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Russian Cuisine

Thursday, November 21, 2013

AMAZON
  • Amazon
To begin: Anya von Bremzen's new book Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing is not a cookbook, nor is it a one dimensional Julia Child joke. It is rather a memoir disguised as a cookbook and a joke about a cookbook. It's also a thousand other things, multi-dimensional and laden with irony and intelligence, history and humor. I couldn't put it down.

Of course, I may be one of von Bremzen's ideal readers: a food writer and former Soviet Studies major who once read The 900 Days, Harrison E. Salisbury's account of the siege of Leningrad, which has almost as many pages as days, just for fun.

Okay, fun is maybe the wrong word for a book about the siege of Leningrad. Fun is also not the word you might expect to describe a memoir of growing up amid Soviet hunger, but that's what this book is -- and a lot of fun at that.

Von Bremzen is the author of five cookbooks, countless magazine and newspaper pieces, and the recipient of three James Beard awards. She's also a profoundly gifted writer, able to lace information with observation, observation with wit. She sifts the history of the Soviet Union she left as a ten-year-old with the history of her family, viewing much of that through the lens of food.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Tandoori Chicken from The Indian Kitchen - NOAM BLEIWEISS
  • Noam Bleiweiss
  • Tandoori Chicken from The Indian Kitchen
Strip malls come in all shapes and sizes; some can even be a little scary. That's certainly not the case at Crescent Heights Plaza, the West Hollywood strip mall that comes complete with its own valet. The space, which abuts the soon-to-be-open Connie & Ted's, is actually quite nice. There's lots of parking, and all of the attached restaurants have entrances that abut right onto the street. There are no hidden Mexican spots found tucked away, just some hip sushi, non-buffet Indian dining and one of L.A.'s most well-known Russian restaurants.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
Ever notice that squish of small Russian restaurants on the corner of Sunset and Fuller? Probably not, considering all the oddball people watching you can do at the Rock N' Roll Ralph's across the street. Well, the next time you're crawling along Sunset (say, on your way to Cochon 555 at the House of Blues), swing your eyes into the parking lot strip mall that sits at the corner. You'll find a few curious-looking Russian spots (one dine in, one casual and one that's basically a takeaway joint), an Indian food place and a relatively new ramen bar. It's an eclectic mix, but then again you are on Sunset Boulevard.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Salmon Roe And Bacon From Ukraina Deli - JGARBEE
  • jgarbee
  • Salmon Roe And Bacon From Ukraina Deli
Just two blocks east of Huckleberry, where just-baked fruit crostatas and gorgeous chocolate croissants are displayed in all of their sunny Santa Monica glory, you will find Ukraina Deli. This nondescript sliver of a Russian/Ukrainian shop takes the opposite approach of so many popular food markets today by specializing in foodstuffs that get better as they age. Sausages, bacon slabs and bologna piled on top of one another in no apparent order; Russian rye bread as it should be (dense, dark and dry); whole smoked herring and other unidentified preserved fish.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Armenian Cuisine

Top 5 Places to Eat Piroshki in L.A.

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Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 11:30 AM

L.AGHAJANIAN
  • L.Aghajanian
On the post-Soviet streets of Eastern Europe and Eurasia, the piroshki is the fast food of choice. A fast fried doughy bun stuffed with warm, savory fillings like potatoes, meat or mushrooms, the piroshki boasts just the right amount of dough-to-filling ratio for your eating and holding pleasure.

Lucky for Los Angeles, piroshkis have made their way here, thanks to Armenian and Russian diasporas who have set up bakeries from Van Nuys to Glendale and West Hollywood where they serve up these cultural staples, usually bought a dozen at a time, that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or while you're sitting in traffic on the dreaded 405 and wondering if there's any hope that you will eventually make it home. Just make sure you have napkins nearby.

We've included a list of places in L.A. that make their piroshkis in-house, fresh and piping hot for your eating pleasure. It probably doesn't beat your babushka's (that's grandma to you) fried dough treats, but it does come close.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Russian Cuisine

The Most Authentic Borscht in L.A.

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Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 7:00 AM

the invisible restaurant critic - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • the invisible restaurant critic
Dear Mr. Gold:

The most authentic borscht in L.A. -- other than at Grandma's kitchen?

--Devin Saez, via Facebook

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Farming

Are Leg-less Chickens the Future?

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Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Some day, these may be like dinosaurs - TIGGYWINKLE/FLICKR
  • Tiggywinkle/Flickr
  • Some day, these may be like dinosaurs

Due to their prominence in café sandwiches and the pages of health, food, and lifestyle magazines, we've long figured Americans ate more chicken breasts than legs, thighs, and those ragged, slithery bit parts one has to vigorously disengage from a carcass. We just didn't know how much more. According to Nadia Arumugam's late January Slate article, "The Dark Side of the Bird," Americans eat white meat over 80% of the time they consume chicken, and until pretty recently, at least since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, much of the unused thighs and legs ended up in Russia--in 2009, nearly 1.6 billion pounds-worth. Those drumstick-crazed days--no doubt filled with barbecue sauce and wonder--are gone.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

We, and perhaps you too, are feeling a little sick right now. Congested, body aches, taste buds not exactly firing on all cylinders. So for this week's food fight, we're changing the format a little. Rather than taking two versions of the same dish and seeing which one is tastier, we're eating two very dissimilar bowls of soup, and declaring the winner based on which one makes us feel better. But rather than eating something we grew up with, like chicken noodle, or matzo ball soup, we dug into some of our city's deep, and rich ethnic diversity.

Tom yung goong from Yai Thai - N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten
  • Tom yung goong from Yai Thai

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Ukha: From Russia With Love
  • Ukha: From Russia With Love

In I Am Love, Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino's operatic family melodrama, a popular Russian fish soup called ukha (pronounced ooh-kah) is more than set dressing on the wealthy Recchi family dinner table, it's a plot point that means something completely different to three characters. To Tilda Swinton's matriarch Emma Recchi - an emotionally stifled Russian émigré living in Milan - it's a reminder of the other life she lived back in her homeland while her son and heir to the Recchi fortune, Edo (Flavio Parenti), thinks of it as comfort food, the dish his mom made for him throughout his pampered boyhood. In Russia, ukha is a one-pot quickie meal made by simmering salmon, cod or perch in a saucepan filled with water, potatoes and parsley.

But chef Carlo Cracco, the owner of the Milan-based Ristorante Cracco and designer of all the food for "I Am Love," so elevated Ukha that it becomes a scene-stealer: a way for a bold young immigrant chef (Edoardo Gabbriellini) to reach out from the kitchen to his lover at an opulent dinner party. To make the dish for the cameras, Cracco pan seared a variety of river fish then painstakingly arranged them in a clear, shimmering broth seasoned with vegetables and herbs. When Cracco's ukha hits the table in I Am Love, cinematographer Yorick Le Saux shoots it so rapturously that it feels as if each onscreen guest is being served a soup bowl of edible Van Cleef & Arpel's jewelry.

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