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Ethiopian Restaurant Recs...

Wondering which Ethiopian restaurant to visit among those clustered along Fairfax and La Brea Boulevards. I am familiar with the food, but would like to take some friends who have never tried it. Is there one that would be suitable for regulars and newbies alike? Thanks, hounds!

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  1. Meals By Genet is my favourite.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hrhboo

      I second the Meals by Genet suggestion.

      Make sure to get the vegetarian platter for you and your friends, which you can eat by itself or along with one of the meat dishes.

      1. re: SumYungGai

        Definitely Meals by Genet. Get the vegetarian platter and the lamb stew.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          I agree with the Lamb Stew! One word or warning, their menu is small and a bit more pricy than other places, but the serving sizes are VERY generous... especially with that stew... Yumm...

          --Dommy!

    2. There have been a couple recent long threads on exactly this topic. I stand by my favorite, Messob, for good food for newbies and veterans alike. Some have complained of slow service, but I have never once had that problem. I think it is much better than Nyala.

      1. well...i have to say that when it comes to eating ethiopian food...i only dig AWASH on Pico blvd. just WEST of Fairfax on the South side of the street. This is family owned and operated...the inside looks like a "home" and everyone in there is either related or "extended family" don't be discouraged though because the servers are kind. This is THE ONE AND ONLY ethi restaurant i've been to in my life (or as far as i can remember) and i am part-ethi...I've only had food cooked in the home of friends/fam and i can say that the food at AWASH reflects homecooked ethi food. I have taken all my friends there...all with very distinct palates and they have all enjoyed it.

        As far as the wait for food...well if you go to a restaurant and your food is served QUICKFIRE it ain't authentic...ethiopian food takes time to cook, so sit down have some tea or beer and engage with those you are dining with.

        2 Replies
        1. re: artfoodhistorianista

          Second Awash. I've tried several others. Be laid back about the service and "ambiance." Don't go for the wine.

          1. re: artfoodhistorianista

            One of the MDs here at work is Ethiopian (his wife is, too) and he told me that they only go to Awash (when his wife does not want to cook). I have not been yet.
            I favor Merkato. Been to Messob and did not like it as much. Actually, I will be going to Merkato tonight - my mom's cousin from Norway is here and is going to have his first taste! All he wants to eat is "Norwegian" food when he gets here - how BORING! Boiled potatoes, fish, blah. Next week we are doing Mexican! We are doing everything we can to liven up his tastebuds!

          2. Meals by Genet. The food is a cut above the rest but it lacks the "African" decor the others have if that bothers you.

            1. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions! It seems that Meals by Genet is the winner, so I'll report back after our visit. Other than the vegetarian plate, is there a meat entree that stands out above the rest?

              4 Replies
              1. re: sebastianxx

                My fave is the lamb stew (alitcha). When you order the veggie platter along with a protein, the meat is placed in the center of the platter surrounded by a dozen or so different vegetable preparations. If there are strict vegetarians in your group you might want to ask for it to be served separately.

                1. re: hrhboo

                  Yes, yes, yes! It's incredibly good.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Oh my. I really need to start ordering other stuff but I just can't get past the lamb! The kitfo is incredible too.

                    1. re: hrhboo

                      KITFO RULES!!! I'M WRITING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I'M YELLING! THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE A GOOD KITFO! I'M PARTIAL TO THE ONE AT MERKATO BECAUSE IT HAS A GOOD SPICE AND CONSISTENCY, VERY SMOOTH AND TENDER!

                      Now I'll quietly say...