This place is convenient enough for us, and ever since hearing from @bulavinaka a while back, we’ve been meaning to try it out and finally got a chance to. Doma Kitchen states that they try to “create international-inspired cuisine with an emphasis on Eastern European and Central Asian techniques.”
Chicken Meatballs (House-Ground Chicken Meatballs, Tomato & Onion Sauce, Ricotta Salata Cheese):
This was hearty, concentrated, really rich flavors. Perhaps a touch salty, but probably great with some Bread or Rice (we noticed they serve these Meatballs with a Pasta dish as well as in their Rice dishes).
Crunchy Bavarian Garlic Bread (Dark Seeded Bread, Garlic, Yogurt & Horseradish Dip):
Normally you might think of the a Country or Sourdough being in the more tasty category when it comes to Bread-based Appetizers / Starters, but wow! This was like Crunchy, Toasted Crack! This was insanely delicious, arriving piping hot and toasted, fragrant with Garlic and nuttiness, and when you dip it in the Yogurt & Horseradish Sauce, it’s a wonderful pairing that we haven’t really tried before. Delicious!
"Plov" Braised Rice (Uzbek-Style Braised Rice with Spices & Herbs, Carrots, Chickpeas, Golden Raisins, Onions, Garlic, Side of Tomatoes & Onion Relish) + Lamb:
This is our first time ever trying Plov, so we have no frame of reference. I’ll leave it up to @Nemroz and other experts to comment on authenticity and taste, but for this particular Plov at Doma Kitchen, it tasted like a nice, fragrant, zesty Braised Rice dish. The Turmeric was pleasing and really accentuated each bite.
The Lamb was tender, but a bit chewy, and with the menu stating that you choose between various proteins, it seems & tastes like the meats are cooked separately and then just served on top, so it’s not really incorporated into the Plov Rice (nothing like that insane picture that @Nemroz posted of authentic Plov back home (I’m still drooling over that pic!)).
Still, we really liked the Plov Rice itself, just wished that the Lamb was cooked with it, instead of separate. Perhaps it might be better with a different protein choice?
Eastern European Slow Braised Buckwheat (with Caramelized Onions, Garlic, Carrots, Dice Tomatoes, Side of Housemade Pickles):
We liked their Kasha Buckwheat even more than the Plov: There’s something wonderful about slow braised food, and in this case, Buckwheat grains, tender and nutty, deeply layered with Caramelized Onions and Garlic, tender Carrots and Tomatoes, it’s hard to go wrong.
The Grilled Chicken we got with this dish had a nice char, but being white meat, it’s naturally lean and was a touch dry (only a bit), still fine. Also like the Plov, we had wished they braised their proteins with the actual dish itself, but in wanting to give customers a choice of proteins to pair with it, they keep it separate.
Doma Kitchen is a casual, relaxed spot, with some Eastern European influenced dishes that taste pretty healthy and light, while also being delicious. We’ll be back to try their Lithuanian Vareniki Dumplings and a few other intriguing looking dishes.
4325 Glencoe Ave #8
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: (310) 301-0582
Another place we had bookmarked for a while, hearing many recommendations on our old board from @westsidegal and @bulavinaka and others, Itzik Hagadol is a restaurant focused on delivering Israeli cuisine, long before the current trend of excellent farm-to-table, chef-driven restaurants like Kismet and Mh Zh.
Itzik’s claim to fame seems to be their extensive list of 20(!) different types of Israeli Salads that you can get refills on (they are served in smaller plates), and we were excited to try as many as we could on this day.
"Spicy Tomato" / Tomato Salsa (Spicy):
The one disappointment from the Salads we tried was what our server simply recommended to us as “Spicy Tomato (Salad)” which sounded intriguing. Later on, after we left we saw that the menu listed it as “Tomato Salsa (Spicy)” which is exactly is what turned out be:
This seriously tasted like the Tomato Salsa at El Pollo Loco (I’m not joking!) Which was OK I guess… if we’re ordering some Rotisserie Chicken, but to call it one of the 20 Israeli Salads seemed a bit disingenuous.
Baked Rosemary Potatoes:
These were quite tasty, nicely baked, soft, fluffy chunks of Potatoes infused with Rosemary.
Moroccan Carrots (Spicy):
These were nicely zesty, with a bit of heat, but nothing causing you to break a sweat.
Eggs (In Mayonnaise):
A solid Egg Salad, without too much Mayo in the dressing. At this point, we were wondering just how many of these “Israeli” Salads were really Israeli? But most of them were tasty and fine, they just tasted more familiar than anything.
This was very good, lightly creamy, buttery (with no dairy) and excellent with their Laffa Bread.
Pickled Cabbage Salad:
OK, this started getting weird: We took a bite of this and seriously, this tasted just like Taiwanese / Chinese Pickled Cabbage we’ve had at some restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley! @ipsedixit @bulavinaka @PorkyBelly if you’ve tried this, tell me it’s not just Chinese Pickled Cabbage. It was tasty and had a nice crunch, but first a Mexican Salsa and now this. It was interesting.
Their Laffa Bread arrived fresh baked out of the oven and hot, which was nice. But it was gasp-inducing how gigantic the Laffa turned out to be! It was very thin, but this looked like about the size of a Large Pizza(!).
Baby Chicken Thigh Skewer:
Their dark meat Chicken Skewer arrived next, and each bite was juicy and aromatic.
Their Fries were OK, slightly crispy, but nothing too noteworthy.
Laffa Za’atar (Laffa Bread topped with a Blend of Middle Eastern Herbs, Sesame Seeds and Spices):
The Laffa Za’atar was definitely more flavorful and tasty compared to the standard Laffa. There were notes of Thyme and Oregano and other Spices, and like their standard Laffa, it arrived piping hot which was great.
Itzik Hagadol seems like a place where you can really enjoy a bunch of “Israeli”-style Salads (over 20 different kinds), with generous portions of piping hot Laffa Bread. In this day-and-age of more chef-driven Israeli fare like Kismet and Mh Zh, both of which offer vibrant, exciting, and delicious offerings that change with the season, as well as the 4 or 5 really well executed Israeli Salads at Ta-Eem Grill, it makes it a bit harder to get excited about the Salads we had at Itzik Hagadol (which were good, but just not at the level of the other, newer places). Still if we’re in the area, we’d be glad to stop by for a visit.
17201 Ventura Blvd.
Encino CA 91316
Tel: (818) 784-4080