Little Ethiopia

I’m just going to come out and say it. Yall don’t go there enough :slight_smile:

It’s central, it’s cozy, it’s delicious and exciting and it’s a crazy value. The people are the chillest, sweetest I find anywhere. Ethiopian cuisine is suffering from very inactive social media and not much engagement from other cultures.

Merkato last night was great. Buna great. Awash great but a mile away. Genet is Genet

St John’s beer is awesome.

Let’s go get our hands messy, guys. I’m shocked these places are still open with how little non Ethiopian patronage they have.



p.s. can anyone recommend the place with the better coffee experience? still something we’ve never had… so many visits but it’s always dinner

I think I see some fish in the pic, but is most ethiopian cuisine vegetarian/vegan?

It can veer vegetarian, but there are also a lot of stews and braises with meat. I haven’t had Ethiopian in years…thanks for the reminder, @Nemroz!

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I’ve had the coffee at Merkato and it’s pretty dang good. It takes a while, so order it at the same time as your food.

Haven’t had it anywhere else for comparison. Merkato was the first Ethiopian I had in LA and I always seem to gravitate back to it.

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Lalibela has a more veg friendly menu. Yes that’s fried fish and we always get it.

I’m not a coffee drinker myself so I can’t speak from first hand experience, but I have seen them roasting coffee at Buna and they bring it over to the table for people to smell before serving.

I love, love, love the tiramisu at Buna and it seems like that would go well with coffee. I had assumed they got the tiramisu from an outside vendor, but when I asked, the owner told me his wife makes it. He explained that there is a big pastry tradition in Addis Ababa because of colonization. They also sometimes have teff cookies at Buna that they get from an Ethiopian-owned bakery in Las Vegas. I love them with tea and I assume they would go well with coffee as well.

P.S. I just had Ethiopian food in Washington D.C. D.C. is where Ethiopians first emigrated and there are many, many Ethiopian restaurants in D.C. Maybe I chose wrong, but the one Ethiopian restaurant I tried was not nearly as good as what I have had on Fairfax. Among other things, the sambosas were not freshly made and had clearly been reheated. I would rather wait forever for my sambosa at Buna and have it come piping hot from the fryer.

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Awash & Meals by Genet

for coffee?

Don’t most of the places on Fairfax do the incense/coffee ritual?

Yes that’s what I noticed. Someone must stand out though, no?

Did you just bring Awash and Genet up just in general as places to go eat? If so they were in the OP

Many Ethiopians are Orthodox Christians - I believe it is the majority religion there. Orthodox Christians fast from meat (and dairy) for almost half the year so Orthodox countries have many vegetarian options.

I’ve eaten at several restaurants in Little Ethiopia. Lalibela is my favorite by far. The food is outstanding. They are the only one I’ve eaten at that serves breakfast (which is delicious). The fruit drinks are pretty and flavorful.

They have what they call “coffee ceremony”.


You know, I asked one of the servers (at Rosalind’s?) to demo how to use the injera to eat. She took a much smaller piece of injera than I had ever used (almost bite-sized), completely wrapped up whatever food she had selected, and then almost quickly threw the package into her mouth from a close distance.

No messy hands, and, as far as I could tell, NO contact btw hands and mouth. It was actually a seriously impressive (and elegant) display, and I stll have no idea how she did it (although I have tried)…

Ooh, haven’t tried that one…

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Ugh Little Ethiopia and Meals by Genet in particular (something which used to cause frequent arguments with my Rosalind’s uber allies brother) has fallen by the wayside a bit for me as the wife is not a big fan. Which is a shame, because delicious food aside I also think MBG has some of the most consistently excellent service in LA. Need to get back more often.

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I can’t get past injera bread. It tastes horrible to me. At least I gave this cuisine a try.

But natural processed Ethiopian Coffee with a tiny bit of honey is from God himself


My husband likes injera bread, but he hates eating with his hands. He asks for silverware at Ethiopian restaurants. If you did the same you could bypass the injera.

Just typing in a hurry… I meant that I agree with Awash and Genet as places to try. That was all.

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I ask for chopsticks at a steakhouse.

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Personally I love eating with my hands, but I can only control my actions not those of others.