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Best Ethiopian Cuisine In Los Angeles

Few cities in the country offer such a broad diversity of cultural food like Los Angeles. From Little Armenia to Thai Town, to Korea Town and Little Tokyo, international cuisine is never more than a brief traffic jam away. And to add to the multiplicity, another up-and-coming ethnic edible is Little Ethiopia, as the stretch on Fairfax between Olympic and Pico Boulevards has been referred to since 2004. Everyday people are discovering the unique spices and distinct flavors of Ethiopian food--and they're liking it. A lot. If you've always wanted to try it but never knew where to go, these five Ethiopian restaurants are at the top of the pack.

Hours: Mon to Sun -- Noon to 10 p.m.

Awash is one of those neighborhood gems that people love to discover. Located across the street from the CVS, this little restaurant delivers big flavors and even bigger portions for the money. The kitfo (minced raw beef marinated in mitmita-a spicy chili powder base blend with herb-infused butter) is just-prepared and fantastic.

Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
1047 S Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 937-8401

Rahel Vegan Cuisine

Hours: Sun to Thur - 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri to Sat - 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

While Ethiopian food traditionally has an array of fish and meats in its cuisine, Rahel Ethiopian Veggie Cuisine is one of a kind and offers authentic vegan fare. The zucchini stew is a favorite among patrons and one sip of the "3D" beverage (a combo of suff, telba and besso) will have you addicted. Rahel also has an all you can eat lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3p.m., 7 days a week.

Related: A Guide To Gluten-Free Bakeries And Restaurants In Los Angeles

Ibex Restaurant
630 N La Brea Ave., Suite 106
Inglewood, CA 90302
(310) 673-3392

Ibex Restaurant

Hours: Mon to Sun - 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

This small, unadorned café situated in a strip mall (corner of LaBrea and Hyde Park) is another hidden gem. The owner, Mesfin Aclog, is one of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. Between Mesfin, the large portions, great service, delicious food –the vegetarian combo with mesir wet, tikel gomen, gomen and kik alicha is unbelievable- there's no way you won't leave there without a smile on your face.

Meals by Genet
1053 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 938-9304

Meals by Genet

Hours: Wed to Sun - 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Mon to Tues - Closed

Fine dining isn't the first thing that comes to mind when contemplating Ethiopian food, but Meals by Genet is exactly that. While it's a little more expensive than the others, it's well worth it. The chicken dorowot is the chef's specialty and highly recommended. The servers are knowledgeable and will happily walk customers through on what to eat and how to eat it.

Related: Best Raw Food Restaurants In Los Angeles

Ethiopian Food - Plate
(credit: Thinkstock)

Fresh Ethiopian Restaurant
1580 Centinela Ave.
Inglewood, CA 90302
(310) 674-1545
Hours: Mon - Closed, Tues to Sat - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Family owned and run, Fresh Ethiopian Restaurant is a diamond in the rough. While the interior may be lacking in ambience, the food is some of the best Ethiopian cuisine you'll find. As the name implies, everything is prepared with fresh ingredients and lots of flavor. The portions are large for the money and the menu is very vegetarian friendly. The restaurant has been known to offer samples, so if you're looking to try Ethiopian food for the first time you'll want to come here. You'll be an instant fan.

Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at

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