EurAsia is a restaurant torn between two identities. Part Japanese sushi house, part restaurant of authentic Russian cuisine, what you get from EurAsia depends on the interests that you bring to the table — and your ability to read foreign languages.
The lunch menu is a good place to start an investigation into what type of restaurant EurAsia really is. From here, you have a chance at discovering the right options for you on their menu. It looks like most other sushi places at first glance. A generous bento box special presents multiple options, and their extensive sushi roll menu is pretty inexpensive — just $4 or $5 for a roll.
Continuing through the menu, though, things begin to change. Most notably, the back page isn’t in English. It is at this point that the conflicting identities of EurAsia reach an impasse. What started out as a Japanese lunch place is now a Russian or Mongolian restaurant. Further, if you can’t read the language on the back then you won’t understand nearly a quarter of the menu. If you pick up one of their to-go menus, you’ll find this same experience in reverse. The first two pages are full of Russian, Mongolian, and Hungarian dishes, while the back page lists their mochi ice cream options.
The exact origin of EurAsia’s cuisine is up for question, but it’s almost certainly somewhere between Tokyo and Moscow. No matter their heritage, what is clear is that EurAsia’s owners picked up some good tips along the way. The Japanese dishes are delicious, and the servings are generally enormous. An order of fried udon noodles comes packed with vegetables — carrots, sweet peppers, mushrooms — all covered in a sweet sauce. A single portion of this is nearly a day’s worth of food. Their Borsh, a Russian soup of beets, cabbage, beef, and vegetables, is one of EurAsia’s most popular items. Its clear broth and subtle flavors hit the right notes for those looking for the authentic Russian dish. While straddling the line between two very different cuisines, both stand on their own and cater to different crowds.
The owners may not be the most talkative — a language barrier blocks much in-depth conversation —but they have established a huge base of followers who come for the authentic food. One look at EurAsia’s Yelp page demonstrates as much. People from Russia, Tibet, and Uzbekistan rave about the place. For many Eurasian expats in the Bay Area, this restaurant is their go-to when craving a home-style dish.
Any outsider, too, would easily enjoy a meal from here. The smell of fresh scallions fills the restaurant during the lunch hours, and the clanking of dishes from the kitchen moves without interruption into the dining space. The restaurant is small, and what happens in the kitchen might as well be happening at your table. Oddly, these elements all work together make the restaurant feel cozy and intimate — like you’re just hanging out in the kitchen with the chef.
Confusing menus and loud dining space aside, EurAsia is worth the visit. Their sashimi comes in fat slices for the small cost, and chances are most people haven’t had many of the items on their Russian/Mongolian menu. Next time you’re feeling adventurous, or if you just want some good miso soup, drop by EurAsia and you can take your pick.
12221 San Pablo Ave, Richmond
Tel. (510) 234-9898
Tuesday - Sunday: 11 am to 9 pm
Check out their Yelp page here.