East Meets West

Eastern Europe gets California fresh at Doma Kitchen’s new location in Marina del Rey

Written by Constance Dunn
Photography by Paul Jonason

In Russian, doma means “home.” It’s a fitting name for the new eatery tucked in a Marina del Rey shopping center that serves hearty Eastern Euro-inspired dishes like Chicken Kiev, beet-filled borsht and homemade dumplings. If the name Doma Kitchen sounds familiar, it’s because the restaurant has been around for a spell. Its first incarnation was as a pop-up in Redondo Beach before it became a Manhattan Beach mainstay, where its kale salad spiked with feta, cranberries and edamame was a hit with local residents.

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For owner Angie Corrente, who’s a welcoming fixture at her restaurant’s new digs, the decision to move to the Marina was a mix of pragmatism (they wanted a bigger space) and a desire to spread Doma’s unique brand of health-crossed Euro comfort food deeper into Los Angeles. “On the West Coast, Eastern Europe and modern European cuisine is hard to find,” says Corrente, sitting at one of the communal tables in the restaurant’s cool, airy new space. “We wanted to offer something that was familiar, yet new and healthy.”

img_6404That’s the unique draw of Doma Kitchen. The menu pulls principally from the kitchens of Eastern Europe, then tailors those dishes to the health-minded, fresh-fare tastes of today’s Southern California consumers. “We look to different regions for our menu that either we’ve been to, or we’re from,” notes Corrente, who was born in Ukraine and came to the U.S. with family at age 10. (Doma’s chef, Kristina Miksyte, is originally from Lithuania and hails from a family of cooks.) “I wanted to bring something from my family tradition,” Corrente adds. “Some of the recipes, but modernized, making them relevant to our weather and our culture here in California.”

Lithuanian-style potato vareniki (dumplings) are made with healthful shiitake mushrooms. Hearty Bavarian whole-grain bread accompanies the borscht, a house specialty, and the Chicken Kiev is served with pearl couscous and a menagerie of sautéed vegetables. Breakfast and lunch are also served at Doma, with hits like a Brighton Beach Benedict (it comes with potato latkes) and Euro Tacos. Not exclusively Eastern European in its focus, the menu also includes Italian pasta with chicken meatballs, a vegetable and noodle stew from central Asia (Lagman) and a Belgian Bistro moules frites (mussels with potato fries).

img_6414Corrente, a lifelong creative who spent years in the fashion world, has been happily sculpting the new Doma Kitchen location into a space that satisfies much more than mere appetite. The work of local artists hang on the wall, and the row of seating benches along the wall are clad in denim, a nod to her days as a designer at Levi’s. Her goal—from the handspun cuisine (nearly everything, down to the dill butter and ketchup, is made from scratch) and open kitchen to the live music and adjoining lounge—is to offer an experience of comfort, welcome and home. “We have gentlemen who are in their 80s who sit and cry over our borscht, our beef and cabbage soup,” she says. “It takes them back to sitting at their grandmother’s kitchen.”

Want a taste of Doma Kitchen? Head to Pavilions at Marina Marketplace. The restaurant is tucked in a courtyard, directly to the right of the store.

DOMA KITCHEN
4325 Glencoe Avenue #8
Marina del Rey CA, 90292
310.301.0582
DomaKitchen.com

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