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Mar 19, 2007 11:11 PM

Ethiopian eats

I just ate in San Diego at Red Sea Ethiopian restaurant and it was so so good. i'm excited to try a restaurant here in Los Angeles. Any strong rec's with dishes i must must try?

i had the injera bread with a spicy lentil, cabbage and collard greens. it was yummy, but i'm hoping to expand my palate.

thanks for the thoughts!

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  1. Meals By Genet on Fairfax in Lil' Ethiopia; either the dorowot or the chicken tibs, both awesome. and Genet is one of the sweetest women you'll ever meet, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: annagranfors

      I'm also fan of Meals by Genet. I'd recommend the Dorowat (it takes days to prepare this multidimentional tasting chicken stew, and it's delish). I also really liked the Kitfo, a very spicy raw beef dish, which I actually thought was raw tuna when it was served because the color was that deep beautiful almost burgundy color. Now Das Ubergeek says (below) that it's actually a dessert, I don't recall it listed that way, we ordered it as a main dish, and it was delicious. The Vegetarian combo is really good too, I loved the fact that all of the portions had different tastes, sometimes you get a combo like this and everything tastes kind of the same, this was not a concern at Meals by Genet. Enjoy.

      1. re: debra

        It's not really "dessert" so much as "the last dish eaten", the way green tea is drunk at the end of a traditional sushi meal.

    2. Not at all an expert, but I too have really enjoyed by encounters wityh Ethipian food -- beginning with the Red Sea in Washington DC. Whenever I've eaten Ethiopian, it's always been served on injera and I always make sure I get a lot of extra on the side. The two places I've eaten at on Fairfax in Little Ethiopida are Nyala and Mesob's. I like Nyala because it is large and can easily accomodate big-get togethers of friends and also gives my two v. young rug-rats room to scamper/crawl a bit. Messob is a smaller with a bit more of a fun, local "look at this hole-in-the-wall I just discovered" feel and the staff is v. friendly -- some people say it's better. I like them both.

      In terms of specific ordering recommendations -- chicken tibs is my go-to dish (a bit less stewy than a lot of the dishes). Other than that, generally just ask the wait-staff for recommendations and go with that as I still don't know my way around the cuisine that well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bite bite

        The above are great suggestions. Most menus will also have some kind of vegetable combo option, so my friends and I usually get that and then choose one or two meat dishes. It's a good way to try a bunch of things without over ordering.

      2. Absolutely Meals by Genet. I don't like doro wat -- it just doesn't do it for me -- but get the vegetable combination and a lamb dish (tibs, wat or alicha, doesn't matter) -- it's absolutely fantastic. And get kitfo for dessert (yes, it's raw meat tossed with spiced butter, and yes, it sounds weird, and yes, it really is dessert -- and very, very tasty).

        Rahel Vegan Cuisine is another good option.

        If you're in Orange County, the only Ethiopian place I know of is actually Eritrean, called Merhaba, on Ball Rd. and Dale Ave. in Anaheim, practically in Stanton. It's a total hole in the wall but the food is good and much better for not having to drive to Fairfax.

        1. Me, I prefer Rahel. More affordable, vegetarian, and yummy. I reccomend the Hudade Combo or special Combo. She is the only one who makes teff injera.

          Messob is also good. Nice wots, and also a selection of interesting meats and veggie dishes.

          Oddly, Rahel used to own Messob before she decided to try an all veggie place

          4 Replies
          1. re: Diana

            gotta agree with your assessment of Rahel.
            of all the places on fairfax, it's definitely my favorite.
            without a doubt, her injera is the best in town.
            her shiro also has the best flavor.

            i'd advise, the next time you go, to ask for some awazay: it's a red pepper based condiment that is delicious.

            1. re: westsidegal

              The food at Rahel was quality but I felt like it was not spicy or salty enough. Has anyone tried asking them to kick it up a notch? Rahel seems like she'd be responsive, but I'm curious if anyone has actually tried successfully to do so.

              1. re: a_and_w

                i've had them serve me awazay and powdered red ethiopian pepper on the side.

          2. I prefer Fassica in Culver City (across from Sony) to anything on Fairfax. Great bright flavors, injera made from scratch (teff without starter); I get the veggie and meat combos and the shiro.

            5 Replies
            1. re: sku

              They do use a starter at Fassica, but I agree that their injera is awesome


              1. re: hrhboo

                Interesting. When I went the woman who was serving and cooking said they didn't.

                1. re: sku

                  I don't suppose it really's delicious regardless and that's all that concerns me!

                  1. re: hrhboo

                    Agreed. Maybe she meant they don't use commercial starter.

              2. re: sku

                i've been to fassica twice.
                the first time, the food was great.
                the second time, the food was completely bland--the green lentils, i swear, had NO seasoning in them.
                i can't fathom what could have led to such differences.
                have not gone back.