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Ethiopian ??

Went to 3 Ethiopian restaurants recently in Fairfax; Genet, Rosalind's and Messob. Food was fine but service terrible. Anyone else experience this? Maybe it happens on Saturday night, but... ??

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  1. i've always had good service at rahel.
    only went to meals by genet once, the service was fine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: westsidegal

      I have the best service at Rahel, too. Keep in ind, ethiopian diningh habits are similar to those in france. We would consider the service very slow, because ehtiopians use mealtimes as gathering times, and traditionally take several hours per meal.

    2. I usually go to Genet's, and the service has always been good. In fact, once I was having a goodly leftover portion of my dinner wrapped up to take home, and Genet personally came out to inquire if there was anything wrong with the dinner/could they do anything to make it up to me (dinner was excellent, I just was just full).

      I've never been on a Saturday night, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sidwich

        Yeah, we went to Genets this weekend and service was fine, if anything a little fawning (When I ordered my Kitfo, they made sure I knew I what I was getting into... LOL!!)


      2. I've always found the service at Messob to be wonderful, no matter if I was there alone, as a couple, or as a large group. I'm surprised to hear that the service was poor.

        1. I've always found the service at Messob to be wonderful, no matter if I was there alone, as a couple, or as a large group. I'm surprised to hear that the service was poor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: glutton

            I was at Messob again last Thursday night. No problems to speak of. They patiently described each dish to the table while I translated (it was a table full of Colombians who speak no English) and the service was attentive throughout. The food, was great, as always.

          2. I have not been to any of those you mention, but have been to Merkato (my fave) and Messob. Service is very slow at both (I have been to Merkato several times and Messob once (last week), but service seems to be better at Merkato. At Messob we ordered our drinks and they came one hour later when she decided to take our order. Then food took another hour to get our food! And it wasn't as good as Merkato. I have been told that the laid-back style of the servers may be a cultural thing (don't rush, relax and enjoy). That is why when I go for Ethiopian, I know I have to expect for it to take much longer and be at a much slower place than anywhere else.

            1. Have you been to Nyala? I don't know if we have different standards for service, but I've always found the service (and food) good there. However, I've been to some of the other places mentioned and didn't have any particular problem with the service.

              9 Replies
              1. re: will47

                I did go to Merkato a while back and the service was fine but I wasn't crazy about the food. Oh well, I'll try some places during the week and see if there's a difference. I was so disappointed by the service at Messob (almost 1 hour wait for a table in a drafty adjoining room, waitress forgot our coffee order and then spilled coffee on my hand, never got the water I requested, etc. etc.) that i think I'll skip that one.

                1. re: TastELA

                  Sorry that you didn't like the food at Merkato. I agree with you on Messob.
                  One of the doctors at my work is Ethiopian and he said that the place they go when they go out to eat Ethiopian is Awash on Pico west of Fairfax. Cash only.

                  1. re: WildSwede

                    I go with my Ethiopian neighbor to Awash. They probably don't have an A, but food and Service are great. Don't bother ordering the wine:)

                2. re: will47

                  I think the food is better at Messob, when compared to Nyala. And I am really surprised to hear that so many people have had painfully slow service at Messob. I've been there many, many times and have had no complaints. Perhaps I've been lucky.

                  1. re: glutton

                    I went to Messob today for the first time and its was pretty bad as ethiopian goes. The injera was dry and not spongy at all, the meat was over done and a bit tough, and the chicken was the same. I wouldn't go to this place again.

                    Nyala is okay but I think Rosalind's is better. I'll try Merkato next time and see.

                  2. re: will47

                    Nyala's is my favorite, I like the food best there and the service is good too. Rahel's comes in 2nd... a few more elegant touches in service, but I liked Nyala's food better (Rahel's is vegetarian)

                    Never been to Messob... sounds like I should try it...

                      1. re: aboice

                        I like Nyala too, but the service is so so slow.

                    1. I recently tried Ibex on La Brea in Inglewood. It was pretty good, but my only comparison is Rosalinds, which I really enjoyed. Ibex was tasty but not amazing, but then again it is cheaper than the other places. I wouldn't travel too far to try it but it is closer for the South Bay hounds.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: young_chower

                        although i prefer rahel, i am so far away from her. . .
                        so, i ended up with ibex on my regular rotation.
                        ibex is not so much like a formal restaurant, it is more like being served from someone's home kitchen--not every dish is available all the time and not every dish that they serve is mentioned on their menu.
                        in particular, on occasion they have a fabulous cold green lentil salad stashed in the kitchen.
                        also, at ibex, if the restaurant is full, there will be a longer wait.
                        still, the service is very friendly and the food is good and it is CLOSE to where i live.

                      2. Which serves the most spicey food and freshest greens?

                        1. I've been to and absolutely enjoyed Messob, Merkato, Rahel, and Meals by Genet in the last year or so, and while I find the food comes out fairly quickly and the servers are very gracious, the weak link is in the drinks department. At Rahel it's not a problem when you bring your own beer, but at the other places I've definitely had to wait an unusually long time to get a beer and sometimes have had to remind servers once or twice, only still to be kept waiting again. Now I order my next beer when I'm about halfway through the current one. Same with water refills. Unfortunately, there can still be drink gaps, which I do find annoying, even as I try to be, uh, culturally sensitive.
                          But I still gladly patronize those places. I love all of their vegetarian platters!