GOLDEN HILL. Looking to shake up your San Diego restaurant rotation? Or perhaps the Sochi Olympics have made you more curious about Russian cuisine. Either way, it’s time to try Kafe Sobaka. With a menu offering a “ménage a trios of Georgian, Russian, and Californian Cuisine,” Kafe Sobaka offers a truly unique dining experience.
[caption id="attachment_1975" align="alignnone" width="640"] Kafe Sobaka Sign[/caption]
On my first visit, I started with the Salad Sampler Platter. The sampler features 8 items, 4 from the appetizer menu and 4 that the chef chooses. The 4 items from the appetizer menu are: (1) Pkhali – veggies and herbs marinated with lemon and garlic, (2) Lobio – pate style red beans with herbs, walnuts, tomatoes, and onions, (3) Salat Vesna – a salad made from cabbage, berries, and herbs, and (4) Ajap Sandali – a vegetarian ragout made from eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes, and herbs.
The sampler platter offered an excellent array of dishes. I especially liked the Lobio. Who knew beans could taste so good?
[caption id="attachment_1976" align="alignnone" width="640"] Zakuski Sampler Platter[/caption]
I’m not sure where my fascination with Borscht comes from, although I suspect it stems from watching too many spy movies. I just knew I had to taste it! Kafe Sobaka’s vegan version (the traditional soup has meat in it) is made from beets, potato, carrot, onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, and herbs. I thought it would be sweet, but had a pleasant, tangy flavor.
[caption id="attachment_1978" align="alignnone" width="640"] Borscht Soup[/caption]
Next up was Welcome to the Gulag, a mix of tempeh, cabbage, and onion served with a side of potatoes. The onions and herbs give this dish an incredible amount of flavor. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the perfectly cooked and crisp potatoes. I cleaned my plate. Quickly.
[caption id="attachment_1977" align="alignnone" width="640"] Welcome to the Gulag[/caption]
On my most recent trip to Kafe Sobaka, I ordered the Vegetarians Answer to Shashlik. It was a simple dish – roasted vegetables with a side of Georgian walnut sauce – but one that was executed perfectly. The veggies were fresh and the walnut sauce was creamy. It was a meal that left me feeling satisfied but not heavy.
[caption id="attachment_1979" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegetarian’s Answer to Shashlik[/caption]
The interior of Kafe Sobaka is full of sturdy wooden tables with Russian artwork adorning the walls. It’s the perfect place for a date or to catch up with friends.
[caption id="attachment_1980" align="alignnone" width="640"] Interior Kafe Sobaka[/caption]
There is also a small outdoor patio, if you want to take advantage of a sunny San Diego day!
[caption id="attachment_1981" align="alignnone" width="640"] Outdoor Patio Kafe Sobaka[/caption]
I love how easy Kafe Sobaka makes it to eat vegan. Their menu clearly indicates which dishes are vegan and the servers are patient while answering questions. Kafe Sobaka is not without a sense of humor. Instead of small, medium, or large, be prepared to order Socialist, Imperialist, or Anarchist portions!
San Diego, CA 92102