Russian delis know ham

There are multiple but i’m here to tell you about Tambovsky ham. It’s far superior to anything else i’ve had from any deli counters. Really great.

As a matter of fact you are advised to go through dozens of items at our delis. Priced for normal people as well.


I’ve started checking out Odessa Grocery and Babushka’s Grandma’s Deli in the Valley thanks to some of your past posts on Russian and Eastern European food. I’ll have to look for this ham. Thanks!

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That’s great! I don’t even know those stores. In the valley we stick to Olive Fresh. Be sure to get some real russian sour cream and cottage cheese at some point.

Grandma’s Deli has all kinds of salads and I’ve liked what I’ve tried. Odessa has more deli items and smoked meats. But they also have a large selection of cooked foods.

Thanks for the tip on Olive Fresh, I’ll check them out! We’ve also checked out that large Russian warehouse costco style place, can’t remember the name.

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I think Pacific Coast Co.…? I made a mental note to look for ham there when @nemroz started this thread. Though I have to admit that I checked out the Sacramento branch of Pacific Coast over the holiday and sad to say it’s WAY better


Ahh yes, thank you! Any luck on the ham?

A branch in Sacramento? I’ll have to mention to a friend. Appreciate you mentioning that.

We haven’t looked for it yet- Pacific Coast is a little far for us so we tend to go twice a year or thereabouts with a long list which now includes ham. I’ll follow up if they have anything.

A branch in Sacramento

Yeah, it’s in Citrus Heights a stretch northeast of downtown. I happened to be dropping off a present in the area on Christmas Eve and clocked it on my way past. I like the Pacific Coast in LA but Sacramento has what appears to be a very active deli counter, cold case with deli containers of different pickles and jams, etc. Seems like pretty high turnover (which makes sense for the East Sac population) that allows them to offer fresh products I haven’t seen in LA on our twice yearly visits.

I poked around and picked up a couple of jams along with some jarred and canned sardines. I’ve been getting more into sardines lately and like jam for my breakfast toast. I was fascinated at the selection at Pacific but had absolutely no idea on brands and types, so just randomly grabbed whatever caught my eye.

Check out Grandma’s deli I linked above. They have a decent sized fresh food and salads case. You can see some of the pics on their yelp page. Not sure where you are though and that might be too far of a drive, possibly you combine it with your Pacific Coast trip. They’re both sort of in that general northeast LA area around the 170

I’ve liked Eastern European smoked meats and sausages when I’ve tried them. I just have so little exposure and it’s not like LA has a ton of places. When I visit my friend, I’ll have to make him take me after he picks me up from the airport. He’s into that too, so again, thanks for the tip on the Sac location

Actually Citrus Heights, closer to Roseville than Sacto. Only 2-1/2 miles from 80, I’ll have to check it out next time we’re passing by.

LA does have a lot of places Russian/Armenian delis. North Hollywood alone probably has 20

You’re right. I didn’t express myself properly. A lot of places I know of. It seems like not a lot is written about them, most of what I know is from your postings which made me go looking for places. But I don’t see a lot of articles or food media talking about them.

I have fun exploring but I don’t know what I’m looking for or at most of the time. With me being on the Westside, it’s not as easy to drop in regularly and try multiple things frequently. My visits are few and far between and I just have to guess. When there was a decent sausage butcher shop in Santa Monica on Wilshire, I’d have fun dropping in and just grabbing a sausage or whatever to try. Unfortunately they closed not too soon after I discovered them.

Now I take my blind chances when I go to NoHo. I have fun trying though! I still have a bottle of fermented bread soda sitting in the fridge to try.

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I mean, yeah, but people barely have Sacramento in their mental GPS much less Roseville…

I definitely will! Going to multiple places makes it seem more “worth it” although I’m sure there’s some kind of flaw in that logic that’s overridden by personal gluttony.

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Aah I see. Ya West Hollywood is your closest I guess. I’m not surprised there isn’t literature or coverage in media. Fairly basic fare but our cold cuts and smoked / cured fish are great. We always get the ikra (ikura) too. Grab armenian eggplant caviar/ spread!

Oh no! That’s called efficiency! We like to cobble a bunch of visits to places that are in a general area, especially when dealing with LA traffic. We joke that we’re visiting a “land” for the day, disney reference. We explore a shop here, a gallery there, a historic mission inn sandwiched around different food places for snacks, etc. It becomes a fun day doing a bunch of different things but not sitting in traffic. Gives time to recover from one meal before the next food stop! For us, it’s a great way to explore all the smaller interesting things around LA that may not be worth a full day trip and drive, but swinging by and checking it out for 30 mins to an hour before moving on? Perfect!

Cool, thanks! We love cold cuts, the different cured dried sausages, learning about the smoked fish. We do like the eggplant spread and the red pepper spread too. Luckily we don’t really have any allergies or aversions with the one exception for cilantro, which doesn’t seem to show up in Eastern European, thank goodness. So we’re pretty open to just grabbing something that looks interesting and trying it. Sometimes we like, sometimes we don’t, but having the opportunity to try is half the fun. One of the things I love so much about the LA is the opportunity to try such diverse food.


I usually drive through there a few times a year. Might never get to some of those places in greater LA.

@nemroz Sorry if this is beyond the scope, I can start a new post if necessary but it seems deli oriented:

Are there any places in the LA area that do Russian/Armenian pickles well? It’s not for a specific recipe or need, I just know so little about that pickling tradition and I was intrigued by the quart deli containers of (apparently) fresh pickles at the Citrus Heights Pacific Coast Foods.

That and a recent Sandor Katz guest episode of the Cooking Issues podcast had me thinking about whole pickled cabbages and I realized I’ve never been to a serious pickle place where things are in barrels or what have you. I assumed anything like that in LA would be universally well known but I also didn’t know about these kinds of delis before reading about them on FTC…


They’re generally about the same everywhere since our pickles are quite simple on the seasoning though we pickle a wide variety. But you want a place that’s busy and turning it over. I think Odessa and Bazaar ring a bell as places i saw varieties.

Some of my favorite has been in the valley at Victory produce on Vanowen/Corbin but if anyone has multiple bins they’re worth trying. Got to get tomato, apple, watermelon when it’s around. Always sauerkraut etc. Armenian marinated eggplant is a revelation, i can’t recall who has it fresh, perhaps Karabagh, otherwise it’s in jars from motherland.

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This is all incredible, thanks!

I saw an aunt this weekend whom i trust the most for all things gastronomical, she has even worked at Rasputin deli before. She claims the best for pickles are Blackjack and Mousaler

Wow, Blackjack is basically next door to Kim Thai Food. Between that, Epicurus and Universal Seafood that’s becoming an epic corridor for us!