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“Great Little Place”
Review of Kalina - CLOSED

Kalina
Price range: US$16 - US$22
Cuisines: Russian, Ukrainian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Tanque Verde Catalina Hwy
Description: Our owner, Natasha Kalina, was born and raised in Minsk, Belarus, in what was then the Soviet Union. Her parents were both from Ukraine and raised Natasha with a deep respect and love for a huge variety of traditions of local celebrations, home-grown food, and family recipes from many different cultures. Natasha's most cherished memories almost always involve parties at her home, and standing in the kitchen with her mother to help cook for the guests. Cooking was in their DNA. There were never any cookbooks, but everyone always knew how to prepare a variety of recipes that never failed to be perfect in taste, texture, and presentation. Ever since she arrived in the United States, Natasha has always dreamt of opening a restaurant with the sole intention of bringing her delicious childhood memories to people from all walks of life. She is extremely proud to have been living her dream for the last thrilling year and a half and is excited for you to come down and join the family today!
A TripAdvisor Member
7537
Reviewed 1 August 2013

I was taken here for my birthday luncheon. This fairly new Russian restaurant is quite small and tables are very close together. I was glad we had reservations, because every seat was taken! The food was very tastey. We 6 decided to order the "tea", so we could taste a variety of items.
You may select 1 item from each of four areas. We all agreed the food was very good and we will be back to sample more! Thy do not have a liquor license, so you may BYOB!

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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (43)
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38 - 42 of 43 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2013

This is a very small restaurant tucked away in a strip shopping center that is not very busy. Parking is no issue but you probably want to be sure you have a reservation as they only have around 10 tables. They have only one server, but he is very nice and gets around to everyone in a reasonable amount of time. Our meal was was very pleasant and non-rushed. They don't have a liquor license yet so you can bring your own wine and they will uncork it and provide the wine glasses. Food was excellent quality and very fresh and tasty. We started with the braised cabbage piroshki, salmon roll, and some stuffed eggs which were shared around the table and all praised. We tried the venigret, eggplant, and garden salads and all were terrific as well. We tried the Chicken Kiev and Beef Strogonoff which the waiter said were the most popular dishes. We also tried the desserts and enjoyed those as well. We probably spent close to two hours there with friends having a very pleasant evening.

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1  Thank azcat71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

Bought a Living Social deal for a Sunday Brunch not knowing where or what this restaurant was. Went by on Sunday, pretty early around 11:00 A.M. and went in, there was only about 6 total tables in this small "strip mall" restaurant...yes, only about 6 total table with maybe 2 tables outside on the sidewalk which they call the patio. There was only one couple actually eating, and all the other tables were empty. The guy asked us to wait, as he checked if "he had" a table?, and came back out a few minutes later and told us he did not, as reservations were full. Hmmmm?....no one there, but would not seat us. OK, I'll maybe make a reservation for later on, maybe an hour or so, so i went back in, asked if I could make a reservation for later, and he told me he could get us in possibly at 2:30, and the place "closes" at 3:00, so we passed, and went somewhere else. Checked the Living Social site, and it said that hey sold "358" of these deals so it's probably going to be a while to get to actually eat and taste the food at this "6 table" establishment, as this Deal that I purchased is only for Sunday Brunch and on Sunday they are open only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. "Reservations" are not only suggested", but "needed:" until they expand and put more seating in there...Can't rate the food as I have not been seated yet......Hopefully I can get in before the expiration date, as I just saw they put out a "Groupon" also.....for a place that is about as roomy as your Living Area in your house....

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1  Thank Elpsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2013

This restaurant is across town from where I live and I am not terribly fond of Russian food, but two friends dragged me here for lunch. What a pleasant surprise! We were greeted and seated by a pleasant young waiter who explained the items on the menu. We all ordered something different and generally were very pleased with our choices. I particularly loved the borscht and lemon tart. The peroshki, barley soup, and smoked salmon and spinach roll got raves from one of our party who rarely orders salmon. I had a taste of the lamb dumplings and will be sure to order them the next time I am at Kalina. A bit pricey, but really well prepared food.

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1  Thank Saguaro63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2013

Can't believe I never knew about this restaurant until a few weeks ago! I've now been several times. It's the only Russian restaurant I'm aware of in Tucson, and the quality of food is outstanding. Having lived in Russia, I wondered whether the food at Kalina would taste similarly to what I remembered. It absolutely does. The borscht is fantastic with plenty of hearty vegetables. The olivier salad is also delicious. Many people will opt for the beef stroganoff, but I'd recommend branching out and trying their other fantastic entrees, especially the pelmeni. The restaurant itself is cozy, with Russian accent pieces throughout. Reservations are required because of limited seating space. The meals are a little pricier than I typically like to pay, but the excellent quality of the food and friendly service makes it worth it. I only wish I could eat here more often!

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3  Thank AZTraveler1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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