Rosalind’s Ethiopian Lunch Special is Surprisingly Communal
I still remember the first time I ever had Ethiopian food. I was a college freshman in Boston and I’m embarrassed to admit it but as an 18 year old who grew up in the Live Aid 80s, I was surprised to find out there was even such a thing as Ethiopian food (lord help me, I never claimed to be bright.) I never took advantage of Little Ethiopia (the section of Fairfax between Pico & Olympic) during my first L.A. stint 5 years ago, but in New York we lived in Hell’s Kitchen- which with 2 Ethiopian restaurant around the corner from each other could have been considered the Little Ethiopia of NYC. (A third opened just before we moved, further strengthening the neighborhood’s claim to the title.)
Anyway, none of those places really qualified as a Midtown Lunch (mostly because of price), so I was excited to hear that most of the restaurants in L.A.’s Little Ethiopia offered under $10 lunch specials. And when a couple of new food friends invited me to Rosalind’s last week I jumped at the chance.
Little Ethiopia has plenty of lunchtime options, including a well known vegan all you can eat buffet. We actually we’re hoping for some all you can eat action at Rosalind’s, but completely mis-read the sign (classic case of seeing what you want to see.) But decided to try their $7.99 lunch special anyway. It turned out to be pretty simple… for $7.99 you can choose any one of their entrees (except for the ribs) and any vegetable. We each chose something different, and were completely stoked when the entire meal came to the table on one giant plate.
Ethiopian food is traditionally served as a communal meal, on top of a layer of ingera (spongy Ethiopian bread) but I guess with the whole “lunch special” thing I was picturing individual plates. (The plate was much larger than it looks in the photo.)
No forks on the table either… you get a whole plate of edible “forks” to use to scoop up your food. (Awesome.)
For the three meats we got…
yedoro tibs (boneless chicken marinated in butter and Ethiopian chili sauce)…
Yebeg Siga Alicha (a mild lamb stew)…
and gored gored (raw beef marinated, not “simmered”, in Ethiopian chili sauce). For the veggies we got…
the collard greens…
…and the red lentils. Everything was completely devoured, except for the gored gored which packed a strong and spicy flavor punch, but was a bit too chewy- although in fairness, the waitress completely warned us that the cubes of beef were raw (as if to say, “I”m not sure you’re going to like this.”) Next time I think we’ll go for the kitfo, which is ground into smaller bits like a tartar. (And there will be a next time.)
The best part about Ethiopian food is if you don’t like meat, the veggies are just as flavorful and make an equally satisfying meal. Is this the best Ethiopian spot on Fairfax? No clue. But I look forward to finding out…
- Solid Ethiopian food for under $10. How can that be bad?
- I love stewed meats
- They bring you plenty of warm injera
- The awaze on the beef dish had some good heat
- I love sharing food, and it’s a great place to go with a group
- Sharing food and eating with your fingers is gross!
- There’s bones in the lamb stew. I don’t like bones.
- Raw beef? You’re disgusting.
- That bread is weird and spongy. I’m not down.
- They give you far more chicken than beef or lamb in the lunch special
- I usually go to lunch by myself, and Ethiopian is not as fun solo
- I love Ethiopian, but there are better deals to be had on Fairfax than Rosalind’s.
- Way to tough to find parking on the street!
Rosalind’s Ethiopian Restaurant, 1044 S Fairfax Ave, 323-936-2486