Pomegranate Russian-Georgian Restaurant
If you’re interested in something unusual, make your way to El Cajon Blvd. and seek out Pomegranate Russian-Georgian Restaurant . The restaurant came highly recommended by a friend and it lived up all expectations
The building, like the area itself, is dated but that only adds to the charm (walk inside and you are overwhelmed with kitschy details rarely seen, a delight for the senses). There are "chili" shaped Christmas lights strung throughout, and so many ornaments that you literally may need to catch your breath. Keep looking around and you’ll quickly notice that there is writing on everything. Personal notes and comments from customers, all done with playfulness and flare. By now you know you are not in just another restaurant and that something special awaits.
We were greeted by our server, a welcoming young woman with a beautiful smile named Elvira (pronounced el-vera, she wants no association with the Halloween version) who led us to our table. We situated ourselves as she plugged in the "chili" lights in the outlet behind me. It made me feel like one of the family. We told her it was our first time here and were quickly set on course. She recommended that we try a traditional Georgian sample salad platter (it’s not on the menu but a great way to be introduced to the cultural cuisine). The sampler contained seven different salads with a bounty of flavors. We were instructed regarding the sequence, starting with milder fare, like cabbage and beet mixes, to more pungent ones like a spicy curry and eggplant. An intriguing culinary lesson throughout and the bread was excellent too!
Roasted Leg of Lamb
Upon asking if they had a wine list, Elvira smiled and said that would be her. With the grace of a good host, she asked if we knew what type of main course we might be ordering so she could suggest a red or a white; we opted for the red. She recommended two Georgian produced wines, one similar to a light merlot and another deeper cabernet. We went for the lighter touch, a Napareuli from Telavi Wine Cellar, which was mellow and wonderful. Being a Russian establishment, we had to have at least one shot of vodka and she quickly produced an open bottle, two shot glasses and a measuring tape. She set us at ease by saying they measure the amount of vodka in the bottle before you partake and after you are done they charge by the inch. Charming! Please note, due to their liquor license they are only able to offer 20 proof vodka.
For main courses we chose Roasted Leg of Lamb (quintessence of lamb prepared in the finest tradition with village style potatoes and buckwheat). When asked how it was prepared, we were told "well done". Our response of preferring it rare was quickly dispelled by our server, asking us to "trust her on this one"; that the meat would be tender and juicy, which indeed it was. The portion was also enough to feed a family of four. The other plate chosen was Beef Stroganoff; how could we not in a Russian restaurant! The mushroom based sauce was rich and hearty, and the tender beef literally fell apart. It was that moist. A side of scrumptious corkscrew pasta accompanied the plate. It was truly a to-die-for meal.
So take a chance brave soul, cross the ocean (or at least El Cajon Blvd.) and enter Eastern Europe for a wonderful experience and meal. All plates range under twenty dollars and portions are ample. Even the menus are a hoot! Nostrovia!
- City: San Diego, CA 92104
- Phone: 619-297-4007
- Name: Pomegranate Russian-Georgian Restaurant
- Address: 2302 El Cajon Blvd.