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Dec 12, 2006 06:40 AM

ISO African Restaurants...Ethiopian, South African, Rwandan anything...

I have to admit that other than seeing African food on TV, I haven't a clue to the cuisine of the continent. Please help me find authentic representations of any of the countries of Africa, and any recommended foods to order. I'll drive to any SoCal locations, San Diego to Santa Barbara. Thanks Chowhounds!

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  1. Little mentioned on this board is Awash. I first discovered this place when an Ethiopian friend brought me there several years ago. Went back recently with a friend, and although the B rating kept us from getting the Ethiopian steak tartare (kitfo), they do an awesome special meat dish - zilzil? Juicy, tender strips of beef, I think cooked in a pan. My friend usually prefers Rosalind (and swears by their kitfo), but their tibs (beef strips, comes on a sizzling platter) is tough.

    5990 1/2 W Pico Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90035
    (323) 939-3233

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cicely

      Cicely, a B ratings won't be a deterent for any dining adventure for me. I too would stay away from the tartare though.

    2. You're in luck with Ethiopian food, there's a whole Little Ethiopia on Fairfax, just south of Olympic. The best food, in my humbler-than-thou opinion, is to be found at Meals by Genet. Go with another person and get the lamb stew and the vegetable combination.

      Ethopians are mostly Orthodox Christians who follow a stringent dietary code (fasting days, prohibitions of certain foods on certain days) that is a cross between old-line Catholicism and kashrut. No seafood and no pork are allowed. The result is that they make some of the best vegetarian stews ever, and they're actually vegetarian (no chicken stock or nonsense like that).

      Also in the are are Nyala, Messob and Rosalind's, all of which are about the same to me. The injera (sourdough "pancake bread" that serves as both plate and silverware, eat with your right hand only) is better at Messob, the decor's better at Nyala, and it's cheapest at Rosalind's.

      On the Westside is one place called Fassica, on Washington and Motor directly across from Sony. It's not as good as the Little Ethiopia places but it's not bad, and it's an easier drive to the Westside.

      For South African, the only place I know is Springbok on Victory west of Woodley (next to Vallarta Supermarket) in Van Nuys.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Das Ubergeek, Thanks for the Ethiopian cultural culinary lowdown and the recs.

      2. I've dined at Ngoma and have really enjoyed my meal there. A link to the restaurant is below:


        1 Reply
        1. re: pleasurepalate

          Ngoma was probably the worst dining experience I've ever had in my life. I ordered what I thought was a seafood stew. It turned out to be goat stew with dried seafood in it. Nowhere on the menu did it mention it was goat. Also, slow service and bad desserts.

        2. Merhaba Eritrean/Ethiopian Restaurant on Ball and Dale in Anaheim. Never been but it definitely looks interesting.

          2 Replies
          1. re: SouthOCHound

            It's not as good as the places on Fairfax but it's cheaper, and it's in OC which saves some folks a big drive up to LA.

            1. re: SouthOCHound

              SouthOCHound, Ahhh, something in my neck of the woods. I'll probably hit this place first.

            2. i'll second the recommendations for awash, and meals by genet.

              and, while you're at it, check out india sweet house next door to awash.