The patio at Mari Vanna
The patio at Mari Vanna
Courtesy Mari Vanna

Mari Vanna Now Open: Karaoke, Russian Food, Accordionists + Infused Tequila

There are times you get the feeling that someone is simply trying to do too much with one restaurant concept. That may be putting it mildly for Mari Vanna, a new restaurant opening tonight in West Hollywood that aims to be -- well, a lot of things.

Ostensibly, it's a Russian restaurant. But oh, it is much, much more than that. For instance, it is also a karaoke lounge. And an infused-tequila bar. And a "garden-tea-party-meets-Bubushka's-house." And an antique-laden, French country house. And there's an "in-house accordionist"!!! Did I mention it's in the old Bastide location?

According to the press release, Anna Karenina might have sipped "vodka in the plush wine and karaoke lounge, which also features a view of the bustling kitchen." That's so funny -- I don't remember Anna Karenina doing much karaoke, but I bet she could bust out a pretty profound version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

This isn't the first of its kind: There are Mari Vanna locations in New York and Washington D.C.

So. The next time you're in the mood for borscht and mixed berry-infused tequila, on cushioned-wicker seating with birdhouses dangling above you, while singing karaoke (or perhaps being serenaded by an accordionist?), you're in luck! Because Mari Vanna opens tonight.

(Editor's note: That sound you hear is Joe Pytka screaming. Or maybe not, if you consider the noted director, restaurateur and former Bastide owner's work: the Pepsi commercials, "Heal the World," -- or his "This is Your Brain on Drugs" PSA.)

Mari Vanna: 8475 Melrose Place; 323-655-1977.

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