Fearless to admit, but what underlies this seemingly generic restaurant name–tucked within the city of Encino, CA–other than the fact that’s likely another Asian fusion eat, I thought to myself.
Thanks to Yelp & their own website, I discovered that EuroAsia is, by far and based on their claim, the only So Cal restaurant, whose foods encompass primarily on Uzbek and Russian. I too was bluntly clueless on what “Uzbek” meant–like I’m playfully accentuating the “ooze” syllable. That’s until the waiter expatiated to my friends and me that its country, Uzbekistan, is embedded in Central Asia, where it apparently neighbors a country where fictional Borat grew up–maybe that’s not an accurate description, but you know what I mean.
Both my friends and I embraced this epicurean adventure, yearning to eat this unfamiliar cuisine for the first time, and relaxed on the exterior. The menu lists a plethora of dishes that is indeed akin to the usual Asian dishes, such as dumplings and other constituents using dough. The more pleasant surprise, right after profusely reading the menu, was that the ordered 2 of our 3 plates were served the generous way.
My friend decided to go ooh-and-ahh with the noodly Kavurma Lagman ($13), which were scratch-made, thick and doughy, hand-pulled noodles fried and tossed with dill, chopped green and yellow bell peppers, celery, and chunks of beef. To be completely straightforward, I am not personally partial with the peppers, slightly sweet meat, celery or the sauce incorporated–let’s put it this way, I’m obliged to eat all of your onions from your burger. The peerlessly chewy flour noodles, on the other hand, would unleash the voracious carbo-phile in me if I’m not too careful with the carb intake. One serving of noodles, by the way, is the same size as an “innocuous” tennis ball…
Speaking of the “devil,” and I almost disregarded the initiator: the complimentary Non, their way of spelling of their quintessential bread, which became more addictive once carefully–but not in a pennypinching way–spread their tantalizing, salmon-colored cream cheese. One of my friends went insanely amorous to lick this “butter” by itself right after her sister and I replied no to her question, “Are you gonna finish?”
My other friend, the sister, decisively stuck on the Chicken Kiev ($16), which was a skinless, semi-boned, chicken breast butter-coated and completely enveloped in its thick, crusty breading. This one was the not-so-shareable kind, but the sibling did not mind–for us to grab a few bites. It was, again, all of our 1st try, but despite the passable juiciness, if this Russian entree could perhaps had more flavorful seasoning, this could be a winner.
However, the non-meaty sides were the controllable stunners: Potato with Garlic & Dill that truly can’t be avoided, and the vibrant, zesty, peppery Salad temporarily and pleasantly helped me fully enjoy my least favorite way of eating vegetables.
My choice, lastly, was one of the most highly regarded and regaled dishes for this restaurant. A facile-looking but exquisitely well thought-of cooking and presentation or rice called the Plov ($13) was tremendously delicious as both an on-spot dinner and leftovers. Simmered in garlic and other mellowed ingredients, and at the same time sprinkled them with beef and garbanzo beans, memories of curry, sweet carrots, and minuscule seeds persuasively equalled such delectable complexity. Seriously: this rock-on rice can feed maybe a party of 6, if they learned how to restrain those carbohydrate portions.
So if stinky tofu, durian, or even liver and onions are rather too adventurous for you, EuroAsia has a far milder alternative to eating something new in your life. Who knows: this satisfying Asian element with a Russian accent might also snare particular celebrities whose nearest major street happens to be Ventura Boulevard.
Overall Grade: B-
17209 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316