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“Poor implementation of food with limited vegetarian options.”
Review of Roxolana - CLOSED

Roxolana
Cuisines: Ukrainian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Web site launches in 2 weeks
Reviewed 18 November 2012

Armed with a Groupon and our love perogies we headed to Roxolana Ukrainian restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. Vegetarian options were limited but we knew that going in having viewed the menu online but. We've eaten at great Ukrainian places like Veselka in New York City and we had high hopes that just such an establishment, offering Eastern European comfort food, to satisfy our Eastern European sensibilities had cropped up in our neck of the woods. The food and the service left us disappointed.

We ordered a number of different dishes all of which came out at the same time making our table hard to navigate and letting some food cold by the time we got to it.

We also, in an effort to find something our 3 year old was willing to eat ordered a side of white beans. (Our kid, as all 3 year olds are, is pretty finicky about what he'll put in his mouth and a plain cooked bean of some kind is one of those items.) They delivered a plate of baked beans to the table. Baked beans, which is okay in our palette, but certainly not plain dish, and not particularly Ukrainian for that better, were not only not what we ordered, but not what we wanted either. After mentioning this to the waiter who thought he was doing as a favor, he responded with the unforgettable "Beans is beans." I restrained myself from launching into a dissertation about the differences between black beans, pinto beans, kidney, beans and baked beans and just sent the dish back.

My wife and I started with the borscht. It was beautifully presented but bland. The only flavor it had came from the sour cream included in it. Hello Eastern Europe...we are in your restaurant....give us the best you have from your region's signature dish....a bowl of red nothing just didn't cut it.

We supplemented the soup with an order of Vierniki and potato pancakes. Vierniki were like boiled pierogies. They were okay...decent dough, but again a little bland. The potato pancakes were like then potato crepes...unique I suppose, but also bland and again needing the sour cream accompaniment to give it any flavor. Again with our Eastern European sensibility, any order of any kind of potato that had been fried would typically satisfy us which left us particularly disappointed at this poor excuse for latkes.

The waiter made us feel like he needed to prove he was 'right' with every interaction. It's almost worth flying to New York City to eat at Veselka to redeem the entire culinary Ukrainian nation...We left hungry and disappointed in every possible way. We definitely will not return.

For more reviews from a vegetarian perspective, visit Rick and Addie's veggie food blog: http://poetrysuperhighway.com/vfb

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Thank rickpoet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (10)
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2 - 6 of 10 reviews

Reviewed 5 November 2012

During my last visit to US, I used my United Airline mileage to purchase some restaurant coupons beforehand. So that I could try different foods while I was in Pasadena.
This Russian Restaurant caught my attention as I like certain Russian foods during my previous visit to Center Asia.

I went there around 7pm and there was only one couple in this around 800-1000sqft restaurant.
There was only one staff serving at that time hence I spoke to him about my intention to use my coupon. The staff was helpful but his calculation was different from other restaurants - at the end after using my US$25 coupon - I still have to pay extra $10 or more.

The food portion was big and I could only finished half of it and the other half became my lunch the next day : )
The food was delicious but the ice-tea was tasteless.

As the venue is not on the main road, perhaps they need more publicity to attract customers to taste their unique dishes!

If you want a quiet place to enjoy your meal - this is a good place to visit.

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Thank Adam L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2012

I'm stunned that Roxolana isn't packed with customers. The food is quite excellent (this coming from a Ukrainian whose grandmother's cooking was amazing), the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is welcoming and quiet. The only thing they could improve on are their hours - it would be a fabulous spot for a late dinner or even a late night hangout for wine and sharing some of their great appetizers.

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1  Thank Daemonaquila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2012

I'm always up for a new dining experience, especially when it's some kind of ethnic food I haven't had before. For my birthday (and her husband's) my friend suggested Roxolana, since I had not previously had Ukranian food. Few people would notice this beautiful restaurant tucked on a side street in Olde Towne Pasadena, since it was almost empty, but for my first experience there, I enjoyed it so much. Our waiter was great and the food was excellent. The atmosphere was difficult to rate, since my friends and I, plus two other ladies were the only people in the restaurant. We ordered the Zrazy for an appetizer. I asked our waiter if we could get one of each, meat and cabbage, and we could. For our entrees, I had the Grilled Pork, my friend had the Pork Shashlik, and her husband had the Grilled Chicken. While the prices appeared excessive, they were not. The portions were huge! I actually got 2 more meals out of what I ordered at the restaurant. The staff was great. Since the other two ladies finished their meal and left, the chef came out and chatted with us. I happened to mention it was my birthday and our waiter brought out a delicious chocolate cream cake with a candle on it. Then the waiter and my friends sang happy birthday. What a nice surprise! Anyone looking for a great dining experience should try this restaurant. With the walls tastefully decorated in Ukranian decor, plus music (which was not to loud), this makes the restaurant a total dining experience. I just would have loved to have seen more diners there. As for me, I definitely will go back, since I loved Roxolana!

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1  Thank cheetaahh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012

The food at Roxolana is fantastic. My wife and I have tried different dishes each time and greatly enjoyed them. I recommend the Zrazy as an appetizer and the Vareniki stuffed with potatoes and mushrooms - it is delicious. The atmosphere is quiet, inviting and we find it romantic. The staff is very friendly and attentive. We will be going back again and again

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1  Thank lostgods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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