Nicknamed “the Russian Costco,” Pacific Coast Food Co. sits in a warehouse just across the tracks from a Burbank Airport runway. Inside are aisles filled with every Russian foodstuff imaginable, from freezer cases of Russian dumplings — pelmeni and varenikis — to smoked fish and canned goods. There's a full-service deli, featuring traditional Russian dishes and a wide array of salads, plus a meat and fish counter, where you might see a whole sturgeon. Yes, there's a good selection of vodkas, but also plenty of other liquors and beers from all over Eastern Europe. There are well-stocked shelves of uniquely flavored Russian sodas (pear, tarragon) and kvass, the fermented bread soda. Most stunning is “Sweet World,” a separate, climate-controlled room filled with a mind-boggling array of Russian chocolates. A broad selection of caviar is available at a counter near the front and there's even milk imported from Russia in the dairy case. If you're looking for anything foodwise from Russia, countries that broke away from the Soviet Union, or Eastern Europe in general, odds are it's here. Flavored gingerbread cookies from Moldova? Of course!
Credit: Courtesy Pacific Coast Food Co.