From Yasha with Love

A custom-made tandoori oven with an industrial-strength exhaust system designed by Gavaev and built with bricks ordered from New York makes it possible for the store to bake fresh Uzbek-style flat bread very similar to Indian tandoori bread. An entire section of the store is devoted to wines and beers from Russia, Romania, Poland, Israel, Georgia, the former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, with champagne from Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania. With no license to sell hard liquor yet, iconic Russian vodka is the only item missing from the alcoholic lineup. Yasha points out that the store also has many Mexican customers, people who have married Russians and have fallen in love with Russian salamis and the good Eastern European beers he stocks.

Homemade, handmade takeout dishes, especially Siberian-style pelemeny — spicy, meat-filled dumplings that look like a cross between ravioli and won ton — keep customers coming back for more. "We do stuffed cabbage, stuffed chicken legs, Kiev cutlets — we do the best knishes — and piroshkis. We do good borscht and our most famous thing is Russian Siberian pelemeny," Gavaev says. "We also do vareneki [traditional boiled Ukrainian dumplings] with potato, cherry, cheese and sour cabbage fillings. It takes only seven minutes to prepare: Boil the water, drop it in and wait until it pops up. It's ready to eat with sour cream, adjika or lutenitsa [a thick, ketchup-y tomato and pepper sauce]. It's delicious and everybody's happy."

Yasha and Tanya Gavaev serve it up.
Kathleen Vanesian
Yasha and Tanya Gavaev serve it up.

Location Info


Yasha From Russia

10240 N. 32nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85028

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: North Phoenix


Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Michele Laudig's column will return next week.
Yasha From Russia European Market, 10240 N. 32nd St., Phoenix

Customer satisfaction and service with a smile is Yasha's ultimate goal. In Russia, according to Gavaev, a customer complaint is handled by cursing and showing the customer the door. "This is not Russia. The customer is always right, so if we make mistakes, we're sorry and we're going to fix it."

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