Actually, I spent Easter eating in a Russian restaurant not the country. A first for me. But to prepare for some Russian fare, first, a trip to Burbank to visit Dark Delicacies.
No Easter rabbits here but Frankenstein beckoned from the street. I’ve passed this place several times on my way to downtown Burbank. It was always closed on Mondays, one of my days off and a day I put aside for exploring Los Angeles. Luckily It was open today. The store carried a lot of Vampire/ghost/magic items ranging from DVDs, to books, jewelry, etc. But it was clean and the woman behind the counter seemed reasonably normal. No items were purchased but I noted that Adrienne Barbeau, of Swamp Thing fame was going to be signing her autobiography here next month.
I’ve been warned by several coworkers that Russian food was heavy and involved a lot of cream. I came prepared with an empty stomach to Barin, a local Russian restaurant in Tarzana. It was located in a regular looking strip mall but once inside, I felt transported to the old world. The walls were covered with fake brick with even more fake candles illuminated the ceiling and tables but the quiet of the restaurant was cut by what seemed like Russian’s version of American Idol.
Appetizer was a seafood julienne. The menu described it as a mix of shrimp, scallops and squid in a sour cream sauce topped with cheese. It was served on two mini skillets. Not as heavy as I feared but delicious.
For an entree, my dining companion choose chicken kiev, a dish new to both of us. What the seafood juilienne lacked in butter, the chicken kiev made up for. Once the chicken was sliced open, butter flowed from the interior. A letdown in the flavor department but beautifully deep fried to a golden brown.
My entree? Beef strogonoff. Don’t let the unappetizing photo fool you because it was delicious. Another dish I had never tried but rich and hearty. I usually see stroganoff accompany noodles but this dish was served with shoestring potatoes.
For the rest of the day I was full and a bit drowsy from the food gorge. A walk in Santa Monica helped with the zombie like state I felt for the rest of the day and I also got to see a monkey perform.