Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Polka Polish

About six years ago, after Sam received his mission call to Poland, I scoured the internet for a Polish restaurant so that we could have a Polish experience before Sam went there. There were only two in all of Los Angeles. We went to Polka Polish, located at 4112 Verdugo Road in Eagle Rock, right next to Glendale. We have been hooked since.

Polka is located in an ugly, somewhat scary, strip mall and is barely noticeable from the street. It has a very small dining area that only fits about 40 people max. But all of that is forgotten when you start to eat. The food tastes as though you have been invited to a Polish neighbor's to eat. It is heavy, stick to your ribs goodness.

My very favorite part of the meal is the soup. I'm not normally a soup person, but Polka's soup is incredible. It is not Weight Watcher soup. It is thick and tasty. Nothing that good is good for you. I've never had soup there I haven't loved. My very favorite is the tomato soup, but I've only had it a couple of times. This last Saturday, we visited on the way to take Andrew back to Westwood. Polka had just been featured on the Food Network program, Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives, and there was a line outside waiting to get in. We joined the line and it took us over an hour to get in. We had a soup we've not had before: dill and pickle soup. It did not disappoint.
Next they bring you a small salad. The salad invariably has grated carrot on top, a little lettuce, likely some cabbage, and some kind of a vinegary or sweet dressing. It is not great, but not bad.

I had bigos and may possibly be able to claim some responsibility for it on the menu. While on his mission, Sam wrote us about bigos and how much he liked it. I called Polka and asked if they had it. It was not on the menu, but they said they could cook it for me, but I was warned I would probably not like it. I had it and did and the next time we went it was on the menu. Bigos is a mixture of Polish sausage, stewed sauerkraut (but not as vinegary or strong as store-bought), mushrooms and chunks of pork. It also had some side mashed potatoes with dill.

One of the very best menu items is pierogis, kind of like large ravioli. They have three kinds: (1)pork and chicken; (2) sauerkraut and stewed mushrooms; and (3) potatoes and cheese. The potatoes and cheese are our favorite, but they are all good. We ordered four pierogis on the side.

Judy had kielbasa, broiled Polish sausage. She got the spicy kind and it is very good. It came on a plate with corn, cooked carrots and mashed potatoes.

Andrew got the Royal Plate which gave him some choices. He got two pierogis, golabki (stuffed cabbage with pork & chicken, potatoes and onion), and gulasz (beef stew).

Finally, in addition to the small dessert they normally provide as part of the meal, we got nalesniki, crepes filled with sour-cherries and cheese, topped with flaming whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Very, very good.
As usual, we left stuffed.

Polka is now getting quite a reputation and can be difficult to get in to. With that, the prices have also risen. But it is worth the effort and trouble to go there and remains one of our very favorite restaurants.

1 comment:

  1. I feel my body expanding even as I read. It's just (sigh) SO (sigh) YUMMY (sigh)!!