part of the menu has a Mediterranean feel, with delicacies like gyros and falafel. Roubo’s is inexpensive; everything on the menu costs $20 or less, and the weekday lunch specials go for only eight dollars per plate. Wash down your meal with a Russian soft drink, either Tarragon or Pear Buratino flavor, or an Armenian latte.
The Roubo’s Place, 1651 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA, USA
Robert’s Russian Cuisine
A small eatery in a strip-mall, Robert’s has an extensive variety of dishes for every taste. The menu offers selections of pork, beef, poultry and lamb. Start your meal with a cheese vareniki (a Ukrainian dumpling with farmers’ cheese served with strawberry preserves), and then enjoy a tabaka for the main course (a classic Russian dish of fried cornish game hen), all accompanied by a kilikia, an Armenian beer.
Robert’s Russian Cuisine, 1603 ½ North La Brea, Ave. Los Angeles, CA, USA
Grandma’s Deli Babushka
Here, you can take Russian food to-go, but if you’d like to savor a stuffed cabbage roll or pastry, you can also relax at one of the outdoor tables. Grandma’s offers inexpensive fare; a typical meal will cost less than $20. A piano sits inside the store, and once in awhile, the owner may treat you to some music while you browse the racks of foreign goods. You can pick up a Russian fashion magazine as well as the week’s groceries, provided you can read the language.
Grandma’s Deli Babushka, 7300 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA, USA