The sign on the door of Rasputin International Grocery says, in Russian, "The door opens automatically for nice people." Inside: The service is "unbelievably kind," says Das Ubergeek. He was given samples of red borscht, green borscht, okroshka (cold vegetable soup with kvass), mushroom solyanka, and ukha (fish soup).
The green borscht you can get hot or cold; it is good both ways. But have it with a drizzle of smetana—Russian sour cream. It has hard-boiled eggs and tiny cubes of potato mixed in with sorrel; it's very refreshing, says Das Ubergeek.
Their chicken cutlet, "even reheated in their microwave, was juicy, tender, and just a little bit springy; the fried potatoes had that 'grandma' taste that comes from butter, dill and parsley; I wanted more of both," says Das Ubergeek.
Rasputin International Grocery [San Fernando Valley - West]
17159 Ventura Boulevard, Encino