This place is one of my most favorite restaurants ever. Every time I have out-of-town guests, I make it a point to bring them here. Well, I did when I lived in San Diego…
The restaurant itself is a tiny little place so I highly recommend making reservations a few days in advance, especially if you have a large party or are dining there during the weekend. It’s decorated with a bunch of random stuff and the walls are covered in writings from previous patrons in all sorts of languages.
The food here is fantastic. For larger groups (like 6+), we always get their appetizer sampler thingy which is NOT on the menu but the waitress will tell you about it so no worries. It is all veggies but they are delicious. I highly recommend getting this, especially if you’ve never been. It is a little pricy (~$30, if I recall correctly) but split between 6 or more people, totally worth it. And get the khachapuri (cheese pie)…flaky, buttery crust, yummy cheese…mmmm. There are 4 pieces in a order and you can fully expect people to go for seconds. Their khinkali (meat or veggie option) and varaniki (potato) dumplings are really tasty too so if you have a smaller group, you could split those instead.
I have never had anything bad here. EVER. The cabbage rolls (golubtsi) are fantastic. The lamb dishes (try the chakapuli or chanakhi) are amazing. The strogonoff…mmmm. Pay attention to the specials as there’s always something tasty. If they have the chicken with cinnamon n’ stuff, go for it. You won’t be sorry. Friday and Saturday, the chef makes a shashlik (Russian kabob w/ choice of: pork, chicken, lamb). When they bring it to you, they will add on a pomegranate sauce that is out of this world. Just have them keep pouring until your dish is swimming in it. 😉 Trust me…otherwise you may find yourself asking for more.
Desserts here are great, too, though I’ve always been to stuffed to order much. Babushka’s Surprise is a great treat for the fruit lover and you can’t go wrong with the Napolean torte. I still have to try the Toad Sweat Ice Cream…
As for drinks, if you love strong ginger ale, order some as this stuff will punch you in the gut and you will love it. The Turkish coffee will have you running around with “Flight of the Bumblebee” as your soundtrack. Definitely try some of the wine, especially the pomegranate one they they only sell by the bottle. They have some good beers here as well as my beer snob friends will admit.
The portions here are HUGE and the food fantastic which make the prices worthwhile. It can get pricey, make no mistake, especially if you order up appetizers and booze.
The service is fantastic and everyone’s really friendly though there’s usually only one or two waiters working so don’t be surprised if getting things can take a while. But be prepared for Russian accents.
They will take credit card but they really really really REALLY prefer cash. Did I mention they prefer cash payment?
Damn…now I have a craving. Poo on my husband for making me move to LA.
Oh yeah, parking here is a pain… Be prepared to parallel park in a neighborhood.
Pomegranate gets all 5 NOMs and some extra NYOM NYOM NOMs as well.
2302 El Cajon Blvd
(between Louisiana St & Texas St)
San Diego, CA 92104
Filed under: 5 NOMs, restaurant review, russian, San Diego | Tagged: 5 NOMs, borscht, dinner, food review, georgian, north park, pomegranate, restaurant review, russian, San Diego, shashlik, stroganoff |