7 Best Things To Eat at Elza Fancy Foods

Kuksu is a noodle soup whose name means "noodle soup" in Korean.

This week Counter Culture rolls into one of the city's most unique restaurants, Elza Fancy Foods. The menu represents the Uzbek-Korean-Russian cooking of Uzbekistan's Korean population. Much of the food is cheap, fascinating, and delicious, too. Here are our recommendations for the first-timer.

1. Kuksu (above photo) -- At first glance this looks like a routine Chinese lo mein soup, only skewed toward Korean tastes, but a second reveals that the roster of ingredients makes this more like a floating form of bibimbap. And who ever heard of lo mein with lamb? No matter how you interpret it, the soup is scrumptious and a perfect light meal.

2. Chicken Tabaka -- This Georgian invention (aka "roadkill chicken") is smashed under a brick as it's roasted, and was transmitted to nearly every corner of the former Soviet Union. In the Korean-Uzbek style, though, it's presented without broth and smeared with a sweet chili sauce.

3. Mash-Hurdy -- Basically, it's a minute steak smeared with mayo and wrapped up inside a thin omelet. Did it originate as a Uzbek form of fast food? Origin aside, this wrap is one you won't be embarrassed to be seen eating.

This is the Brighton Beach branch, but there's one nearly identical in Bensonhurst.

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...Chicken Tabaka, a Georgian invention?  No.  Nor is it "smashed under a brick," And it is not a Georgian invention. It is probably a migratory recipe that came from the far west of Europe or far east of Europe! Passed on from wandering tribes throughout the Eurasian continent.  Croations and Northern Italians have been using this method of cooking chicken under a "weight" for centuries.  Probably the rest of Italy, the French, Greeks, and every other Mediterranean country makes a similar dish. It involves placing a weight, i.e. "brick" wrapped in aluminum foil, (or, small pot filled with water, with the outer bottom and sides wrapped in aluminum foil , the modern method), on top of an herbed chicken with spine removed and flattened in a pot atop the stove. The chicken is rubbed with herbs and garlic, salt and pepper. (Sometimes the prepared chicken is grilled with "weights probably a far older recipe which used bricks or, heaven forbid, plain old rocks! And without aluminum covering to keep the germs off!!!! OMG) .  The result is a delicious, moist chicken, browned with a thin crisp skin, not tough and thick. Actually, I just made this chicken tonight.  A  three and one half pound chicken cooked so quickly it was remarkable and delicious!  Hint: use poultry shears-they a miracle when cutting chicken! Seek out recipes on the web and pick the best or use a combination of recipes to arrive at the best chicken for you!


This place is amazing. I love coming here. The food is delishes. There is nothing negative about it. The staff is friendly and the food is yummy. You need to try it, if you don't you missing out.

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