8/21/2006

Uzbekistan Restaurant

Imagine a fusion of Russia and the Middle East, and you get Uzbekistan!
Perhaps that's an oversimplification, but it's true. At least that's what I learned from our journey to Uzbekistan Restaurant on 7077 West Sunset Blvd (and La Brea, in a strip mall, of course!).

The menu not only offered a variety of treats, it also provided a socio-political history of Uzbekistan. I learned that as part of the former Soviet Union, Uzbekistan borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south... which explains the influence of Eastern Europe and the Middle East in Uzbekistani culture. I felt educated and hungry at the same time! Learn more about Uzbekistan here.

It's quite a scene. I knew right away that the restaurant would be good when I saw that the patrons were also Uzbekistani. On the night that Divine Styler and I paid a visit, there was a birthday party for an older gentlemen. It seemed like his entire family was there -- wife, brothers, sisters, children, nieces and nephews... you know, like a very traditional immigrant family setting. It was sweet. The restaurant also provided a DJ who sang and played Uzbekistani songs. He was hot in a Phil Collins way. In fact, I believe he sang a Phil Collins song that Joe and I sang along to. The rest of the patrons there were odd folks like us (who probably read the Jonathan Gold review) and members of the Russian mafia (so we like to think).

Okay... to the food! I was very impressed. As a fan of both Middle Eastern and Eastern European food, this restaurant was really great... and the dishes were hugh! So Joe and I split several appetizers and one main dish.

Prior to receiving our orders, they served us bread that was essentially an enormous bagel, warmed perfectly and served along with flavored cream cheese (tasted like dill). We didn't want to be full on a mutant bagel, so we brought the gigantic bagel home (I finally managed to finish the humugous bagel on two separate occasions!) Dude, it was a dense bagel!
Bahor
Boiled beef, fresh cucumbers, tomato, feta cheese & cilantro in a yogurt-herb dressing.
I really liked this dish. It was very unique and bursting with flavors. Joe didn't like it so much, but then again, he doesn't like dairy. Although he denies it, I think he's a lactose-intolerant bee-otch. So, essentially, his opinion does not really count in this matter. Sorry, Divine.
Homemade Bugenina
Slow-roasted pork loin served with horseradish
This was excellent. Real excellent.
Samsa
Puff pastry with tender, juicy lamb
Sort of like a samosa, but better because it contained lamb.
Kaurma Lagman
Handmade noodles with vegetables and lamb
This was good, but the flavor reminded of a similar Chinese dish, but not as good as the Chinese dish so there you have it.

All in all, I would come back. I liked the ambiance -- sort of dark and glittery (as a disco ball hung from the ceiling), with tables that surrounded the dance floor. We ate our food on a couch and watched patrons dance. That was neat. The manager and waiters are really really nice (but super slow, so don't eat there if you're in a rush!)
The dinner prices are a little high, but they give tons of food. We were really full that night, so full we felt sick... and we had leftovers too! We spent about $22 each, so it's not too bad but not super affordable either. HOWEVER, I just discovered that they have a weekday lunch special that includes the soup of the day; a combo of 3 salads; samsa with cabbage or potato, chicken or lula kabob; vegetable rice or potato; ice cream; their famous bread and spread (that's the big bagel and dill cream cheese) FOR $7.95! Now that's a bargain! I'm returning there for lunch for sure!

4 Comments:

Blogger J said...

very very nice. i've always wondered about that place when i drove by. i can now taste the food of my college roommie's homeland. :-)

8/24/2006 12:20 AM  
Blogger triplecreme said...

I went there once, years ago. My ex-boyfriend took me there. He was a vegetarian, except when he would go to Uzbekistan. I jsut remember piles of meat, and the manager singing karaoke. It was great.

8/26/2006 4:49 PM  
Blogger illewminator said...

can you also get a enormous plate of lox to go w/ the giant bagel and cream cheese???

9/15/2006 5:38 PM  
Blogger Hurshidbek Marazikov said...

Uzbeks do not eat pork, because mostly they are muslims. NATIONAL UZBEK FOOD DOES NOT HAVE PORK! REMEMBER!!!!!! THIS RESTAURANT LIES!

7/22/2008 12:27 PM  

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