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Ethiopian Food?

Jigsaw Aug 26, 2011 09:15 AM

I've heard great things about Ethiopian food, but haven't managed to try any yet. Any recommendations in OC/LA? Thanks!

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  1. ocshooter RE: Jigsaw Aug 26, 2011 09:39 AM

    In OC, there is a little center of African Food in Anaheim. Merhaba (actually Eritrian food) is one that I have been to and enjoy. Tana is also in Anahim, though I have not been.

    In LA, there is a center of Ethiopian cuisine on Fairfax, south of Olympic. I have been to one or two, but it has been a while.

    Tana Ethiopian Restaurant and Market
    2622 W La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

    E A Merhaba Shop & Coffee
    2801 W Ball Rd # 5, Anaheim, CA

    7 Replies
    1. re: ocshooter
      SIMIHOUND RE: ocshooter Aug 26, 2011 02:21 PM


      Little Ethiopia has the best choices is the best in the LA area. It is on Fairfax near Pico.

      1. re: SIMIHOUND
        J.L. RE: SIMIHOUND Aug 26, 2011 05:01 PM

        Nyala and Meals by Genet are nice eateries in the aforementioned Fairfax area.

        1. re: J.L.
          WildSwede RE: J.L. Aug 26, 2011 05:27 PM

          My favorite is Mercado.

          1. re: WildSwede
            J.L. RE: WildSwede Aug 26, 2011 06:40 PM

            You mean Merkato?

            1036 1 2 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA

            1. re: J.L.
              WildSwede RE: J.L. Aug 27, 2011 09:42 AM

              LOL, yes, guess I had my Mexican hat on when I typed that! Thanks for clarifying.

          2. re: J.L.
            Dogbite Williams RE: J.L. Aug 26, 2011 07:29 PM

            I love Meals by Genet. The Vegan Combo is superb, certainly the best vegan meal I've ever had by a wide margin (I eat meat).

        2. re: ocshooter
          Joani Macaroni RE: ocshooter Aug 26, 2011 07:22 PM

          We've been to Tana and enjoyed it. It's a small spot in a small strip mall (with a Kenyan restaurant nearby- we haven't been there yet). A little tricky to find. Very casual. Not the place to go if you're in a hurry; relax and enjoy is more the mood, and if it's busy you may have a longer wait. It's been reviewed here about a year ago, the reviews were informative. Not for those who don't like touching their food (although you can use utensils) as you use the "bread" which is soft, pliable, somewhat spongy, to use to pick up the rest of the food, as I recall.

          Tana Ethiopian Restaurant and Market
          2622 W La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

        3. c
          coffeebrownies RE: Jigsaw Aug 26, 2011 06:43 PM

          We like Rosalinds and they have a yelp deal going on right now.

          1 Reply
          1. re: coffeebrownies
            Will Owen RE: coffeebrownies Dec 31, 2011 01:41 PM

            Our first time at Rosalind's, our waitress was delighted at the opportunity to teach us about Ethiopian food, how to eat it without getting it all over you, and everything we ordered was very fresh and very good. On our second trip we took another couple who never had ANY Ethiopian food before (we'd had some before, but no instruction in the use of injera), so of course we got a total crab of a server who seemed to regard our every order as an insult, spent as little time at our table as possible, and served us dishes that tasted as though they'd been on the steam table since last Wednesday – starchy, flavorless, and barely warm. Our friends were polite about it but have not asked to go back.

            Granted, that was two random Saturday afternoons, the only time we can easily get to that part of town. But for anyone who, like us, does not live nearby and would probably not be a regular repeat customer I'd hesitate to recommend the place without reservation. That's too bad, because it's a nicely laid-out spot, especially the nice covered brick porch with tables overlooking the sidewalk. And when the food is fresh, it's very good indeed.

          2. westsidegal RE: Jigsaw Aug 28, 2011 01:36 PM

            a few years ago when ethiopian was on my regular rotation, i used to like AWASH.

            don't even know if they're still around.
            the problem with Meals by Genet was that they were closed on mondays AND tuesdays, and irrc they were never open for lunch.
            i also used to like the AYCE vegetarian lunch at rahel.
            the rahel lunch was NOT a buffet steam table affair---they would serve you and you could order additional amounts of the selections that you liked until you were full.

            also, to my palate, the injeria at rahal tasted more of teff than it did of wheat. many of the other fairfax eateries' injeria tasted much more wheaty.

            2 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal
              mollyomormon RE: westsidegal Aug 28, 2011 04:50 PM

              Rahel is one of my favorite restaurants in LA. Here's a great write-up by exilekiss:


              1. re: westsidegal
                rplatkin RE: westsidegal Dec 30, 2011 10:20 PM

                Have gone to the Awash for many years after it was recommended by a Ethiopian co-workers. Generally, very good, especially the trout -vegetable combination. The food is almost always excellent, but the service is slow. Sometimes we have called in our orders about 45 to 60 minutes ahead of our arrival.

              2. s
                stevenr29 RE: Jigsaw Aug 29, 2011 10:00 AM

                For me, its Merkato on Fairfax hands down. I have been eating Ethiopian food for almost 20 years and have tried everything on Fairfax. Since first trying Merkato years ago, I have stopped eating at any other Ethiopian place in LA. I find their recipes to be the most flavorful, most bold, most delicious and the low prices are ridiculous, especially for the portion sizes. My go to dishes are the red lentils (best lentil dish ever) and kitfo. When I'm not super hungry, I get the kitfo sandwich, which is served on this amazing baguette. The salad is fantastic, too and is served alongside most dishes.

                As a side note, I recently traveled to the bay area and heard about several Ethiopian restaurants in Oakland. I made it to one and thought it was great...check the chowhound boards for the bay area for recommendations.

                1036 1 2 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                3 Replies
                1. re: stevenr29
                  WildSwede RE: stevenr29 Aug 29, 2011 10:45 AM

                  Completely agree. I have tried several other restaurants but always come back to Merkado as the flavor and prices are the best. My favorite is the vegetarian combo (red lentils being my most favorite) and the fried whole fish. I love the fact that they have mitmita on the table. Other places do not.

                  1. re: WildSwede
                    Kitchen Queen RE: WildSwede Aug 29, 2011 12:54 PM

                    Another vote for Merkato. Vege plate and or the fried fish. AND, don't forget to have the Ethiopian tea!
                    I have been to Ensarro in Oakland - 2years ago. It was delicious then. Family owned and run. Momma in the back cooking. Right across the street from Lake Merrit. http://enssaro.com/

                    1036 1 2 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                    1. re: Kitchen Queen
                      WildSwede RE: Kitchen Queen Aug 29, 2011 03:55 PM

                      ... and the coffee service is not to me missed, either! Thanks!

                2. m
                  magiccat RE: Jigsaw Mar 24, 2012 05:20 PM

                  Having eaten Ethiopian food around the US (but not in Ethiopia), and in all of the DC and Fairfax Blvd. restaurants, I have to weigh in heavily in favor of Genet, who prepares the fresh salad-type accompaniments ignored by the others.

                  Anyone that enjoys flavorful food, spicy or not, will love this.

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