Little Ethiopia on Fairfax south of LACMA

Ethnic, Food, Food & Drink, Restaurants, Travel | | July 28, 2011 at 21:19

Messob's on Fairfax Ave

There’s a string of Ethiopian restaurants and food shops in one short block on Fairfax south of LACMA on the Miracle Mile in LA. In fact, you don’t really need the sign that says you’ve arrived in Little Ethiopia.

Picking a spot to eat was strictly right-brained and we were so lucky to stumble into a lively eatery filled with a Saturday night crowd of Los Angelinos and quite a few authentic looking Ethiopians. That’s always a good sign.

The natives eat here. Black beauties in long dresses and elaborate ethnic jewelry convinced us we made the right choice.

Typical serving style. Note the folded-over, pancake-like bread.

What’s Ethiopian food like? Many describe it as like Indian, but I found that the taste was nothing the same. Visually, it has the same browny-greeny-yellowy-mushy look of Indian food, but the spicing is quite different. Ethiopians are very liberal with the hot pepper, ginger and garlic.

We ordered a combo platter ($40) with a taste of everything, which included a lot of meat dishes – parts of chicken, chunks of lamb, chunks of beef, strips of beef and a ground beef cooked with yoghurt. A favorite vegetable is a kind of collard green, prepared like spinach.

Oddest of all was the bread, which was pancake-like and served folded over several times. The consistency was gelatinous and the taste a bit sour. No knives and forks, so you better like it. I’d consider it an acquired taste and kept thinking I would have enjoyed some nam.

The beer was tasty and ice-cold.

Ceiling light

best table in the house


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