I visited St. Petersburg a year and a half ago. (Ahhhhh. . . summer in St. Petersburg!) It was great, but what most surprised me was how superb much of the traditional food was. Far superior to what I had tasted during a trip about five years prior. (I've had been to the Russian Tea Room, so I knew it was possible, but personally, I find that their food hardly justifies the expense.) As it turns out, much of what I tried was Georgian or White Russian or some other ethnic distinction that I still don't quite fully grasp. But superb indeed it all was!
Now I suppose much of this is a relatively new development and my question will be in vain since the higher standards might not yet have been exported. But does anyone have any idea where there might be great Russian food on this side of the Atlantic? I'd travel almost anywhere in SoCal if it were good enough. Any thoughts? Anyone? Notes on the other places in the LA area that might fall short of brilliance but are worth the trip for a blini/vodka fix are also much appreciated.