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May 12, 2008 12:18 PM

little ethiopia on Fairfax

i haven't eaten here in years and was wondering which restaurant is the best? i suppose i'm looking for the best quality/tasting of all the places on that street. if i had to go to just one restaurant, which would it be? thanks.

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  1. The best Ethiopian in my book is AWASH, not on Fairfax, but on Pico.
    Don't ask me for best dishes, I have no idea.
    I only go with Ethiopian friends, they do the ordering.
    All very flavorful, excellent stuff, family owned/managed/cooked/serviced!
    (Sorry, not on any fancy & schmanzy ratings list, as far as I know)

    5990 1/2 W Pico Blvd - At Steams Dr
    Los Angeles, CA 90035
    323 939-3233

    5 Replies
    1. re: RicRios

      forgot to mention that i'm veggie... does Awash have lots of veggie options?

      1. re: Clyde

        Hmm, that's a tough one. Please call them and ask.

        1. re: Clyde

          they serve a terrific vegetarian platter

            1. re: Diana

              actually, imho, it is as good as rahel.
              nonetheless, when given the choice i go to rahel because the restaurant is so much more pleasant, and because rahel is so much nicer than any of the folks i've been exposed to at awash.

      2. I love Rahel. Just was there last Saturday, and had the milenium platter! YUM! The pumpkin was sooooooooo good.

        Other people like Meals By Genet, but in my mind, you don't get as much, or as good, for your $$$

        8 Replies
        1. re: Diana

          I was about to start a thread asking this very question. In reading posts here and yelp (and elsewhere) Rahel and Genet seem to come up again and again.

          Are there specific dishes upon which you base your comparison?

          is Meals by Genet that much more expensive? I know Rahel is all veg, which is great by me, but are there meat dishes we would miss out on by picking Rahel over Genet?

          any and all other opinions appreciated.

          1. re: tex.s.toast

            I just prefer the flavors and quality and portions at Rahel. I find that on here, ethiopian favorites are really totally subjective. Genet is more expensive, probably the costliest on the block, but it is good! I just like Rahel better.

            as I said, the pumpkin I had this weekend was divine!

            1. re: tex.s.toast

              i go to both of them regularly.
              they each have their own allure.

              1. re: westsidegal

                could either of you venture to put into more words what those differences are?

                total subjectivity granted, and given that some people choose to patronize both, what would make the decision if i only had one meal and was looking to choose between them?

                Rahel isnt as pricy - which i would say is appreciable but somewhat less of a concern given the one-time-only situation i find myself in. Atmosphere comparisons? does one have a better range of dishes (less important for 1 visit only) does either one have a definitive dish that can not be missed?

                1. re: tex.s.toast

                  Genet looks more like a ritzy american bistro-candles, tablecloths and such. Rahel looks more like a Little Ethiopia eating spot, that locals go to. It also has regular seating or traditional messob tables.

                  The food from ethiopia can differe widely in spicing and flavor, as ethiopia has a wide range of regions and influences-right up to italian (genet does pasta as well as ethipian familiar dishes.

                  I would say Genet is an upscale place non ethiopians go to feel more familiar and comfy Rahel is where locals go to get take out to walk home, as well as pacakes of injera (rahel makes the best) and where you can get a meal more like what the local ethiopian LA population enjoys. Genet has meat, Rahel is totally veggie. Meat is not really eaten in great amounts in ethiopia, although most spots on fairfax serve it as tibs and in wots.
                  Untradtionally, Rahel does not use butter in her cooking, she uses olive oil. It is totally vegan.

                  I love her Besso-barley "smoothie" Rahel is also BYOB with no corkage. If you go, get the Hudade, Special, or Millennium combo platters, YUM!

                  also, I find rahel gives you slightly larger portions. I found genet to be a little skimpy, even with legumes! And her injera wasn't as good as Rahel.

                  But it really all comes down to how you prefer your ethiopian spices. Nyala is also an option, and I found the spices way different than Rahel or Genet.

                  1. re: Diana

                    thank you for your lengthy and considerably well thought-out comments. if i remember (which i will try to do) and i can find this post (no promises) in two weeks after my visit, ill be sure to try and update with where we went and what the food was like. thanks.

                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      well, you can add it to favorite posts, or look in your profile for it.

                    2. re: Diana

                      i believe that rahel's injera is so superior to everyone else's injera because she uses more teff than the others.

            2. Clyde -

              I go to Merkato. Turned on by an Ethiopian contact. Says this is what an Ethiopian cafe would be like "back home" . Get their vege plate for 6$ - tons of injera and smears ...........YUMM! If you eat fish add one it's also really good. Meal could be complemented w the Ethiopian tea.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kitchen Queen

                Merkato always gets my vote, too. The vegetarian platter is amazing. Fried fish is also really good. I make my own paste of the chili powder on the table, salt and lemon and smear it on everything. I even have three huge containers of it in my fridge!! Wots are really good. Also, they have a beef dish with jalapenos which is not very spicy (but becomes so once I dip them into my "special sauce"). Now I am craving it!!
                One of the Sr. Biostatisticians here at work is from Ethiopia (his wife is a fabulous cook) and when she is not in the mood to cook they head to Awash. It is their favorite. They also like Merkato. His friend owns Awash and he said that every time he goes, he has the owner sit with him in hopes that he gets better/quicker service - but he says even that doesn't work.

              2. Nyala is nice for atmosphere, but Wolfgang Puck's wife, Gelila, who is from Ethiopia, suggested that I try Awash. It didn't look very promising from the outside at all, but the food was tasty. I'm not sure about their veggie options. You can read about our entire experience here:


                2 Replies
                1. re: grubtrotters

                  Next time don't forget asking for a sip of their home made honey wine.

                  1. re: RicRios

                    Many people find it cloying, but I love honey wine. I order it at Nyala all the time, and I had no idea Awash made its own. Thanks for the tip!