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Insiders have been vying to be granted the secret code access, memberships and passwords, at VIP locales. But the bi- coastal Russian restaurant has done it right, and the best part is… without trying. After many food reviewers and enthusiasts have written Mari Vanna’s first west coast location almost a year ago. I felt that it was important to try this place several times until I understood why everyone raves of the Shabby Chic, Russian cuisine restaurant.

Owner, Tatiana Brunetti has her preferred list of coveted spots for this once a week soiree. Her list consists of socialites, celebs, scensters and from New York. You will get a VIP key to enter Mari Vanna’s after hours, particularly on Mondays. Ringing a doorbell at the front of the restaurant during these off hours, and presenting the key given to you, will grant you access to private off hours of those who favor Mari Vanna. This perk will allow you to try top shelf vodka, priceless caviar, and dance with the swankiest elite. The key will work for you at all locations- London, DC, New York, and now LA. This special VIP treatment will have the who’s who of Hollywood buzzing about the restaurant. The social register in Hollywood thrives off of these sorts of private VIP incentives. As soon as the masses hear there is that ability to go somewhere no one else can go- ALL will bid to have this power, creating regular diners at Mari Vanna.

Aside from the VIP reasons for those to frequently visit or dine at this Moscow made restaurant which has overtaken the space of the acclaimed Bastide- then it must be the food. I return to Mari Vanna- Los Angeles not only for the fact that the spot is perfect for a Sunday Brunch with a charming porch, or a quick after work drink with a romantic bar with a vast array of vodkas, but because the food is wonderful. In addition, there are many small touches to the dining experience that makes this a venue a permanent fixture, I want to frequent or recommend. Post reservation you can be assured to arrive to your table with a welcome sign. They offer all women a small stool, one your grandmother would give you to use at a sink to wash your hands for advantage height, just to place your handbag on. The bartender and your server will welcome you with small complimentary pours of mixed drinks from the bar. The menu however is wonderful. The Russian cuisine here is absolutely perfect.

After having visited Mari Vanna – 8 times over 6 months, the dishes I loved the most are from the dinner menu. The Heirloom tomato salad is a starter must. The tomatoes and cilantro are dressed with a perfect vinaigrette dressing. Pair this salad with a Vareniki, which are a Russian Dumpling- your mouth will be watering for more. There are three dishes for your main course that I recommend- The traditional Beef Stroganoff (pictured here), Chicken Kotletki, and the Golubtzi.

Best Bite- The Herring Under a Fur Coat….. there are no words for this dish. Taste and see what all in Los Angeles recommend this specific dish.

(Pictured a complimentary dessert that was divine and have no idea what it is called)

Mari Vanna
8475 Melrose Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90069

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