Russian cuisine in the heart of West Hollywood
Nestled in the heart of West Hollywood, rests an Eastern European dream. Traktir, the gourmet Russian restaurant that will have you feeling like you’ve stepped in to eat somewhere in Downtown Moscow, is one of the city’s tastiest hidden gems. Located on Santa Monica Boulevard, the scenery lends itself to the charming hotspot, offering you an authentic slice of heaven in the most surprising of places.
Oleg and Rina Atroshenko have brought a diverse and delectable selection of Russia’s finest foods to Southern California with their eclectic eatery. Traktir (which means tavern) draws its influences from places including Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, and Latvia; serving up divine dishes and specialty spirits that everybody will enjoy. Whether you’re dining with your family or out for an evening with your friends, this spot is a must-do for any occasion.
For the best in comfort food, the Beef Stroganoff is prepared in a delicious porcini mushroom cream sauce and is made by Oleg himself. The mouthwatering dish is served with mashed potatoes for complete satisfaction. One bite will have you wishing you would have been coming here for years.
If poultry is what you desire, then their Chicken Tabaka is something you cannot be without. With a homemade tomato-based steak sauce, this perfect combination will tantalize your taste buds in a way that is both familiar yet entirely fresh. Paired with potatoes, it’s an entrée that is guaranteed to fulfill every one of your culinary cravings.
If you’re searching for the ultimate in traditional Eastern European cuisine, go with the Golubtsy. This famous stuffed cabbage recipe made with ground meat and rice is pleasing to any palate. Served on a plate of three with a side of sour cream, it’s a great option to start off the night.
At the top of Russia’s time-honored meals, is the borscht. Traktir’s Traditional Ukrainian Borscht is made with beets, cabbage, potatoes, beef, sour cream and dill. It is the quintessential kick off for any evening and comes out perfectly placed on a set of their beautiful dishes; making this one look just as good as it tastes.
Other selections, like their herring (which is served with butter and marinated onions on top of dark toast) and their Russian-style dumplings, are also absolute masterpieces. Your choice of Vareniki (dumplings) comes in potato, meat, cabbage or cheese. No matter which is your favorite, each bite is delightfully filled with a burst of flavor that explodes the second it hits your mouth.
The invigorating aroma of dill, which is a popular ingredient in most Russian cuisine, is apparent in a good portion of Traktir’s food, adding a zesty flavor to pretty much everything on the menu. Keeping up with the best of the zest, their homemade pickles should be at the top of your list of what to try here. Not only are their pickles offered with many of their dishes, but it’s a must-have with their specialty vodka as well.
That’s right, get ready for a treat because Traktir is a vodka lover’s paradise that gifts you with creative cocktails you never even knew existed – and that paradise includes pickles.
If you’re dining at a Russian restaurant (and you are over the age of 21) enjoying the vodka is a must. Traktir’s vodka is infused with special ingredients that will forever change the way you drink alcohol. “Breathe out as you take a shot of vodka in one large gulp, sniff the black bread and then quickly eat a slice of pickled cucumber.” That’s how you drink Russian vodka.
Perfectly placed up front on display, is the selection of spirits. Their famous Horseradish Vodka, Raspberry Vodka, Cranberry Vodka, Pepper Garlic Vodka and Lemon Vodka are all offered for your drinking pleasure. The diverse collection grants you a virtual vodka utopia that welcomes you to savor every delicious moment of your dining experience.
At Traktir, whether you visit for lunch or dinner, you will be in for a unique appetizing adventure. Just let the ambiance welcome you and have the food be your guide to discovering new and exciting flavors. Try anything off the menu that best suits your own taste buds and you will not be disappointed.
Na zda-rov ye!