From Russia – to L.A. – With Love At This Restaurant And Bar
In the diverse city that is Los Angeles, several different cultures exist, some of which even longtime residents may find surprising.
For instance, there is a Russian presence throughout the area. There’s a Russian Cold War era submarine by the Queen Mary, a recent Miss Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Anastassia Vassilevska, is of Russian descent and there’s even a small Russian beer bar on the Redondo Beach Pier.
And now there’s a restaurant in West Hollywood that specializes in Russian cuisine and serves a lot of drinks with vodka. It’s called Mari Vanna Los Angeles, and it’s the latest addition to a worldwide chain (St. Petersburg, London, New York to Washington, D.C.) from Russian hospitality group Ginza Project.
Named for the grandmother of Slavic lore, Mari Vanna serves homestyle Russian cuisine in a garden-tea-party-meets-Bubushka’s-house atmosphere that features four spaces: a dining room with a fireplace, a sunroom, an intimate 20-seat bar, a 20-seat wine and karaoke lounge, and a large garden patio.
Russian food includes braised veal with homemade noodles and svekolnik, a chilled borscht soup with sour cream and diced vegetables and desserts like napoleon cake and the kislitsa and chilled slices of orange-zested cream sprinkled with caramelized nuts.
Naturally, there’s a lot of vodka, some with pepper, seaberry and cucumber & dill. But this is also L.A., and you had better have tequila and it has that, too, infused with red pepper, pineapple and mixed berry. Other drinks include the Troyka Royale (champagne, peach puree and St. Germaine) and the Kalinka-Malinka (strawberry vodka, peach puree and ginger syrup).
Apparently – and I would have to consult Anastassia about this – the Russian nightlife scene would be complete without karaoke. There’s also an in-house accordionist to entertain diners with traditional Russian folk music.
From Russia With Love?
ABOUT MARI VANNA LOS ANGELES:
Mari Vanna Los Angeles is located at 8475 Melrose Pl, West Hollywood, CA 90069. For reservations, please call: 323-655-1977.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Restaurant: 5:30 -11 p.m.
Bar: 5:30 – 2 a.m.