Mari Vanna is West Hollywood’s newest celebrity haunt, and, until yesterday, it wasn’t even open to the public yet.
The Russian eatery had its public opening night on Tuesday, followed by an intimate preview for celebrity fans and noteworthy Angelenos on Monday evening.
Breckin Meyer, Maz Jobrani, Steven Levitan, Nosheen Phoenix, Anthony Azizi, Brandon Espy, Chris Williams and Frances Fisher were among the guests at the private preview who were treated to authentic Russian bites, an open bar, a custom ice sculpture and folk songs from the in-house accordionist.
They also received signature Mari Vanna keys – distinguishable by their adorable nesting doll keychains – that are hand-distributed to regulars of the restaurant, VIPs, celebrities and other notable guests.
Mari Vanna Los Angeles – named for a hospitable fairytale grandmother of Slavic lore – will serve homestyle Russian cuisine in a garden-tea-party-meets-Bubushka’s-house atmosphere that features four distinct spaces: a fireplace-lit 30-seat family dining room, a 30-seat sunroom, an intimate 20-seat bar, a 20-seat wine and karaoke lounge, and a 50-60-seat garden patio. From Old World parlors to the Russian countryside, the sprawling eatery is rife with fine-tuned details inspired by a bygone era, half a world away.
Menu items of note include traditional Russian fare like braised veal with homemade noodles and svekolnik, a chilled borscht soup with sour cream and diced vegetables – as well as desserts like the napoleon cake and the kislitsa, chilled slices of orange-zested cream sprinkled with caramelized nuts. There will, of course, be vodka; look for house-infused versions like red pepper, pineapple and mixed berry.
Celebrity fans of Mari Vanna’s New York City and Washington locations include luminaries such as Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Walsh, Mick Jagger, Mickey Rourke, Maria Sharapova, Karolina Kurkova, Lucy Lui, Max Azria, Paula Abdul, Omar Epps, David Arquette, Richard Schiff, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Alexander Ovechkin.
Mari Vanna Los Angeles is located at 8475 Melrose Pl, West Hollywood, CA 90069.