Little Ethiopia

April 23, 2004

There are so many beautiful pockets in Los Angeles that, if you’re not careful, can go undiscovered. Last night, I visited Little Ethiopia, which is somewhere around the middle of the sprawling metropolis. It’s only 6+ miles from my house, but I rarely visit it. I get too caught up in my own little world.

There are over a dozen Ethiopian restaurants on a 3 or 4-block stretch and, as far as I know, they’re all good. In fact, everyone has his favorite. Eric swears by Merkato. Rima takes her parents to Nyala. I went on a date, once, to another restaurant whose name escapes me and, while I like to forget many of the finer details of the evening, I do remember my date claimed it was “the best.” Last night, though, I was meeting my girlfriends at Meesob.

I drove down Fairfax in search of green neon and twinkly lights, parked across the street and crossed with two well-dressed Ethiopian girls. Kris and Brittany were already waiting for me, ready to order. We ended up with a table covered in injera topped with sizzling grilled beef and chicken, mashed peas, collard greens, lentils and green salad. Everything was delicious.

I appreciate the slowness of Ethiopian food — tearing off pieces of injera, then scooping up a morsel of grilled beef or sopping up some mashed peas. It reminds me of a restaurant in the Philippines called Kamayan, where dishes are served on banana leaves and you use your bare hands as utensils, molding rice into a bite-sized portion and sliding pieces of grilled meat off skewers.

There’s something calming about eating like that. You can’t shovel the food into your mouth or finish it in a few big bites. You have to take your time.


  1. emily says:

    i am a completely carnivore.

  2. maura says:

    girl, i need to come out there and visit. do you like baseball? maybe i’ll come out for a dodger game. (since, you know, we can get in for free.)

  3. Rubber-Sol says:

    As a fellow Angeleno, I would have to say that it is absolutely amazing how many cultures (and restaurants!) are represented in just a few square miles of each other!
    I’ve passed through Little Ethiopia a billion times, and I have yet to stop there and savor the flavors there! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. josie says:

    savouring food. such a simple pleasure. such a morsel of perfection!

  5. stef says:

    i dont sample enough of various cultures foods. thanks for the fun idea.

  6. ani says:

    I love Los Angeles. I unfortunetly never heard of Little Ethiopia. We have Ethiopian restaurants in NYC but am happy to learn there are also in L.A. Oh with good food I don’t need utinsels to shovel yumminess in my mouth. :)

  7. Steph says:

    I LOVE Ethiopian food…any food, really, as long as it’s not American *gags*…but we don’t have too many Ethiopian places in the DC area… :( I’d LOVE to check out LA, if not just for the food! ;-)

  8. simon says:

    big it up to ethiopian food nuf respect

  • I'm Christine, and this is a slice of my life—a sweet, rich, wildly indulgent slice that would taste really good with a scoop of Breyers vanilla bean ice cream. Read more >>

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