>> Otto's Hungarian Import Store & Delicatessen | Eat the World Los Angeles

Sunday 7 February 2021

Otto's Hungarian Import Store & Delicatessen


COVID-19 UPDATE: The market is not currently making prepared sandwiches to order, but otherwise is operating as normal.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As far as I know, this is the only place to procure "un-Americanized" Hungarian foods in Greater Los Angeles. Otherwise this location would not normally be something to include and recommend. Its shelves are stocked with expired goods that have numbers intentionally rubbed out or otherwise obscured. With no tags, pricing seems to be made up at the register and at least twice as high as similar goods might be found in other stores.

The important word "Hungarian" is now omitted on the outside sign of Otto's in Burbank, but it does not take long when you come inside to figure it out. Unless you have been here before, it will however, take you a while to find what you are looking for in the untidy aisles.

The son of Otto, who grew up here, now runs the shop. Plenty of Balkan ajvars share shelf space with chocolate bars and candies, Hungarian wines, and all manner of goods.

The deli lives on a quiet street amongst Burbank's homes and most times when you come in things will be just as quiet inside. It is the type of place that gets a lot of conflicting reactions online, even more so than usual.

Five star rave reviews, "grown up with this place!" alongside one star "expired moldy food!" reviews. In respect to this, do your homework before coming if these things are of concern.

One recent trip to the deli successfully found some unexpired Romanian ajvar ($7.99) and Hungarian apricot butter ($12.99) as well as some freshly made (non-moldy) rye bread with caraway seeds ($6.99) to spread it all over.

In addition, a slice of some smooth Hungarian cheese in a red wax wrapper came to $18.17, and is quite delicious.

The airy wafer cookie candy Balaton ($2.49, above) is one of many imported snacks that are available to pick up on any visit for those missing their favorite childhood snacks. It is named for a beautiful lake in Hungary popular for family holidays.

And that frozen package at the bottom of the group photo above? That would be some "Hungarian-style" stuffed cabbage that is surprisingly sold by weight (!!) and clocks in at $24.99 when rang up. Holding back a choke, the eventual deliciousness was imagined and the final bill of $73.99 was swiped.


Unfortunately, they are terrible. The tomato gravy is sickeningly sweet, and the fillings are just boring. If that still interests you, the package is available from other places for MUCH cheaper.

It is not even imported.


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