Little Ethiopia is the place to get ahold of authentic African cuisine. African food mainly consists of spices and fresh ingredients. Ethiopia is a country in Africa that demonstrates the use of spice in its cuisine. The Ethiopian cuisine follows the Islamic rules, the religion Ethiopians are accustomed to, and its old custom, which is the caressing of the earth. The Ethiopian Islamics prohibit the eating of pork so their meat choices are limited. The Ethiopians are specialist whenit comes to preparing vegetarian meals with their spices. The mixture of religion and love for earth can be found in the exotic restaurant known as Nyala.
Nyala, located at 1076 South Fairfax Avenue, is an authentic Ethiopian Restaurant. The restaurant's interior walls are a clayish red color, with paintings that portray the daily life style of the Ethiopian people. The incense helps create a relaxing exotic atmosphere, which matches the African decorations that are in every corner of the restaurant. The restaurant's interior leaves an astonishing impression and the uplifting African music sends the person into a different world that leaves one in wonder.
The service in the restaurant is spectacular. The waitress comes in to your table as soon as you are sitting and presents you with a menu. Then the waitress appears with an ice cold glass of water which is free. The menu is not like any of your typical American restaurants. The menu is filled with unknown cuisines that might sound strange, but that is the beauty of experimenting and venturing into a new culture and trying new cuisines. The meal which you choose will not disappoint you, it will thrill you.
As you are waiting for your meal the waitress comes to your table with a plate of hummus with sliced pita bread. The hummus is spiced with olive oil, pepper, and an unknown red spice that adds a mild spicy flavor. The portion of the appetizer is big enough for up to two or more people.
For a first timer, I decided to try the vegetarian menu. I order the Vegetarian Combination, which is a good way to try everything the vegetarian menu, has to offer. My plate arrived with an injera on the bottom. Injera is the utensil that has to be used in the restaurant since they are not provided. This is because it is normal custom for Ethiopians to gather around a plate of food and eat with their hands. On top of the injera there are different types of vegetables and lentils: lentils spiced in red pepper sauce, yellow split peas, Wot Bean stew, Yatakilt Wot Mixed vegetables and Collard greens. I was impressed at the flavor that the lentils and vegetables had. They all had a distinctive taste that set them apart from each other.
The cuisine that is provided in Nyala is very exquisite. To venture into the restaurant is traveling into a different world. One gets to experience a new way of eating and culture. The cuisines might seem strange but one will not regret tasting the meal. The experience will be priceless and you will get out with a happy wallet. I know I did. I only spent a total of 10 dollars with 92 cents with a lot of food left on my plate. If you want t save more money you can drop by during lunch hour where you can save $2.
Prices: Lunch $8-$10; Dinner $10-$13; Vegetarian Menu Lunch $7-$8 Diner $9-$10; Appetizers $3-$3.50 (plus tax for all meals)
1076 South Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Phone :(323) 936-5918