Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Lisa and Dennis have birthdays in the same month and we typically pick a date in the middle to celebrate. This year I suggested Pomegranate for some Georgian/Russian food. First off, it's important to note there are TWO restaurants referenced as "Pomegranate," this one (Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate) in Golden Hill and the original Pomegranate in North Park. I found this out the hard way when a girlfriend suggested meeting at Pomegranate and they were actually at the Kafe Sobaka location instead! For this visit, I made sure to tell the family which street the restaurant was on!

Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Pomegranate started on El Cajon Blvd in the North Park area but the owners sold that location and they opened Kafe Sobaka in Golden Hill. Interesting enough, both restaurants still serve the same delicious dishes but the GH location is open for both lunch and dinner. Be aware that the phone numbers listed on google/yelp are only ONE number different! Make sure you know which place you are trying to go to!

After successfully making it to the right restaurant, the family was seated in the back room. We were handed menus, and as I expected, there was some conversations regarding the humorous descriptions of the foods... you'll read them soon...

mules at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Our happy birthday folks decided to start out with some mules to drink. There were three different variations you could order: herbal, spicy or sweet. Herbal was essentially mint flavor, the spicy one provided a stronger ginger bite and the sweet was a bit on the syrupy side.

bread and butter at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

As an appetizer, we were served two platters of soft crusted fluffy bread with a side of chilled garlic butter.

Khachapuri (cheese pie) at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Khachapuri: Cheese pie, “Life without khachapuri is a pure waste.” – Evokes passionate praise from the lips of any Georgian. A medley of cheeses folded into a dough crust. (A hot samovar tea or a glass of light wine will put you into an agreeable mood.) $10

When asked if we wanted to try their cheesy bread, we thought why not? It was quite large too, perhaps 8 inches in diameter, and reminded us of the pupusas we had at Cuscatlan Salvadorian Cuisine last year. The ratio of cheese to crust was perfect - a feta and mozzarella mix surrounded by a thicker buttery flaky crust.

Zakuski sampler platter at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Zakuski sampler platter - For those who left their GPS in the car, allow our wait staff to orient you to the possibilities.

The appetizer platter was filled with cold salads and pasta salads, with plenty to share amongst family. It would also make for a good vegetarian platter too.

In the middle was a very cole-slaw type food. Going counter-clockwise, the top left sampler was a type of potato salad with dill and light mayo. Below it were red beets that just melted in your mouth, some shredded carrot with a little bit of heat and more beets that were spiced rather than sweet. The neutral colored item on the bottom right was a bit pickled, followed by chilled eggplant with the normal taste and texture. The last item was supposed to have the most heat but this pate-like item turned out to be one of my favorites and wasn't spicy to me.

Zharenniyi Yazyik (beef tongue) at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Zharenniyi Yazyik: Beef tongue wrapped in blanket of herbs and roasted in ghee butter. If you are feeling really indulgent you should treat yourself to this dish. Our Georgian beef tongue with your choice of zakuski can easily be the tongue of the town under the circumstances. A decadent feast for $14.50

The beef tongue was cut into thicker steaks. Slightly fried on the outside, these had a crispy texture against the fattier and softer interior. The smaller vinegary red sauce was slightly mealy but added a nice acidity to the meat. The second item was more of the pickled and spicy beet. Both items were the same items from the sampler earlier.

Chakhokhbili (chicken) at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Chakhokhbili - Is a chicken dish that is refreshing and slightly tangy with lemon, tomato, garlic, and a bunch of fresh herbs. It is healthy, simple, and delectable. $16

The stewed chicken felt a bit stringy and sucked of moisture even when sitting in a pool of drippings. The fluffy rice was a mellow broth flavor. I was quite underwhelmed by this dish, especially after sampling multiple dishes prior.

Chicken Shashlik at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Chicken Shashlick - (Thursday through Sunday only) Is tantalizing meat fire roasted on long evil-looking daggers until it is as tender and juicy as the lips of your lover.  Just be patient it could take 20 minutes until the flesh is just right. Chicken $17

Now THIS was finger-licking good chicken. So plump and savory and I wanted it all. The server asks if you want pomegranate sauce which is where the dark sauce squiggles come into play. On the side were a few vegetables that were overshadowed by the glorious main entree. 

Golubsti (stuffed cabbage) at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Golubsti - Cabbage or bell peppers stuffed with herb, spices,  ground meat, and  different grains. $13 (large)

I had this on my last visit and knew I had to order it again. The combo of cabbage surrounding seasoned beef with aromatic chunky red sauce sends my senses to heaven. Dunk in sour cream if that's how you like it. There's rice on the side to make it a complete meal.

Beef Stroganov at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Beef Stroganov - Russia's passage to the true age of enlightenment. Ask your server for suggestions for pairing wine to further indulge yourself in this marvel. $18

I have a quickie recipe at home using canned cream of mushroom but nothing beats the real thing. The Stroganov sauce has a rich mushroom creaminess: the majority of our party thought the flavor was point on while one thought it was a little too creamy. There were plenty of mushrooms on top but it still could have used a tiny bit more content. I am wary about stew meat since it can easily be overcooked but this one seemed fine.

Lamb special at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Lamb Shank special $26

This entree was a special of the night and comes with rice and potatoes and huge piece of lamb in its own container. Dennis started shredding it to make it easier to share and noted that it fell off the bone easily. Some portions of meat were fatty and more tender than others but sis-in-law mentioned it was quite gamy. The veggies were soaking underneath the meat in its rich fatty meat juices. I think that was what I liked best.

Sour Cherry Sorbet and Plum Wine Ice Cream at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate Honey Vanilla Ice Cream at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate

Homemade Ice Creams - picked up along the silk route to California $6.50

This place has multiple ice creams which I believe are all made in house. Birthday boy Dennis went with the "chef's experimental" which was sour cherry sorbet. The sorbet was wonderful and we found pieces of sour cherries at the bottom, giving it a different fruit texture. Birthday girl Lisa got the plum wine ice cream which was interesting to say the least.. it didn't have much taste other than a heavy cream feel. Little brother Robin ordered the honey vanilla, a flavor I would have never ordered on my own, but it turned out to be everyone's favorite! It was a creamy flavor without a sticky sweetness... just a great balance overall.

The back room ended up being a private setting, especially since the rest of the patrons were in the main dining area. There's no fee to use it and whoever gets there first can request a movie to be played on the screen (a small selection of foreign movies is available). Dennis didn't even know about this secret room even though we've been here before! You enter by passing the hostess stand/kitchen entrance and taking a right! As for service, everyone was friendly and the food came out in a reasonable time. The restaurant location is close to the freeway and parking is easy compared to the busier food areas in San Diego. I can't wait to go back for more delicious eats!

Kafe Sobaka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate
2469 Broadway
San Diego CA 92102
(619) 297-4007

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table's picture
Submitted by Laura @ Sprint ... (not verified) on Mon, 05/16/2016 - 12:58pm

We are definitely gong to have to try this one out! I love the menu descriptions. That in and of itself is worth a trip. ;)

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:46pm

the food is worth a trip too hehe

J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats's picture
Submitted by J.S. @ Sun Dieg... (not verified) on Mon, 05/16/2016 - 2:10pm

I love this place, I went a long time ago when my dad was visiting and the menu descriptions are so funny. I think I forgot that they had strogonoff, one of my favourites. Your post reminded me I have to re-visit soon :)

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:47pm

hope you do revisit and show us artsy pics of what you ate =p

soo @ hungryones.com's picture
Submitted by soo @ hungryones.com (not verified) on Wed, 05/18/2016 - 12:14pm

Ooh... That place sure looks exotic. I never had Russian food before. Interesting gelato flavors. I love honey vanilla. :-)

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:49pm

you should take maggie here. you can eat the yummy kababs and desserts hehe.

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Thu, 05/19/2016 - 8:23am

I love mule cups. They are the best! The herbs in the herbal one look nice - I think I’d want to try that one.

The cheese pie looks like something that’s right up my alley! Yum!

I do love the menu descriptions! I’ve read the menu before and yet I still haven’t been here. Silly me. The Chicken Shashlick looks really yummy with the sauce drizzled on it. Looks like you guys were really able to sample a lot of the menu!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:50pm

there were a few items we didn't order this time that were also good. imagine... pierogies! =D

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Thu, 05/19/2016 - 10:30am

I have ALWAYS wanted to try Pomegranate! I didn't realize there were two of them so thanks for the tip. That cheese dish looks so good especially with the buttery crust. I would totally order the chicken kabob dish. I love your mention of canned mushroom b/c that can of mushrooms made alot of college meals for me (mushroom chicken, mushroom beef, mushroom rice, etc etc).

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:51pm

i hope you do visit! i'm still a bit shocked at how much i like the food. it's high on my list right now and doesn't really break the bank.

caninecologne's picture
Submitted by caninecologne (not verified) on Thu, 05/19/2016 - 7:40pm

We like this place (their menu descriptions are so funny!). I took my friends here a few years ago for a birthday celebration. We really enjoyed the salad sampler, the stroganov, the Derevesnkaya Skovorodka (potatoes, onions, mushrooms and herbs fried in duck fat and served in a skillet), the piroshki (savory pies) and the borscht.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:53pm

even with our large party, it'd be hard to order ALL the good things they serve! we almost got the borscht that day but I can always come back for it! =D

caninecologne's picture
Submitted by caninecologne (not verified) on Mon, 08/21/2017 - 9:38pm

Wow, how did I even miss this post last year? Lovely photos of the food. You tried a bunch of stuff I hadn't before like the tongue and the stewed chicken. I've eaten here several times before with my family and also some girlfriends and each time, the food was excellent. You can't get bored in this restaurant, from the decor to the interesting and delicious entree and the menu descriptions!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Tue, 08/22/2017 - 12:58pm

there are even more items that i've tried on another visit that isn't even listed here! i thnk some kind of dumpling or potato item? seriously though, this place is one of my favorites! just about everything is great.

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