In the mood for some borscht, or perhaps a tray of piping hot dumplings? While L.A., unlike New York and Chicago, does not have a Ukrainian enclave, there are a few spots where you can get some solid Ukrainian cuisine. They tend to also offer other regional dishes, including Russian, Uzbek, and Georgian items, so why not make a feast of it at these five Los Angeles establishments?
Restaurant, Russian, $$$
Ukrainian Borscht | Courtesy of Traktir
Traktir, which is Russian for “tavern,” serves Russian fare with influences from Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and other nearby cultures. Popular dishes include a traditional Ukrainian borscht, made with beets, cabbage, potato, beef, sour cream and dill in a beef base, and the hearty beef stroganoff. They also serve several types of vodka, which they suggest taking shots of in Russian fashion: take the shot, then a whiff of black bread and a bite of pickled cucumber.
Igor Avramenko serves pirozhki out of an Airstream trailer typically parked in the Arts District. This delicacy, served hot, is a bread pocket stuffed with fillings such as beef, chicken, cheese, potato and spinach, and there are cups of cold borscht available to complement it. Avramenko told the Los Angeles Times, “I’ve had an idea of combining traditional Russian-Ukrainian gastronomy and a food truck format for quite some time. The idea was to find a product that would perfectly blend these two concepts. Pirozhki just seemed like a perfect fit.”
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Robert’s Russian Cuisine, a charming strip mall eatery, offers an extensive menu of Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian food. Their lunch specials will fill guests up with meat, rice and potatoes for less than $10, while their dinner menu has a lot of variety. Explore khinkali (dumpings), blintzes, kebab, Chicken A-La-Kiev, plenty of seafood, and, of course, borscht.
Shoppers can purchase Russian and Ukrainian food and sundries from this grocery store, including the Russian bread soda known as kvass. Smoked fish, Ukrainian pickles, sausages and sauerkraut are also available, along with a variety of deli items.
EuroAsia, located in the Plaza de Oro in Encino, specializes in Russian, Ukrainian, and Uzbek cuisine and provides seating both inside the restaurant or on their spacious outdoor patio. EuroAsia, with its large, family-style portions, is perfect for large parties.