- Appetizer: blini served with salmon caviar and herring, which the San Francisco Chronicle described as “melt in your mouth”
- Entree: pelmeni—beef-filled dumplings served in a chicken bouillon
- Dessert: kissel—cooked berries that are thickened and served with cream
Who’s Cooking? Owner Katia Troosh is a Russian native who came to San Francisco from Shanghai after World War II.
Where to Sit: Grab one of the elegantly appointed tables that face a wide wall of windows.
When to Go: For a more traditional experience, make a reservation for formal afternoon tea, which is poured from a samovar into glasses placed in podstakanniki, or silver glass holders.
While You’re Waiting: Request that Alex Yaskin, the accordion player, unfurl his rendition of “Free Bird” alongside some Russian classics.
Inside Tip: Around Easter time, Katia whips up hundreds of loaves of traditional Russian bread, which are filled with raisins or topped with a housemade cheese spread, that can be used to bribe the Easter bunny.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Thoroughly immerse yourself in Russian culture and literature by swinging into Globus Slavic Bookstore (332 Balboa Street).
After: Cross cultures by wandering across the street to O’Keeffe’s Bar (598 5th Avenue), which is home to pool tables, a jukebox, and plenty of Irish beer.